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31/07/2017 - 07:00hs

Arab film festival opens on August 9

The festival’s 12th edition will be held at Cinesesc, in São Paulo, and will have 13 productions, 11 of them never seen before in Brazil. For the first time, there will be a film from Comoros Islands in the schedule.

São Paulo - The inaugural screening of the 12th edition of the Arab World Film Festival, the traditional yearly film festival with movies of Arab countries, most of them never seen in Brazil, is scheduled for August 9. This year, from the 13 films selected, 11 have never been screened in the country’s movie theaters. One of these was shot at Comoros Islands, which for the first time has a film selected for the festival.


A scene from the documentary Ashes of Dreams, from Comoros Islands

The documentary Ashes of Dreams, by director Hachimiya Ahamada, is a co-production of the African islands with France and Belgium and presents the territory of the four Comoros islands, a place not very well-known by Brazilians. Born in France, Ahamada would have as her fate, as idealized by her father, to live with her sisters in the country – something that never came to happen.

“It’s a documentary-letter from the director to her father,” says Geraldo Adriano Godoy de Campos, the festival’s curator, who highlights the uniqueness of the movie and also the presence of a work from Comoros Islands in the event, which was organized by the Institute for Arab Culture (ICArabe) with sponsorship by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

The exhibition will open with the Lebanese movie Ila Ayn (Where to?), which reached 60 years old in 2017 and, according to Campos, has also never been screened in Brazil. Born in Tripoli, the director Georges Nasser portrayed the migration from a small village in the country to Brazil in 1957. The work, shot in black and white, was restored and presented at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in France.

Press Release

Movie poster of Ila Ayn, which was presented this year at Cannes Film Festival

Another movie highlighted by Campos is the Palestinian Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory, a compilation by director Mohanad Yaqubi of scenes of films shot in the time of the Palestinian revolution in the 60s and 70s. “It’s an important work since it recovers images from the revolutionary Palestinian cinema. A large part of this archive was lost,” says the curator.

It shows original scenes from training sites, refugee camps and armed conflict, according to Campos. The movie was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in Germany.

Also touching on the refugee issue is the Syrian The Dream, by director Mohammad Malas, launched in 1987. Shot in Lebanon, it’s a set of interviews with Palestinian refugees at Lebanese camps before the massacre in Sabra and Shatila, camps that were destroyed during the civil war and that are portrayed in the movie.

“The director conducted over 400 interviews, asking what the refugees were dreaming about at that moment,” says Campos. The movie later was turned into a book, with the transcripts of the interviews.

Refugee-inspired theme

According to Campos, the theme of the 12th Arab World Film Festival is The Territory that Crosses Me. “It has to do with the situation of refugees of being, at the same time, inside and outside their territory,” explains the curator.

To him, the theme goes along perfectly with the concert Al-Mu’tamid, to be presented on August 12 at concert hall Sala São Paulo as part of the ceremony of the official opening of the film festival edition and the celebrations of the 65 years of the Arab Chamber. The concert is co-organized by Fundação Osesp (Symphonic Orchestra of São Paulo State), the Institute of Arab Culture (ICArabe) and the Arab Chamber and retraces the king/poet Al-Mu’tamid’s in North Africa and Andalusia.

“The concert is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of this edition,” says Sílvia Antibas, the Arab Chamber’s cultural director. “Since the start we have supported the film festival, within our mission of promoting the Arab culture, which is so rich,” she says.

This year, every movie of the Arab World Film Festival will be screened at CineSesc in the city of São Paulo. The screenings are scheduled to take place through eight days, from August 9 to 16.

Quick info
12th Arab World Film Festival
August 9 to 16
Where: CineSesc – Rua Augusta, 2075 – São Paulo-SP
Information: https://www.facebook.com/mostramundoarabe/

Watch below some trailers of the festival’s movies

Ashes of Dreams. Click here to visit the Facebook page with the videos.


Ila Ayn


Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory


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