Emerging DIFF Arab artists showcase at the 60th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Fest

Wed Sep 19,2012

Dubai, September 19th 2012 – In collaboration with the San Sebastian International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will offer directors a career changing opportunity through the Cinema in Motion initiative. This industry activity aims to assist the conclusion of feature films – which are at the end of their filming or in post-production stage - made by filmmakers from the Maghreb, developing Arab countries and the African continent.

Dubai Film festival will award the successful nominee €5,000 towards the post production costs of an Arab film. In addition to the monetary prize, the winning projects director will be invited to attend the Dubai Film Market (DFM) during the upcoming DIFF where they will be offered invaluable industry introductions and meeting opportunities.  In order to ensure these opportunities are maximized the filmmaker will be assigned a personal consultant from DFM who will help coordinate meetings, explore funding prospects and facilitate networking opportunities.

The four films which have been chosen to take part in the San Sebastian International Film Festival’s 8th Cinema in Motion event, due to be held on September 24th consist of Al Khouroug Lel Nahar (Coming forth by Day) by Hala Lotfy (Egypt), Challatt Tunes (Challatt of Tunis) by Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunisia-France), Le Veau d’or (The Golden Calf) by Hassan Legzouli (Morocco-France) and Moug (Waves) by Ahmed Nour (Egypt-Morocco). Following the showcase the selected films’ directors and/or producers will have an opportunity to defend their projects to accredited film industry professionals to compete for various forms of post-production support, awarded in previous years to films such as Yahya Alabdallah’s The Last Friday (Jordan) and Leïla Kilani’s Sur la planche (Morocco - France).

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director, Dubai International Film Festival, commented: “Developing opportunities to encourage film production and realize the potential of regional talent is a core objective of DIFF. Our participation in Cinema in Motion helps further realize this objective. The prize offered to the winning filmmaker will not only assist in helping them complete their current project and hopefully find additional partners who can help complete and distribute the film at DFM, but also expand their network within the film industry and cultivate long-term relationships for future projects”. 
Kaouther Ben Hania, who has had a long and successful run on the international festival circuit and who previously participated in the Dubai Film Connection (DFC) in 2011 with “Zaineb Hates the Snow” will showcase Challatt of Tunis. This portrays the story of Challatt, a supposed fundamentalist who slashes women with a razor blade in Tunisia and explores what urban myths tell us about society, culture and identity. Meanwhile Hala Lofty’s Al-Khoroug Lel-Nahar delves into the everyday lives of two women taking care of their sick man, Ahmed Nour’s Moug artistic feature paints a picture of his own history his forgotten home city and Hassan Legzouli’s Le Veau D’or explores the extreme measures a man will go to for the love of his life.

Those who have fully enjoyed their bodies cannot be submissive. And those who never have? Can they survive the slavery of solitude and impotent acceptance of what they can’t change or embrace? This is the everyday story of two women taking care of their sick man.

A moped rider, razor blade in hand, prowls the streets of Tunis slashing the most beautiful buttocks of women strolling down the city’s sidewalks. They call him Challatt. In Tunisian dialect, the word means blade and is most likely an oral distortion of Gillette, the famous razor blade. The shadow of Challatt and the violence of his actions change the dress code of Tunisian women: no more tight jeans, no mini-skirts, no carefree strolls… A young Tunisian director seeks out this true living myth. She wishes to make a point of finding out why Challatt was after women just like her in Tunisia.

17 year-old Sami has been sent by his dad to a small village in the Atlas mountains of Morocco to make a man of him. All Sami wants is to go back to France before his 18th birthday so he can get French nationality and get back together with Melanie, his French girlfriend. Sami and his cousin Azdade come up with a plan to steal an ox from the Moroccan royal family’s ranch and sell it to pay for the crossing back to France.

Moug / Waves MOUG
Using an artistic combination of documentary footage, archive images, animation scenes, animated characters representing the family members of the filmmaker, and his own voice-over, the director tells the story of himself and of his generation, born with the birth of Mubarak’s rule in the early 80s of last century, and of his forgotten home city, Suez, the famous city of the Suez canal that triggered the revolution to the extent of becoming known as “The flame of the Egyptian revolution”.

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