The sample of Arab cinema from Catalonia exhibits its power with Hala Allabdala, Philip Rizk and Noel Keserwany

The Arab and Mediterranean Film Festival of Catalonia is now celebrating its sixteenth edition and has become an open window on the reality and creativity of the most talented voices in the Arab world.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
01 November 2022 Tuesday 23:48
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The sample of Arab cinema from Catalonia exhibits its power with Hala Allabdala, Philip Rizk and Noel Keserwany

The Arab and Mediterranean Film Festival of Catalonia is now celebrating its sixteenth edition and has become an open window on the reality and creativity of the most talented voices in the Arab world. Between November 3 and 13, the Filmoteca and the Zumzeig room will screen a program made up of 13 feature films and a program of short films from countries such as Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon or Algeria, and will receive visits from various personalities that will represent the films programmed in this cinephile event, organized by the NGO Sodepau.

Among the personalities invited to the exhibition this 2022 are artists of the stature of Hala Allabdala, Philip Rizk, Noel Keserwany, Ahmad Alhaj, Juan delGado and Rasha Salti.

Allabdalla will be in charge of opening the contest with the documentary film Omar Amiralay. Pain, time, silence, a portrait of the figure of the Syrian filmmaker Omar Amiralay, a convinced activist against the Syrian regime, who died prematurely in 2011 and a companion in the struggle of the filmmaker.

The Egyptian director and artist Philip Rizk, one of the outstanding voices of the generation that led the popular uprising in Cairo against the Mubarak regime, will bring his Mapping Lessons to Barcelona. It is a political essay that hybridizes historical archive material and experimental fiction to reflect on neo-colonialism and independence.

Rizk himself, who will visit the Catalan capital from November 9 to 11, defines his work as "a visual conversation between political struggles through time and space, with a broad view that includes the popular revolts in the Paris Commune in 1871, or that looks towards the Soviet Union, the Spain of 36 or the Vietnamese resistance, until the most recent revolution in Syria.

The writer and artistic curator Rasha Salti will arrive with a carte blanche in the Classics section with four feature film proposals: L'homme qui regardait les fenêtres (Merzak Allouache, 1984), Par un jour de violence ordinaire, mon ami Michel Seurat.. (Omar Amiralay, 1995), Nos guerres imprudentes (Randa Chahal Sabag, 1995) and La république du silence (Diana el-Jeiroudi, 2021). On the other hand, the Syrian director and producer Ahmad Alhaj and the founder of the Qisetna organization, the Spanish Juan delGado, will talk about 'Cinema de Urgencia', the program of short films and animations that they would curate.

Lebanese multidisciplinary artist Noel Keserwany, one of the protagonists of Beirut: Eye of a Storm, will also be present, where the filmmaker Mai Masri constructs a turbulent moment around the massive protests against the Lebanese government at the end of 2019, focusing on the looks individual and disruptive of four women (a journalism student, a camerawoman and two artist sisters, Michelle and Noel herself), rebellious and who dream of a new country.

The one in charge of closing the festival will be Feathers, a comedy with surreal elements that triumphed in the Critics' Week of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Omar el Zohairy, it denounces the patriarchal machismo of Egyptian society based on the adventures of a family that sees how, at a birthday party, a magician turns the father into a chicken.

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