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21st Franco Arab Film Festival opens Saturday with ‘The Man from Oran’

By Muath Freij - Jun 02,2015 - Last updated at Jun 02,2015

AMMAN – The 21st Franco-Arab Film Festival will bring movies from countries that do not have much visibility, Institut Français (IF) Director Stéphane Delaporte said Tuesday. 

Delaporte told reporters that organisers decided to choose some films from countries such as Yemen and Mauritania. 

“In fact the instability in the region also has an impact on the theme of the movies, as there is one movie talking about the Egyptian revolution, but also we wanted to have comedies in the programme because we do not want to have too dramatic a programme,” he told The Jordan Times.

The joint Yemeni-French-Emirati production “I am Nojoom, Aged 10 and Divorced,” by director Khadija Al Salami will be screened next Tuesday within the festival at 9pm at the Royal Film Commission (RFC).

From Mauritania comes the Academy Award-nominated “Timbuktu”, a joint production with France. 

The feature, directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, will also be screened on Tuesday at 7pm at the Rainbow Theatre.

Delaporte noted that all of these films give testimony to the diversity of the reality in Arab countries, sometimes with a deep and dramatic tone. 

The festival, which opens on Saturday, will include recent feature films of Arab and French production, a contest for Jordanian short films and selected films for young audiences, according to a statement from the organisers. 

Five French films for young audiences from the IF Cinema platform will be screened every day at 5pm at the Rainbow Theatre. 

IF cinema is “a digital platform of more than 400 French or coproduced films subtitled in different languages (including Arabic)”, according to the organisers.

The festival, organised by the French institute in partnership with the RFC and with support from the French embassy’s cultural department, opens with a screening of the 2014 Algerian film “The Man from Oran” at the Rainbow Theatre at 8pm in the presence of actress Amal Kateb. 

The film follows the lives of two friends “during the first euphoric years” following the independence of Algeria and over the decades that follow.

The shorts participating in the ninth Jordanian short film competition will be screened at the Rainbow Theatre on Monday at 8pm and the winners will be screened and announced at the festival’s closing on June 11 at the Royal Film Commission.

Four prizes — two jury awards and two audience awards — will be presented to the directors of best documentary short and best narrative short.

The 2014 French feature “Samba”, starring Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg, will cap off the festival, with a 7pm screening at the Rainbow Theatre. 

 

Directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the film, tells the story of Samba, a Senegalese living in France for 10 years who does odd jobs, and Alice, a senior executive exhausted by  burnout, and how their paths cross.

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