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The Royal Film Commission Jordan | Jordanian Cinema Gets a Remarkable Share at Dubai International Film Festival


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 55 countries.


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.


For more information, please call: Marian Nakho, tel: 06-4642266/ Ext. 23