It has never been as great a time for Arab cinema, we admit. WIth titles in Cannes, Venice and the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, there is a wide variety of MENA titles, across all spectrums -- from comedy to drama, documentaries to fiction narratives.
In an enthusiastic Instagram post, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of the Qatar Museums, shared photos from some of the projects participating in this year's Venice Film Festival. And listed all thirteen films which are landing on the Lido starting Wednesday. The premiere of Wissam Charaf's highly anticipated tale of impossible lovers titled Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous will open the Giornate degli Autori on the first day of the festival, making Lebanon proud. We've already secured a ticket to the premiere and can't wait to share our thoughts.
Also highly anticipated, and we can say it, simply and magically beautiful is Soudade Kaadan's Nezouh which screens in Orizzonti Extra. For the second year in a row, an Audience Award will be handed out to the best film in the Orizzonti Extra section, with the support of the main sponsor of the Festival, Armani beauty.Each viewer entitled to vote will receive an email with an individual link to express their preference, rating the film from 1 to 10. The Audience Award - Armani beauty will go to the film that receives the highest average rating from all the votes, and it will be conferred during the closing awards ceremony to be held on Saturday September 10th.
Last year's Audience Choice award went to the Finnish film The Blind Man Who Didn’t Want to See Titanic, directed by Teemu Nikki.
But back to the DFI supported projects, which are all listed below:
Queens (pictured above) by Yasmine Benkiran, screens in Critics' Week
Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous directed by Wissam Charaf screens in Giornate degli Autori
Nezouh by Soudade Kaadan screens in Orizzonti Extra
Autobiography, from Indonesian filmmaker Makbul Mubarak screens in Orizzonti
The Last Queen by Adila Bendimerad and Damien Ounouri screens in Giornate degli Autori
The 67th Summer, directed by Abu Bakr Shawky is in Venice's Gap Financing Market
5 Seasons of Revolution, Directed by Lina also in the Gap Financing Market
And as part of La Biennale Final Cut the following titles:
Land of Women directed by Nada Riyadh
Inshallah a Boy by Amjad Al Rasheed
Backstage by Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane
Suspended by Myriam El Hajj
Black Light (Lumière noire) by Karim Bensalah
A Fidai Film di Kamal Aljafari
H.E. Sheikha Mayassa wrote in her post: "Delighted to see 13 films supported by @dohafilm selected for the upcoming Venice International Film Festival. Of these 13 outstanding films, 12 are from MENA - a terrific representation for our region's immensely talented filmmakers and storytellers. Wishing all selected filmmakers the very best as their films finally see the light and will surely be appreciated and embraced by the #venezia79 audience."
The Venice International Film Festival takes place from August 31st, to September 10th, 2022. For more info, check out their website.