Dubai/Toronto: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) announced that two works by Arab filmmakers, endorsed by Dubai Film Connection, will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), running from September 6th – 16th, 2012.
The films screening at TIFF were selected and presented at the Dubai Film Connection, the co-production market of DIFF that aims to encourage the growth of film production in the Arab world. The award-winning director Annemarie Jacir’s “When I Saw You” has been shortlisted to participate in the prestigious Contemporary World Cinema section at TIFF as has “Fidai”, a fascinating and emotive documentary by filmmaker Damien Ounouri.
“Fostering opportunities for Arab filmmakers and supporting the development of the regional film industry are DIFF’s core aims,” said Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of DIFF. “We are proud that the two films were chosen by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the most prestigious cinematic events in the world, to showcase the best of Arab cinema and expose the Arab perspective of storytelling to TIFF’s audience.”
“When I Saw You” by Annemarie Jacir, which takes place in Jordan, in 1967, tells the story of a free-spirited eleven-year-old Tarek (Mahmoud Asfa) and his mother Ghaydaa (Ruba Blal) have temporarily settled in the Harir camp in Jordan, who in the chaos they have been separated from Tarek's father Ghassan. Restless and uneasy, Tarek has trouble adjusting to the indignity of destitution and living on humanitarian handouts. Every day, he and his mother anxiously monitor the trucks unloading more and more refugees, longing to be reunited with Ghassan, but to no avail.
Damien Ounouri’s “Fidai” by is a fascinating documentary in which Mohamed El Hadi Benadouda, a seventy-year-old veteran of the Algerian War of Independence, speaks about his years of struggle as an underground soldier for the National Liberation Front. On the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria's independence, El Hadi recounts his hardship to his great-nephew Ounouri in “Fidai”, which is both a tribute to the anonymous heroes of a war that galvanised the imaginations of colonised people worldwide, and a critical reflection on the legacy that the war imprinted on the "new" Algerian society.
Annemarie Jacir's second feature film “When I Saw You” (Lamma Shoftak) has been selected to be screened at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) being held in September 2012.
The Palestinian/ Jordanian film, set in Jordan in 1967 and tells the story of a boy who runs away from home in search of freedom, was produced by Ossama Bawardi of Philistine Films and stars Mahmoud Asfa, from Irbid Refugee camp in his first acting role, as well as some familiar faces from Annemarie's previous films including Saleh Bakri (“Salt of this Sea”) and Ruba Blal, in addition to a number of other Jordanian actors.
Asked why she chose the 1960s for her story, Jacir told Variety Arabia back in 2011, “What I love about this particular time period is that people used to feel they could do something to change their lives. They believed that something good would happen to them if only they could change things around them.
“The film revolves around a moment in this boy’s life when everything changes. This film is all about hope. It’s about a reality that exists today and is very specific to the Palestinian experience. “When I Saw You” tells the story of a boy whose needs are much more basic,” she explained.
Founded in 1976, TIFF is one of the most prominent film festivals in the world and North America's most important film event. It continues to draw massive audiences, and has exceeded 260,000 festival attendees, with 287,000 public and industry admissions in 2010, and a further 239,000 at its free programming.
When I Saw You (Lamma Shoftak) has been selected to be screened at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) being held in September 2012.
Founded in 1976, TIFF is one of the most prominent film festivals in the world and North America's most important film event. In 1998, Variety magazine stated that "the Festival is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity." Known for being one of the world's most well attended festivals, TIFF continues to draw massive audiences, and has exceeded 260,000 festival attendees, with 287,000 public and industry admissions in 2010, and a further 239,000 at its free programming.
TORONTO INT. FILM FEST (TIFF) SCREENING DATES
Sept. 9th, 2012 19:00 TIFF Bell Lightbox - Cinema 4
Sept. 11th, 2012 13:00 Jackman Hall (AGO)
Sept. 15th, 2012 10:00 Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas 4
PRESS & INDUSTRY ONLY:
Sept. 10th, 2012 9:00 Scotiabank 6 (Scotiabank Theatre)
Sept. 13th, 2012 12:00 Scotiabank 6 (Scotiabank Theatre)