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MAD Sends Three Award-winning Titles to Sofia MENAR Film Fest

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Marking a First Time in Bulgaria

MAD Sends Three Award-winning Titles to Sofia MENAR Film Fest

Three MAD Solutions titles will be part of the 8th Sofia Middle East and North Africa Region Film Festival (Sofia MENAR) (14-31 January) in Bulgaria. The films are Mohamed Khan's feature film Factory Girl, Kaouther Ben Hania's Tunisian documentary Challat of Tunis and Nadine Khan's Harag W' Marag (Chaos, Disorder).

Sofia MENAR Film Festival is the biggest cultural event in the Balkans, which introduces the Bulgarian audience to the culture and traditions of the Islamic world. The 8th edition of the festival will include more than 50 World, European and Balkan premieres in sections of feature films, documentaries and short projects in addition to an in focus section for female directors.

Helmed by veteran director Mohamed Khan, Factory Girl is written by Wessam Soliman, and stars Yasmin Raeis, Hani Adel, Salwa Khattab and Salwa Mohamed Ali. The film tells the story of Hiyam, a poor 21- year-old girl working at a clothing factory, goes through a romantic experience only to find herself alone against a society that fears love and adheres to cruel traditions. The film has been commercially released in 6 Arab countries and 19 Swedish cities in addition to 19 consecutive weeks in Egyptian cinemas. Mohamed Khan's Factory Girl was Egypt's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 87th Academy Awards. The film received 13 awards and a special mention from festivals worldwide also; star Yasmin Raeis received 6 awards for her role in the film.

Produced and edited by Dina Farouk, Harag W' Marag (Chaos, Disorder) is Khan's feature film directorial debut and she also penned the story herself, while the screenplay is written by Mohamed Nasser. Starring Ayten Amer, Mohamed Farag and Ramzi Lehner, the film is a social drama that tells the story of lost love in a controversial setting; Zaki (Farrag), Mounir (Lehner) and Manal (Ayten Amer) are in their twenties, and living in a confined community where basic needs are met yet chaos and disorder brew. The two boys are in love with the same girl who finds herself the subject of a bet for a football match between them, the winner marries Manal. This story reflects a football and play-station youth and how they deal with their emotions in a community that is increasingly closed off and isolated.

In her documentary film Challatt of Tunis, Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania follows the journey of a filmmaker who investigates the mystery behind a man who slashes women with a razor in the streets of Tunisia in 2003.

The film won 6 awards through over 15 participations in international film festivals including Bayeur d'or Award at International Francophone Film Festival of Namur in Belgium and Best Documentary Award at International Beirut Film Festival. In 2013 Challatt of Tunis was officially selected for participation in the Venice Film Festival and it was the only Arab film at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2014. Commercially released in France and Tunisia, Variety Magazine described the film as "Mockumentaries generally have culturally specific elements that play best to local audiences, and hilarious and acerbic, Challat of Tunis is a prime example".

Factory Girl screening times at Sofia MENAR Film Festival
Sunday, January 24th at 05:30 pm
Tuesday, January 26th at 07:00 pm
Saturday, January 30th at 06:15 pm

Harag W' Marag (Chaos, Disorder) screening times at Sofia MENAR Film Festival
Tuesday, January 19th at 06:15 pm
Tuesday, January 26th at 06:30 pm

Challatt of Tunis screening times at Sofia MENAR Film Festival
Monday, January 18th at 07:30 pm
Friday, January 22nd at 07:45 pm