Hedi | A Day for Women | Only Men Go To The Grave | Abdullah | My Uncle
Five Feature Films Distributed by MAD Solutions Screen at the Cape Town International Film Festival
Five films from MAD Solutions' distribution list will take part in the 10th Cape Town International Film Festival (12 to 21 October), within the Arabian Nights programme, and they are: Hedi by director Mohamed Ben Attia, A Day for Women by Kamla Abouzekri, Only Men Go To The Grave by Abdulla Al Kaabi, Abdullah by Humaid Alsuwaidi, and My Uncle by Nassim Abassi.
Maher Diab, Creative Director and Co-founder of MAD Solutions and the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), has also been selected to become a member of the jury of the festival's main competition.
This year, the festival will feature a wide variety of films from over 50 countries, some of which will be world premieres. Established in 2007 as the Cape Town and Winelands International Film Festival, before changing its name to the current one, the festival aims to celebrate international and African filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman and Youssef Chahine, providing a window on international cinema for South African citizens, enriching their artistic culture and transforming into the African version of the Cannes Film Festival. Awards are divided into several categories, including Feature Films, Short Films, Documentaries, Animation. It is noteworthy that all international film competitions will a section dedicated to South African films.
Hedi follows Hedi, a young man of few words who doesn't expect much from the future and lets others make his big decisions for him. His mother is preparing his marriage to Khadija, but two days before that; Hedi meets Rim in the city of Mahdia, who captivates him by her free-spirit, and he finds himself obsessed with this new-born passion. The film stars Majd Mastoura, Rym Ben Messaoud, and Sabah Bouzouita.
Hedi is written and directed by Mohamed Ben Attia, and co-produced by Dora Bouchoucha, Nadim Cheikhrouha, along with Belgian producers and directors, the brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne (Two Days, One Night), while the distribution of the film will be handled by MAD Solutions.
Hedi has been to many international festivals winning several awards. At the beginning of 2016, itsdirector Mohamed Ben Attia won the Best First Feature Award, and its lead actor Majd Mastoura won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlinale, as an unprecedented achievement for an Arab film at the festival. Mastoura won the Best Actor award at the Critics Awards, offered by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC). The film also won the Golden Athena Award for Best Picture at the Athens International Film Festival, and the Lumiere Award for Best French-Language Film at the Lumiere Awards, France 2017, in addition to taking part in over 20 international festivals including; the BFI London Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Cairo Cinema Days, Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF), and Festival International du CinÃ©ma MÃ©diterranÃ©en de TÃ©touan.
About A Day for Women:
A Day for Women takes place in a shabby neighborhood in Egypt where a youth center decides to allocate one day on the swimming pool for women only. The film follows the consequences of this decision on the social, psychological and emotional life of the women living in that neighborhood.
A Day for Women had its world premiere at the 60th BFI London Film Festival, run by the British Film Institute (BFI), within the Debate Strand section. The film competed in the official competition of theCairo International Film Festival (CIFF), where its star Nahed El Sebai won the Best Actress Award for her role in the film. The film stars Elham Shahin, Nelly Karim and Nahed El Sebai won the Best Actress Award at the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia.
A Day for Women brings together a cast and crew of outstanding women, as it is produced by Elham Shahin, who also stars in the film, through her company Shahin Film, directed by Kamla Abouzekri, written by Hanaa Atiyah, DOP Nancy Abdel Fattah and Costume Designer Inas Shahin. The film stars Nelly Karim, Nahed El Sebai, Hala Sedqi, Ragaa Hussein, Shaimaa Seif, along with Mahmoud Hemida, Farouk Al Fishawy, Ahmad Al Fishawy, Eyad Nassar, and Ahmed Dawood. MAD Solutions handles the film's marketing and promotion in the Arab world.
About Only Men Go To The Grave
Set in 1988, a blind mother welcomes her estranged daughters to tell them a secret. Unfortunately, she accidentally dies while sharing it. During the funeral, the daughters try to deal with their mother's sudden death and also work together to unveil her secret by looking for clues from visitors. Throughout the funeral, their own lives continue to unravel, giving room for buried family tensions to gradually surface, while struggling to deal with their own secrets and deep-rooted guilt. The arrival of an unfamiliar guest rocks the entire foundation of their family. How do they deal with the aftermath?
Written and directed by Abdulla Al Kaabi as his debut feature film, Only Men Go To The Grave stars Saleema Yaqoub, Heba Sabah and Abdelreza Nasari. MAD Solutions is handling the film's distribution in the Arab world.
Recently, the film competed in the Official Competition of the Oran International Arabic Film Festival. The film won the Best Muhr Feature Award at the 2016 Dubai International Film Festival. ScreenDaily said about the film, "Only Men Go To The Grave should gain respect for its willingness to tackle taboo issues in Arab society".
Abdullah follows the story of a young man who grew up in a very conservative family where many things are "haram" while he struggles over the years to hide his love for music. The Emirati film Abdullah is written/directed by director Humaid Alsuwaidi and stars Mohammed Ahmed, Mansour Al Feeli, Fatima Altaei, Alaa Shaker, David Daly and Brent Jenkins.
Written and directed by Humaid Alsuwaidi, who also co-produced the film along with Ahmed Lotfy, Abdullah was filmed on a shoestring budget over 34 days in Ajman and Abu Dhabi, while Creative Laband Twofour54 provided the equipment for filming. Mile Studios in Dubai is handling the film's post-production phase and MAD Solutions is distributing the film in the Arab world.
About My Uncle
The main character of My Uncle is inspired by the celebrated Chaplin-style character, often known as Abderraouf, created by actor Abderrahim Tounsi, which was hugely popular in the 1970s and the early 1980s, but then his popularity started to fade away. He is the uncle of a young struggling Moroccan actress who strives to achieve her dream of becoming a celebrated actress. His visit to his niece reveals many of the darker sides of the Moroccan film industry.
My Uncle is written and directed by Nassim Abassi, who also produces it through MOONDUST PRODUCTIONS. The film received a grant from the Centre CinÃ©matographique Marocain (CCM) and will be distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions.
My Uncle features a group of stars from Morocco, namely: Alia Erkab, Abderrahim Tounsi(Abderraouf), Manal Essaddiki, Souad Alaoui, Ibtissam Laaroussi, Majid Lakroun, Mohammed Khiari, Nourredine Bikr, Brahim Khay, Hajar Chargui and Aziz Dades.