10 Official Selections Competing at the Festival
MAD Solutions at Dubai International Film Festival with 15 Films
Within the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) (7 - 14 December), MAD Solutions will present 15 films from among the films on its distribution and marketing list; ten of which will compete in three of the festival's official competitions, and a film will be screened out of competition. The festival's prestigious Cinetech will also include four MAD films, in addition to the Arab Cinema LAB, the latest Arab Cinema Center (ACC) endeavor.
Competing in the Muhr Feature competition are five films distributed by MAD Solutions: the two Tunisian films Hedi and Foreign Body, and the Egyptian documentary The Egyptian Jeanne D'arc, in addition to the two Egyptian features; Ali, the Goat, and Ibrahim and Withered Green, (which are both a joint distribution between MAD Solutions and Film Clinic-Indie Film Distribution (FCIFD)). As for the Muhr Short competition, MAD is presenting 4 of its distributions: Lebanese film Submarine, Jordanian film The Parrot, Palestinian film Five Boys and a Wheel, along with Ayny. In the Muhr Gulf Short competition, there is the Iraqi film Five O'clock, which is distributed by MAD.
Muhr Feature Competition
Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim (world premiere): by director Sherif El Bendary, won three awards during the Final Cut Workshop at the Venice International Film Festival
Egyptian Jeanne D'arc (world premiere): documentary by director Iman Kamel about female emancipation in 'post -revolutionary' Egypt through dance, poetry, and legends
Hedi (GCC premiere): Won the Best First Feature Award for director Mohamed Ben Attia, and the Silver Berlin Bear for actor Majd Mastoura at the Berlinale, as an unprecedented achievement for an Arab film at the festival. The film also won the Golden Athena Award for Best Picture at the Athens International Film Festival, in addition to participating in over 15 international festivals
Foreign Body (Arab world premiere): A feature film by director Raja Amari and starring Hiam Abbass. Its world premiere was held at the Toronto International Film Festival
Withered Green (Arab world premiere): Director Mohammad Hammad's first feature film premiered at Locarno International Film Festival, in addition to participating in four international festivals in Namur, Stockholm, Singapore, and Brussels
Muhr Short Competition
Submarine: A short feature by director Mounia Akl. Its world premiere was held at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 within the Cin√©fondation competition. The film also participated in over 10 international festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival
The Parrot (world premiere): Darin Sallam and Amjad Al-Rasheed, starring Hend Sabry and Ashraf Barhoum. The film project was granted the Robert Bosch Stiftung film prize in the short film category
Five Boys and a Wheel (world premiere): by director Said Zagha, starring Ali Suliman and Nadira Omran.
Ayny (world premiere): by director Ahmad Saleh won the Student Academy Award for Best Animation Film, which qualifies his film to compete at the 2017 Oscars in the Animated Short Film category
Muhr Gulf Short Competition
Five O'clock (world premiere): by director Ayman Al-Shatri portraying his country Iraq's experience fighting against the ISIS terror through a suicide bomber who plans on detonating himself in the middle of a crowd
Within the Arabian Nights programme, Director Kamla Abuzekri and Producer Elham Shahin's film Youm lel Setat (A Day for Women) will screen, following its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and opening the Cairo International Film Festival and contending within its official competition.
Through the Cinetech platform, MAD will screen three films distributed and marketed by the company:
Zay Ood el Kabreet (Like a Matchstick): Directed by the late director Hussein Al Imam, the film a comedic tale invented by the late filmmaker Hussein Al Imam to pay tribute to the super stars of the Egyptian cinema's Golden Era
The Gate of Departure: The feature debut of Kareem Hanafy, the film won more than 10 awards and was picked as the Best Egyptian Film in 2015 by the Egyptian Film Critics Association
Les Petits Chats: A musical documentary by Sherif Nakhla
In the same platform, the company will also screen The Last Scene by the Egyptian director Farouk Kasem, which will be marketed by MAD. The film was recently competing at the Annaba Mediterranean Film Festival in Algeria.
Cinetech is a state-of-the-art platform for the sales and acquisition of films and TV content where sales agents and other purchasers have access. It has facilitated numerous sales and partnership deals by successfully connecting international and regional industry professionals with the films' rights' holders.
The Arab Cinema Center will launch the first edition of the Arab Cinema LAB. The LAB is a first-of-its-kind film financing incubator for accelerating the new film projects and new business ideas that will drive the Arab film industry forward over the coming year. Colin Brown, Managing Partner and Director of International Operations at MAD Solutions, will be facilitating the LAB as master of ceremonies.
The Arab Cinema LAB will be held within the Dubai Film Market (DFM) on Monday December 12th, at the Arena Theatre in Madinat Jumeirah, the festival's headquarters, from 10 AM to 1 PM. The LAB will bring together a select group of filmmakers, creative producers, funders, distributors and broadcasters, the mission is to open new paths to production for the most promising Arab storytellers by showcasing their upcoming work and laying the groundwork for a more robust investment culture.
Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, CEO of MAD Solutions, will take part in a discussion panel on Arab-Scandinavian co-production within the Dubai Film Market on Saturday, 10 December (from 3:30 until 4:30 pm), where the topic of discussion will revolve around co-production efforts between Nordic and Arab countries, while highlighting sources of funding, available governmental support, different work methods, and promoting cultural exchange.
DIFF is one of the most important film festivals in the Arab world. Every year, DIFF showcases over 120 features, shorts films and documentaries from around the world and hosts several world premieres, presents new and exciting cinema from the Arab world and beyond, and introduces audiences to fresh new talent and original and distinctive filmmaking.