Sarajevo Film Festival to feature Egyptian artists

Ahram Online, Thursday 1 Aug 2013

Film festival in Bosnian capital (16-24 August) will include projects from the Arab world, including Egypt, Palestine and Tunisia

Sarajevo film festival, still from 'Though i know the river is dry' by Omar Robert Hamilton

The 19th Sarajevo Film Festival, which kicks-off in mid-August, will feature films by emerging Arab filmmakers.

Five Arab countries – Egypt, Palestine, Tunisia, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia – will participate in this year's festival. It will take place at several venues in Bosnia between 16 and 24 August, offering a platform to a wide range of artists.

The festival's main focus is South East Europe (Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Monte Negro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, UNMI Kosovo).

Filmmakers will compete in Feature, Short and Documentary film sections.

The festival was established in 1995 by a group of enthusiasts aiming to help reconstruct civil society and retain the city's spirit.

The festival offers educational and networking platforms for young filmmakers, scriptwriters and media representatives. Its status today is confirmed as a leading film festival in the region.

For nine days artists will showcase a variety of arts through press conferences, film screenings, press screening, and a photography exhibition. The festival aims to present important and innovative films of high artistic value made throughout the world.

A film by Egyptian director Hala Lotfy, who was awarded the prize for best director at the Abu Dhabi film festival, will make its debut on 22 August at 12pm. 'Coming Forth By Day' is a haunting tale of a single woman in her thirties nursing her ill father, faced with the temptation to escape to a life of her own.

Another film is 'Though I Know the River is Dry', featuring 'Paradise Now' star Kais Nahif, written and directed by Omar Robert Hamilton, an Egyptian independent filmmaker and producer of the annual Palestine Festival of Literature. The short film debuted in 2013 at the Rotterdam Film Festival, where it won the Prix UIP. It is also nominated for Best Short Film by the 2013 European Film Awards. The film was supported by two online crowd-funding campaigns, and over two years 182 people contributed $29,000.

Other films to be screened include five Palestinian films, 'When I Saw You' by Annemarie, 'Infiltrators' by Khaled Jarrar, 'Omar' by Hany Abu-Assad, 'Nation Estate' by Larissa Sansour and 'A World Not Ours' by Mahdi Fleifel. As well as 'SanCity' directed by the Saudi Arabian Ahd, 'A Very Dangerous Man' by Lebanese Mazen Khaled and 'It Was Better Tomorrow' by Tunisian Hinde Boujemaa.

For the event's full programme, please visit the festival's website Here

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