'Mediterranean Fever' to open the 13th Malmö Arab Film Festival

Held yearly in the Swedish city of Malmö, the festival kicks off its 13th edition with Palestinian director Maha Haj's Cannes winner.
'Mediterranean Fever' to open the 13th Malmö Arab Film Festival

Malmo Arab Film Festival (MAFF) announced the selection of the film Mediterranean Fever by Palestinian helmer Maha Haj as the opening film for the festival’s 13th edition, which will take place from April 28th to May 4th.

The film was written and directed by Haj, and is a Palestinian/German/French/Cyprus/Qatar co-production, featuring wonderful performances by Amer Hlehel, Ashraf Farah, Anat Hadid and Samir Elias. In Mediterranean Fever, Waleed (played by Amer Hlehel), a forty-something man, lives in Haifa with his wife and children and dreams of a writing career, while suffering from chronic depression. He develops a close relationship with his neighbor, Jalal (played by Farah) who is a small- time crook with an ulterior motive in mind. While the scheme turns into an unexpected friendship between the two men, it leads Waleed into a journey of dark encounters. To read Nina's full review from Cannes, click here.

Mediterranean Fever world premiered last year at the Festival de Cannes, in competition, in Un Certain Regard, where it won the Best Screenplay Award. Most recently, the film screened as part of the Qumra evening screenings since it secured some funding from the Doha Film Institute. Mediterranean Fever was the official submission of Palestine for the 'Best International Feature Film' category at the 95th Academy Awards in 2023.

The Founder and President of the Malmö Festival, Muhammad Keblawi, spoke about the selection of the opening film, saying: “Palestinian cinema has never been absent from Malmö Arab Film Festival, but it is the first time that we open the festival with a Palestinian film, as we found in Maha Haj’s film all the features of an impressive cinematic achievement, and we are sure Malmö audience will enjoy a tale that has thrilled viewers all over the world”.

Malmö Arab Film Festival is the largest and most renowned Arab film festival in Europe and the only one in the Scandinavian countries. Since its founding in 2011, MAFF has taken major steps towards offering a panoramic view over the Arab social and political situation and conducting constructive dialogues for both professionals and the public. The festival's goal is to build bridges between cultures based on film as a universal visual language, capable of imitating the diversity of human dimension.

For more information, check out the MAFF website.

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