Arab Spring in the spotlight at Kerala Film Festival


The Hindu: “Arab Cinema,” a package comprising eight films reflecting the present popular uprisings for democracy in the Arab world, will be one of the highlights of the 16th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) which will commence in the city on December 9.

Widely acclaimed Egyptian film Tahrir 2011: The Good The Bad and The Politician, a joint venture of directors Aten Amin, Tamer Ezzat, and Amr Salama, is among the films included in this section. The movie, which has been divided into three sections, portrays the surge and suppression of popular revolt under the regime of former president and military commander Hosni Mubarak.

Another Egyptian film included in this section, Asma, directed by Amr Salama, portrays the struggle of a woman, who was tested HIV positive, for acceptance in the mainstream society.

Award-winning filmmaker Elyes Baccar’s Rouge Parole portrays the revolutionary movement in Tunisia which later developed into the famed Arab Spring movement.

Syrian director Muhammed Abdulaziz’s Damascus With Love, Lebanese film Here Comes the Rain by Bahij Hojeij, Moroccan films Rough Hands directed by Mohamed Asli and The End by Hicham Lasri, and Where Do We Go Now directed by Lebanese singer and actress Nadine Labaki are the other films to be screened as part of the package.

More than 200 films from 62 countries across the world will be screened at the week-long festival organised by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy. Under The Hawthorn Tree, directed by noted Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, will be the inaugural film of the festival.

Apart from the Arab Cinema package, a “Kaidan Horror Classics” package featuring Japanese horror movies and “Kicking and Screening” package featuring films based on football will be the other highlights of the festival.

The retrospective section of the festival will include films by renowned personalities such as French director Robert Bresson, American Adolfas Mekas, Japanese directors Nagisa Oshima and Yasuzo Masumura, Greece’s Theodoros Angelopoulos and Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety.

The international competition section of the festival this year will include 14 films from Asian, African, and Latin American countries, a statement released here said. Adaminte Makan Abu, directed by Salim Ahamed, and Adimadhyantham directed by Sherrey are the Malayalam films included in the competition section.

“Contemporary Masters’ in Focus” will include four films by noted Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplanoglu.

From Germany

As may as eight films by post-war Germany’s first film production company DEFA will be screened in a separate section. “Indian Cinema Now” and “Malayalam Cinema Now” categories of the festival will include seven films each.

The “Philippine Cinema” section will screen seven films depicting life in modern Philippines .

Screenings of the 16th IFFK will be held at Kairali, Sree, Kalabhavan, New, Sreekumar, Sree Vishakh, Ajanta, Sree Padmanabha, Dhanya, and Remya theatres.


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