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A Sweeping Presence of Arab Cinema at the 60th BFI London Film Festival

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16 Films Taking Part in 10 Different Sections

A Sweeping Presence of Arab Cinema at the 60th BFI London Film Festival


Run by the British Film Institute (BFI), the 60th BFI London Film Festival (5 - 16 October) witnesses a sweeping presence of Arab films taking part in its activities. Sixteen films from nine Arab countries were selected to screen in ten different sections including the festival's Official Competition category, First Feature Competition, Documentary Competition, and the Short Film Competition.

The Arab films taking part in the festival are representing several Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, the UAE, and Algeria. Most of the Arab films are made by young Arab filmmakers such as the Egyptian directors Mohamed Diab and Kamla Abouzekri, Emirati filmmaker Ali F. Mostafa, and the Saudi director Mahmoud Sabbagh. Non-Arab young filmmakers are also presenting films about the Arab world such as the American filmmaker Sara Taksler, whose first feature documentary Tickling Giants is about the Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, (a.k.a. the Jon Stewart of Egypt). The festival will also screen the film Goodbye, Bonaparte by Egypt's late director Youssef Chahine.

Run by the British Film Institute (BFI), the BFI London Film Festival is one of the oldest 20 festivals according to its starting date. The first round of the festival was launched in 1953 with an aim to become the 'festival of festivals'. The BFI London Film Festival is known for its selectiveness for choosing the best films by the best directors from all over the world. The average number of films that compete at the festival have reached over 300 films from 50 countries around the world. It is considered one of the top 5 international festivals that attract audiences as its ticket sales have surpassed 160 thousand tickets. It is also known for hosting the biggest stars of the European and international cinema, in addition to organizing events that allow the audience to interact with them.

Arab Film Selections at the 60th BFI London Film Festival

- Clash by Mohamed Diab (Official Competition)
- Layla M. by Dutch director Mijke de Jong (Official Competition)
- Divines by Moroccan director Houda Benyamina (First Feature Competition)
- Hedi by Tunisian director Mohamed Ben Attia (First Feature Competition)
- The War Show by Danish director Andreas Dalsgaard and Syrian radio host and director Obaidah Zytoon (Syria) (Documentary Competition)
- 9 Days - From My Window In Aleppo by Syrian photographer Issa Touma, and Dutch directors Floor van der Meulen and Thomas Vroege (Debate | Short films programme: A World at War)
- Barakah Meets Barakah by Saudi filmmaker Mahmoud Sabbagh (Laugh)
- Tickling Giants by American filmmaker Sara Taksler (Laugh)
- Goodbye, Bonaparte by Egyptian director Youssef Chahine (Treasures and Debate)
- Mimosas by Spanish director Oliver Laxe (Journey)
- Tramontane by Lebanese director of Armenian origin Vatche Boulghourjian (Journey)
- The Worthy by Emirati filmmaker Ali F. Mostafa (Dare Gala)
- A Day For Women by Egyptian filmmaker Kamla Abouzekri (Debate)
- In the Last Days of the City by Egyptian director Tamer al-Saeed (Debate)
- Battalion to My Beat by Japanese filmmaker EimiImanishi (Debate | Short films programme: A World at War)
- Noor at Mytilini Port by Irish director Treasa O'Brien(Debate | Short films programme: A World at War)

About Arab Cinema Center (ACC)

Organized by MAD Solutions, Arab Cinema Center (ACC) opened the year with intensive activities at the 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), followed by the 66th Berlinale, the Qumra Doha Film Institute, the Center's first Arab stop since its launch in 2015, in addition to Silk Road Film Festival in Ireland, and Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART), the 69th Cannes Film Festival and the 69th Locarno Film Festival.

Previously, ACC revealed its year-round partnership with Variety magazine as the Center's media partner; in addition to a digital partnership with Festival Scope and a technology sponsorship with Striim.in to promote ACC's events in 2016. During Cannes 2016, the Center launched the first issue of the Arab Cinema Magazine, the first English-language Arab publication entirely dedicated to international cinema, which will accompany the Center to shed light on the Arab film industry and the latest up and coming talents.

Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is operating as an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides Arab filmmakers with a professional window to connect with filmmakers from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes and provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others.

The Center's activities vary between Film Market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, as well as meetings with international organizations and festivals.