Malmo Arab Film Festival kicks off
By: Angy Essam
Sat, Oct. 5, 2019
CAIRO – 5 October 2019: The opening ceremony of the ninth edition of Malmo Arab Film Festival took place on October 4.
A notable group of Egyptian stars attended the opening ceremony such as Asser Yassin, Shereen Reda, Mona Hala, Tamer Ashry, Magdy Ahmed Aly among others.
The 5th edition of Malmo Arab Film Festival (MAFF) Market Forum, the co-production of feature, documentary and short films in development stage, received no less than 54 projects from the Arab region, Sweden, and Nordic countries. And 45 projects in post-production platform.
The development fund and the post production platform are a way of promoting and supporting Arab filmmakers, but also encouraging cooperation between Arab and Nordic film industries.
The selection process was tough, as we have received many interesting projects. However, in the final stages, the true standout projects were discussed and considered at length by the entire selection committee and festival director.
MAFF is proud to announce the projects in competition for MAFF development and post-production funds.
Projects selected for competition in MAFF Development Fund:
TO THE GOALSTRAIGHT, Arab producer: Safei Eldin Mahmoud, Swedish producer: Shaker K. Tahrir, director: Tamer Ashry, country: Egypt
I AM HERE BUT YOU CAN’T SEE ME, Arab producer: Nermine Haddad, Swedish producer: David Herdies, director: Feyrouz Serhal, country: Lebanon
COMMEDIA, Arab producer: Myriam Sassine, Swedish producer: Olivier Guerpillon, director: Myriam El Hajj, country: Lebanon
THE SEA NEEDS TO HEAVE, Arab producer: Alaa Alasad, Swedish producer: Helene Granqvist, director: Zain Duraie, country: Jordan
MOTHERHOOD, Arab producer: Sarra ben Hassan, Swedish producer: Frida Martensson, director: Myriam Joobeur, country: Tunisia
ETHEL, Swedish producer: Christer Nelson, director: Mohamed Siam, country: Egypt
LOOKING FOR SAADA, Arab producer: Rashid Masharawi, Swedish producer: Linda Mutawi, director: Areen Omari, country: Palestine
The day of Wrath, Tales from Tripoli, Arab producer: Jinane Dagher, Swedish producer: Sofia Reshmis, director: Rania Rafei, country: Lebanon
HABIB & THE THIEF, Arab Swedish producer and director: Naures Sager, country: Sweden
THE LAST DINNER, Arab Swedish producer: Eyad Eid, director: Wassim Kashlan, country: Sweden
A RESUME, Arab Swedish producer and director: Bassem Nabhan, country: Sweden
REPRESSION, Arab producer: Abed Lotfi, director: Mike Malajalian, country: Lebanon
THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR, Arab producer: Mohammed Taieb, director: Mohammed Tawfik, country: Tunisia, Iraq, Denmark
Projects selected for competition in Post Production Platform:
MICA, producer: Lamia Chraibi, director: Ismael Ferroukhi, country: Morocco, France
FOR THE CAUSE, producers: Hassan Benjelloun and Rachida Saadi, director: Hassan Benjelloun, country: Morocco
THE WOMEN IN BLOCK “J”, producer: Rachida Saadi, director: Mohammed Nadif, country: Morocco
BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, producer: Mohammed Ali ben Hamra, director: Majdi Lakhdar, country: Tunisia
STATE OF AGITATION, producers: Elie Khalife, Nicolas Khabbaz, and Mahmoud Karak, director: Elie Khalife, country: Lebanon
SUSPENDED WIVES, producer: Karim Aitouna, director: Mariam Addou, country: Morocco
THEIR ALGERIA, producer: Marie Balducchi, director: Lina Soualem, country: Algeria, France
EXTRA TIME, producer: Eslam Mosbah, director: Alaa Mosbah, country: Egypt
CAPTAINS OF ZA’ATARI, producer: Dina Emam, director: Ali El-Arabi, country: Jordan, Egypt
At least one representative from the selected 22 projects will be invited, by Malmö Arab Film Festival, to attend the MAFF Market Forum (5-8 October).
Malmö Arab Film Festival previously announced the list of Egyptian films participating in the Festival. Egyptian cinema will have a strong presence with seven feature films and three short films in the various festival programs.
In the feature film competition, will house two Egyptian films which are (Exterior/ Night) and ‘’ El Deif’’ ( The Guest).
‘’We are delighted to participate in one of the largest Arab film events in Europe, in the midst of a series of the most important Arab films recently released, Which we trust to have been carefully chosen to reflect some of the latest contemporary cinema trends in the region for both European and Arab audience’’ said Ahmad Abdulla El Sayed director of ‘’ Leil Khargy’’.
The feature documentary competition will include both ‘’Kilo 64’’ directed by Amir El-Shenawy and ‘’The Profession’’ by Ramez Youssef. Three Egyptian films will take part in the short film competition: "Ma Tilash An al-Hajib" (Eyebrows) directed by Tamer Ashry, ‘’ Shoka w Skina’’ (Fork and Knife) directed by Adam Abd El Ghaffar and (Extra Safe) by Nouran Sherif.
In the non-competitive sections, ‘’ Turab el Mass’’ (Diamond Dust) will be secreened in Arabian Nights section. The festival organizes a special evening featuring the Egyptian film ‘’ Yommedine’’ (Judgmental Day).
‘’Malmö Festival has become the largest Arab specialized film festival taking place outside the Arab world. All the team is very excited about screening the film in Malmö and meeting the audience of the city’’ said Abu Bakr Shawky, director of “Yommedine”, which competed last year at Cannes’ International Competition.
‘’El Fares w el Amira’’ (The Knight and The Princess) will be screened in its international premiere as a morning family screening.
‘’Since the establishment of the festival in 2011, Egyptian cinema has been very present every year,
and it is a logical thing because you cannot organize an Arab cinema festival without presenting the
very best in the oldest and largest Arab cinema industry’’ said Mouhamad Keblawi, founder and
President of Malmö festival.
“Last year, Egypt was the festival’s guest of honour. In the 9 th edition, the Egyptian presence will continue through a showcase of carefully selected films to shed light on the various aspects of modern Egyptian cinema’ Keblawi added.
Malmö Arab Film Festival is the largest and most famous Arab film festival in Europe and the only one in the Scandinavian countries.
Since its founding in 2011, MAFF took major steps towards offering a panoramic view over the Arab social and political situation and conducting constructive dialogues for both professionals and public.
The festival goal is to build bridges between cultures based on film as a universal visual language, capable of imitating the diversity of human dimension.
Based on the remarkable development, MAFF launched the first edition of its market forum during its fifth edition in 2015, as a co-production platform. Since its establishment, MAFF market forum helped a large number of Arab film projects creating productive partnerships with the Nordic countries.
A glimpse about the Egyptian participating movies:
1- “Leil Khargy” (Exterior/ Night)
The Egyptian film “Leil Khargy” (Exterior/ Night) was screened at the first edition of Meknes International Cinema Festival, which kicked off on June 14 in the Moroccan city of Meknes.
“Leil Khargy” was screened for the first time in the Egyptian cinemas on December 19.
The movie was competing in Cairo International Film Festival's international competition where the Egyptian actor Sherif Desouky won the Best Actor Award on his role in the movie.
The movie revolves around three individuals; Mo, Toto and Mustafa, who meet against all norms, each battling in his own way to stand his ground and leave his mark; they eventually find themselves in an unexpected journey in the city that helps them see a world they have never seen before.
“Leil Khargy” stars beside Desouky Karim Kassem, Mona Hala, Basma, Ahmed Malek, and Ahmed Magdy among others. “Leil Khargy” is written by Sherif Alfy and directed by Ahmed Abdallah.
The movie was screened before at Toronto International Film Festival.
2- “El-Deif” (The guest)
Veteran writer Ibrahim Essa's film “El-Deif” (The guest) was screened at Manarat Film Festival for Mediterranean Cinema in Tunisia on July 3.
“El-Deif” previously participated in Tetouan Mediterranean Film Festival and Arab Film Festival, Rotterdam.
The film is the second cinematic experience for the veteran writer after the great success he achieved in his previous controversial film “Mawlana” (The Sheikh).
“El-Deif” (The guest) is starring Khaled el-Sawi, Sherine Reda, Ahmed Malek and Jamila Awad and is directed by Hadi el-Bagouri.
The film revolves around a man who visits a family for dinner as a guest, and then strange incidents follow.
Yahia Tijani is the writer and thinker the film revolves around. Tijani has opinions that make him face the charge of contempt of religions. Perhaps the most prominent among his opinions is that hijab is not obligatory.
Tijani has a small family consisting of his wife Mimi and his daughter Farida, who Osama proposes to marry. Osama is "the guest" that changes the course of events in the film.
“El-Deif” was granted the Public Award in Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia early December 2018, as it was competing in the official contest of the festival representing the African continent.
3- ‘’ Kilo 64’’
"Kilo 64" is a documentary film that attracted attention in its premiere at the 40th Cairo International Film Festival.
The film revolves around a young pharmacist named Wael, driven by his ambition to shift away from his field of study and move to cultivate the desert, influenced by the spirit of the January Revolution in Egypt. However, the young man faces numerous complexities and obstacles that obstruct his mission.
Shennawi is a director focusing on documentary films. He attained his master's degree in documentary film from London in 2017.
Since 2010, the rising director has been working in the field of films. During the past 5 years, he has directed a number of successful documentary films.
4-‘’Shoka we Sekina’’ (Fork and Knife)
Writer and director Adam Abd ElGhaffar's short film ‘’Shoka we Sekina’’ has been selected to compete within the Short Films Competition at the second edition of El Gouna International Film Festival that was held from September 20-28, 2018.
‘’Shoka we Sekina’’ stars Menna Shalaby, Eyad Nassar and Asser Yassin. The short movie follows a romantic date that seems very normal until the couple started talking about their past and their future changes.
Alongside Menna Shalaby, Eyad Nassar and Asser Yassin, the short film stars Rosaline Elbay, Nour Aboulela and Nourchène Bahri.
5- "Ma Tilash An al-Hajib" ( Eyebrows)
After winning the best short movie award from the second edition of El Gouna Film Festival, the Egyptian short movie "Ma Tilash An al-Hajib" participated in five international festivals.
The festivals are African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival in Milano; Middle East Now festival; San Sebastián International Film Festival; Geneva International Film Festival and Tripoli Film Festival.
The makers of “Photocopy”,script writer HaithamDabbour and director Tamer Ashry, collaborated again in "Ma Tilash An al-Hajib".
"What is the one thing that you wish was not prohibited?" Aisha, the movie heroine, writes in a closed Facebook group addressing her burqa-wearing peers in the group.
Directly after posting this question, Aisha meets her friend Sally at a mall. They go shopping together to discover at the end that the thing she hates most is her burqa. The 21-minute movie stars Mariam el-Khoshet, Asmaa AbulYazid, and Ali el-Tayeb among others.
6- "Turab al-Mass" ( Diamond Dust)
"Turab al-Mass" is based on the novel of the same name by Ahmed Mourad. The plot revolves around Taha, who works for a pharmaceutical company and lives an extremely boring life with his disabled father.
Taha’s life is turned upside down after a mysterious murder reveals many secrets, dragging Taha into the world of crime and corruption.
Alongside Yassin, the cast includes Menna Shalaby, Maged el-Kidwany, Ezzat al-Alayly, Mohamed Mamdouh, Khaled al-Sawy and Sawsan Badr.
7- ‘’Yomeddine’’ ( Judgmental Day)
Egyptian film Yomeddine won the Silver Tanit Award for Best Feature Film at the Carthage International Film Festival. It is the third award for the film after the Gouna Star for Best Arab Feature and the Cinema For Humanity Audience Award at El Gouna Film Festival.
“Yomeddine” is directed by Abu Bakr Shawky, and produced by Dina Emam; a real former leprosy patient played the lead role. It tells the story of Beshay, a former Coptic Egyptian patient in the Leprosy Colony. He was lucky enough to be cured, unlike his late wife.
After his wife’s death, Beshay decides to leave the colony and search for his family with his friends; a donkey and a child. Beshay’s journey takes him to the past and to the future as well, exploring how society deals with his disease and highlighting the suffering of leprosy patients in the colony.
The Cinematic Professions Syndicate chose “Yomeddine” to represent Egypt in the 2019 Oscars list for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Oscars will not be the first recognition “Yomeddine” gets, as it was awarded the Francois Chalais Prize at the Cannes International Film festival. The 71st Cannes Film Festival held a press conference with the Egyptian filmmakers of “Yomeddine” after its screening at the festival on May 9, 2018.