Arab Women’s Film Festival in the Hague
babelmed - 23/02/2014
With more than 14 special guests from abroad and from the Netherlands, this promises to be a unique edition. Q&As, workshops, music, a retrospective programme and an exhibition are, next to the regular programme, part of the festival as well.
The film festival will take place at Filmhuis Den Haag and The American Book Center, and this year’s programme will include 14 films and the presence of 14 guests: filmmakers, journalists and critics from abroad.
The activities of the fourth edition under the theme of ‘change makers’ will begin on Friday 7 March at the American Book Center with the photo exhibition ‘ANA ANA’ by Egyptian photographer Wafaa Samir, the leading character of AWFF’s opening film by the same name.
Later in the evening, the opening ceremony will take place at Filmhuis Den Haag, starting with a musical performance by two outstanding Moroccan-Dutch musicians: singer Samira Dainan and guitar player Hafez Ismaili M'hamdi. The pre-premiere of the Dutch-Egyptian opening film ‘ANA ANA’ will follow afterwards. This unique documentary was received very well by a range of film critics and was nominated for Best Dutch Documentary at the IDFA 2013 in Amsterdam. The story is about the inner world of four young creative Egyptian women and the effect of the Egyptian revolution on them, followed by a Q&A with the award-winning film directors Corinne van Egeraat, Petr Lom and the leading character Wafaa Samir. The short fiction film ‘HALEEMA’ by German director Boris Schaarschmidt will be screened as well.
Later on the evening, the Dutch premiere of the Belgian-Moroccan feature film ‘LE SAC DE FARINE’ by Moroccan director Kadija Leclere will follow. Based on the true life of the director, the film traces the story of an eight-year-old Moroccan girl who lives in Belgium in the 1970s till her teenage years in a poverty-stricken village in the Atlas Mountains of
Morocco, where she is taken to by her biological father. ‘SILK’, an American short fiction film by director Catherine Dent will be screened as part of the same programme. Furthermore, during the opening evening there will be a stand by the American Book Center with a specially selected collection of book and magazines related to the Arab countries
On the second day, Saturday 8 March, the acting workshop ‘CRASH COURSE IN ACTING BASICS!’ will be given to beginning actors and actresses between the ages of 15 and 30 years by the award-winning Syrian actress, film director and producer Nadia Hamzeh.
The screening of feature-length documentary ‘RAFEA: SOLAR MAMA’ will follow, directed by Mona Eldaief and Oscar-nominee Jehane Noujaim. It is about a strong-minded Bedouin woman that struggles against tradition and society as she seeks to become Jordan's first solar engineer. The documentary will be preceded by the screening of the European premiere
of the Jordanian short fiction film ‘HORIZON’, written and directed by Zain Duraie and the Egyptian short documentary ‘LIFE BY HER HAND’ directed by Sally Abu Basha. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with ‘HORIZON’S’ film director Zain Duraie.
In the evening, the European premiere of the Lebanese feature film ‘VOID’will take place, a story about six Lebanese women of different ages, who await the return of their sons, brothers, husbands or lovers, who have been missing since the Civil War. The film will be preceded by the short fiction film ‘SANCTITY ‘by Saudi director Ahd. A Q&A with one of Void’s directors Tarek Korkomaz and producers Sam Lahoud and Nicolas Khabbaz will follow at the end of the screenings.
On Sunday 9 March, the third and last day of the fourth edition, will kick off with the retrospective programme ‘THE PALESTINIAN’’ WOMAN WITHIN THE FILM INDUSTRY BETWEEN THEN AND NOW: WHAT HAS CHANGED? ‘The famous and award-winning Palestinian director and actress Nisreen Faour will introduce the programme by giving a lecture. The screenings of feature films ‘AMREEKA’ by Palestinian filmmaker Cherien Dabis, ‘MIRAL’ by American filmmaker Julian Schnabel and the short documentary ‘THIS IS THE LAW! ‘by Palestinian film director Fadya Salah Al-Deen’ ‘will follow after the lecture.
During the closing evening of AWFF, the feature film ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS’ by Moroccan director Mohammed Ahed Bensouda will be screened for the first time in the Netherlands. The story follows a woman who is a victim of sexual harassment at her place of work. She is happy in her marriage and has a stable job, till the moment that the company where she works appoints a new manager and where she starts to face many obstacles that encounter her life. ‘SCRAP’, a short fiction film by Saudi director Bader Alhomoud, will be part of the closing programme as well. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the directors of Behind Closed Doors and Scrap.
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