Winner of Seven Awards
Animated Film The Tower Screens at Palestinian and Lebanese Refugee Camps for Ten Days
Animated film The Tower by director Mats Grorud will screen at a number of refugee camps in Palestine and Lebanon, from 21 to 30 June. This comes within the collaboration between MAD Solutions and Metropolis Cinemas, AL-JANA, Arab Resources Center for Popular Art (ARCPA) in Lebanon and FilmLab in Palestine.
The screenings began in Lebanon at Jalil Camp in Baalbeck last Friday, and will continue in Ein El-Hilweh Camp in Saida, Al-Baddawi Camp in Tripoli, Borj El-Barajneh Camp in Beirut and Dar El-Nimer Center in Beirut. In Palestine, the screenings will take place at Al-Ama'ri Youth Center at Al-Ama'ri Refugee Camp near Jerusalem, Ibda' Culture Center at Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem, and Palestinian Child Club at Al-Jalazon Refugee Camp in Ramallah.
This comes following a string of successful screenings and participations, the latest of which was the film's commercial release in Tunisia, in addition to its screenings at Metropolis Cinemas in Lebanon, and its participation in the Franco Arab Film Festival in Jordan and Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon.
The film received a huge international critical acclaim as Writer/Producer Jordan Mintzer wrote in The Hollywood Reporter that the film is "filled with moments of bittersweet humor and shreds of hope."
Most recently, The Tower received seven awards from prestigious international film festivals including; the Liv Ullmann Peace Prize and the Professional Jury: 2nd Prize for Best Animated Feature Film at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival; the Jury Special Award and the Best Soundtrack Award at the Lisbonne Monstra Lisboa Animation Festival; the Jury Award at the Festival International du Film d'Histoire de Pessac; the Secondary School Students Prize at the Festival International des Arts Jeune Public; and Best Editing at the Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival.The film was nominated for two AMANDA awards in Norway presented by the Norwegian International Film Festival and the Norwegian Film Institute.
The film took part in different film festivals, including the Cairo International Film Festival, Marrakech International Film Festival, London Palestine Film Festival, Palestine Cinema Days, Annecy International Animated Film in France, Arab Film Festival in Famac, France, Busan International Film Festival, Helsinki International Film Festival, and European Film Festival in Ishbilia. The film screened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The film took part in Cairo Cinema Days, San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival in Spain, and the Metropolis Youth Film Festival in Lebanon.
Written and directed by Mats Grorud, The Tower features the voices of Laila Najjar, Makram J. Khoury, Mohamed Bakri, Mouna Hawwa, Morad Hassan, Hanan Hilow, Saleh Bakri, and Shaden Kanboura. Thecrew also includes Ahlam Canaan; theDirector of Arabic Dubbing, Sound Engineer and Adaptation; who is also handling the Casting in Palestine alongside Salim Abu Jabal.The film is a French- Swedish-Norwegian co-production that is distributed in the Arab world by MAD Solutions.
The film follows Wardi, an eleven-year-old Palestinian girl, who lives with her whole family in the refugee camp where she was born. She learns about her family's history through stories told to her by three earlier generations of refugees.
Mats Grorud is a Norwegian director and animator who studied Animation at Volda University College. He complimented his animation career with studies in Denmark, Beirut and Beijing. Mats directed the short films Santa Klaus and My Grandmother Beijing, in addition to animation films Kaja Polmar (2006) and Piotr Sapegin's Grandpais a raisin (2006).
Today, Mats runs his own company called Nubbsjangs Productions, where he develops his own projects, does commissioned work and teaches animation. He has also worked on several documentary projects. In 2007, Grorud started working on his debut feature animated film, The Tower, along with producer Frank S√łbstad at Tenk.tv.
Screening Times in Lebanon:
Al-Baddawi Camp: Sunday, 23 June, at 08:00 pm
Borj El-Barajneh Camp: Monday, 24 June, at 08:00 pm
Ein El-Hilweh Camp: Wednesday, 26 June, at 03:30 pm
Dar El-Nimer Center: Wednesday, 26 June, at 06:30 pm
Screening Times in Palestine:
Al-Ama'ri youth Center: Friday, 28 June, at 05:00 pm
Ibda' Culture Center: Saturday, 29 June, at 06:00 pm
Palestinian Child Club: Sunday, 30 June, at 04:30 pm