Several films by Arab filmmakers will be screened at the festival, eight of which are also in competition for various prizes.
For the seventh consecutive year, Arab Cinema Center (ACC) returns to the 79th edition of the Venice International Film Festival with a wide range of activities. This year’s activities are launched in collaboration with 13 partners (institutions, companies and film festivals) and include film screenings, award ceremonies and round tables.
Partners that will join the ACC at the Venice International Film Festival are Arab Radio & Television (ART) (Saudi Arabia), Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) (Egypt), El Gouna Film Festival (Egypt) , Film Clinic (Egypt), IEFTA (Monaco), Lagoonie Film Production (Egypt), MAD Solutions (Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Lisbon) and its two affiliated companies (MAD Celebrity and MAD Distribution), Malmo Arab Film Festival (Sweden) , NEOM (Saudi Arabia), The Film Verdict (USA) and The Imaginarium Films (Jordan).
As part of Venice Production Bridge, a platform welcoming film experts and professionals from around the world through screenings, round tables and meetings, a round table entitled “Saudi Arabia: a new key player” will take place between Wayne Borg (General Manager, Media, Entertainment and Culture, NEOM), Filipe Martin Gomes (Head of Innovation Programs, King Abdulaziz Center for Global Culture, Ithra), Charlene Deleon-Jones (Executive Director, Film AlUla), Abduljalil AlNasser (General Manager of Sector Development and Investment Attraction, Saudi Arabia Film Commission) and Shivani Pandya (General Manager, Red Sea International Film Festival). The discussion will be moderated by Italian journalist Nick Vivarelli, Variety’s Middle East correspondent. In addition, Shahid and OSN platforms will participate in the “VOD Market Day: Meet the Streamers” event, as part of the Venice Bridge activities.
The eight Arab films in competition at Venice include Our ties by Roschdy Zem from Morocco in the Main Competition; For my country by Rachid Hami from Algeria within the framework of the Orizzonti Competition; Nezuh of Soudade Kaadan, Syria and Hanging gardens by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji, Iraq as part of the Orizzonti Extra competition and My girlfriend by Kawthar Younis, Egypt as part of the Orizzanti short film competition. Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous by Wissam Charaf, Lebanon will be the opening film. Other competitors include the last queen by Adila Bendimerad and Damien Ounouri, Algeria; The damned don’t cry by Fyzal Boulifa, Morocco; and Queens by Yasmine Benkiran, Morocco at the Venice International Film Critics Week.
On the sidelines of the Final Cut workshop in Venice, MAD Solutions will give out its special prize, which includes promotion and distribution services, while the El Gouna Film Festival will offer a cash prize ($5,000). There will be three Arab films competing for the prizes during the workshop, including In the wingsby Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane (Morocco); Black light, by Karim Bensalah (Algeria) and Inshallah a Boy, by Amjad Al Rasheed (Jordan). In addition, three documentaries will be in competition, including A Fidai movieby Kamal Aljafari (Palestine); land of womenby Nada Riyad and Ayman El Amir (Egypt) and Suspendedby Myriam El Hajj (Lebanon).
While Venice Gap-Financing Market will present four Arab films; 5 seasons of revolution (Syria), The 67th summer (Egypt), Fatna, a woman named Rashid (Morocco) and immersive project kandaka (Sudan).
Meanwhile, during the festival events, the ACC will publish the 17th edition of the Arab Cinema Magazine, which features the “75 Years of Palestinian Cinema” campaign and celebrates women in cinema. In addition to this, the edition reveals various articles written by prominent Arab personalities, namely Egyptian iconic star Youssra, Palestinian directors (Najwa Najjar and Basil Khalil) and Palestinian researcher and novelist Saleem Albeik.