Amman, 7th of December 2016
Jordan is present at the prestigious Dubai International Film
Festival (DIFF) this year as it has been during the past editions. Seven films
co-produced by Jordan are participating in the festival’s 13th edition kicking
off today. DIFF will showcase 156 feature films, shorts and documentaries from
Two among the seven selected movies for the festival are
competing for the Muhr Feature Films Competition: “Blessed Benefit”, directed
by Mahmoud Al Massad, about a construction worker who gets tangled up in an
unfortunate business deal leading him to prison. Ahmad is worried about an
ambiguous future, but he soon realizes that life in prison might be better than
the one he has outside. This film has received support from the Jordan Film
Fund managed by the Royal Film Commission – Jordan (RFC), and it’s the debut
narrative film by the Jordanian director known for his previous documentaries.
The world premiere of “A Memory in Khaki”, by Syrian director Alfoz Tanjour,
narrates the story of the author and other Syrian characters who were forced to
leave the country because of their beliefs.
In addition, three shorts – having their world premiere - line
up to compete for the Muhr Short Films Competition. Starring Hind Sabry, “The
Parrot” – by Jordanian young filmmakers Darin Sallam and Amjad Al Rasheed –
tells the story of a Mizrahi Jewish family from Tunisia trying to settle into
their new life in Haifa in 1948. But, they are disturbed by a rather annoying
houseguest left behind by the former residents: a big blue parrot. The film has
won the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Co-Production Prize for Short Fiction Film
(2015), in which the RFC is a partner.
Within the same
competition, director Ahmad Saleh shares with the audience the stop motion
movie “Ayny” that has recently won a gold medal at this year’s Student Academy
Awards. The danger of war is depicted through the eyes of two boys, who share a
love for music. Last but not least, the short comedy drama “Five Boys and a
Wheel”, by Said Zagha, is also competing. Set in Aqaba - Jordan, a school
teacher (performed by actor Ali Suleiman) tries to gain his young son's
confidence and admiration. When the boy gets into trouble with the neighbours,
things get out of control putting at stake the father’s principles and morals.
This film has also been supported by the Jordan Film Fund.
Other two Jordanian co-produced films will be screened at the
festival’s “Arabian Nights” Programme. Director Mike De Jong will have the
Middle-Eastern première of “Layla M.”, which follows young Layla, born in
Amsterdam of Moroccan origin, as her religious commitment intensifies and she
consequently joins a group of extremists. It is worth mentioning that the movie
was partially shot in Jordan. As for “Solitaire”, a Lebanese-Jordanian-Egyptian
production by Sophie Boutros, will also be showcased within the same category.
It tells the story of Therese, the wife of a mayor in a small Lebanese village,
preparing for the much anticipated visit of her daughter’s suitor, who turns
out to be Syrian just like the killers of her late brother.
Commenting on the Jordanian presence at DIFF, George David,
Managing Director of the RFC, said this is a proof that Jordan offers an
enabling environment for quality cinematic productions, thanks to the
facilities in the country, the free and comprehensive production services
provided by the RFC and the availability of qualified crew.
more information, please call: Marian Nakho, tel: 06-4642266/ Ext. 23