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An Excessive Presence of Arab Cinema at Locarno International Film Festival

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Five Films, a Jury Member and a Panel Discussion

An Excessive Presence of Arab Cinema at Locarno International Film Festival


The 69th edition of Locarno International Film Festival witnesses an extensive and remarkable presence of the Arab cinema this year. The festival witnessed the screening of five Arab films in official selections and the presence of an Egyptian critic as a jury member, in addition to the participation of Arab Cinema Center (ACC) in the festival through panel discussions, as well as the Center's main activities, promoting Arab cinema.

The list of five Arab films includes Egyptian director Yousry Nasrallah's Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces, which competes within the Concorso Internazionale section. Landing its world premiere at the festival, the film witnessed almost a full-house screening. Egyptian Director Mohammed Hammad's film Withered Green is also selected for its world premiere within the Concorso Cineasti del Presente section which witnessed full-house screenings. The Syrian director Orwa Al Mokdad's documentary 300 Miles is competing within the Signs of Life section, Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania's documentary Zaineb Hates the Snow is competing within the Fuori Concorso section and Lebanese director Manon Nammour's short film On the Ropes is being part of the festival within the Pardi di domani: Concorsointernazionale section. On the other hand, Egyptian writer/critic Ahmed Shawky has been selected as a jury member of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI).

On Sunday 7 August, Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Managing Partner of MAD Solutions and Co-founder of Arab Cinema Center (ACC), was part of the StepIn's panel discussion under the title 'Theaters Will Never Die' that highlighted the challenges faced by the independent theatres in the past few years, ways to adapt to the challenges of the market place and reinvent themselves and how to look at alternative and sustainable business models according to some initiatives launched in Canada, in the US and in Europe.

First launched in 2012, this year's StepIn discussions are focusing on the cinema industry in the USA and Canada and the challenges of the independent film field. Five panels were held entitled; Canada: Adapt and Innovate to Foster a Viable Film Industry, Theaters Will Never Die, Independent Cinema: Transparency Please!, How does Social Media Measure the Success of a Film and Consolidate Deals? and How can Auteur Cinema Live in the Future of on Demand?

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).

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. The Center also launched a magazine during Berlinale to announce its partners, as well as the festivals and film markets hosting it this year and to shed light on the latest news on the Arab film market.

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, meetings with international organizations and festivals,in addition to releasing an ACC Guide to be distributed among the Film Market visitors.