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Karama Human Rights Film Festival begins today

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Dec 05,2017 - Last updated at Dec 05,2017

AMMAN — “Give life a chance” is the theme of the 8th edition of the Karama Human Rights Film Festival, which is set to kick off on Tuesday at the Royal Cultural Centre in Amman with the screening of Lebanese film “Tramontane”. 

This feature film, set to be screened in the presence of main actor Barakat Jabbour, portrays a blind boy getting started on a journey to find his own identity. 

Directed by Vache Boulghorgian and produced by Carolina Oliveira and Georges Choucair, the movie won several international awards, and was premiered at this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival. 

“We chose this film for the opening because it provides audiences with a better insight on life, reminding us that there is always another chance,” festival director Sawsan Darwazeh told The Jordan Times, expressing that “the protagonist might be blind, but he has a higher vision and that gives him the energy to overcome any challenges”.

“The way this film depicts life is in line with our theme this year,” Darwazeh continued, noting that the festival’s aim this year is “to bring a positive view, and to encourage youth to enjoy their lives in a world where the pressure of the current conflicts makes us forget the details that make our lives meaningful”.

The festival will run through December 10, featuring a total of 77 films, documentaries and animation from 25 countries which will be screened in the governorates of Amman, Madaba and Irbid, in addition to the refugee camps of Zaatari and Irbid.

A total of 33 films will be selected to compete for the Karama Feather Awards for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Short Film and Best Jordanian Film. 

Furthermore, this year’s edition of the festival will see the launch of the new Karama Feather Award for the Best Jordanian Short Film, and the ANHAR award for the Best Human Rights Film in the Arab region.

Over 35 international guests will be attending the festival this year, including film directors, producers, affiliates, activists and professionals in the fields of cinema and human rights. 

Lebanese artist Carmen Lebos, Iraqi director Al Baqer Jafeer, Syrian director Alfoz Tanjour and director of the One World Human Rights Film Festival Ondrej Kamenicky are some of the guests of this year’s edition. 

In addition, the festival will dedicate its “Empty Chair” recognition to the world renowned artist and human rights activist John Lennon, recalling his socially engaged artistic output through over 150 songs calling for life, social justice and human dignity. 

“This recognition will take place during the MusiKarama event on December 8 in remembrance of the day when the artist was assassinated,” Darwazeh explained, stressing that “with his art, John Lennon advocated for all the values that we support in Karama, calling on the humanity to ‘give life a chance’”.

The festival will conclude on December 10 with an observance of the Human Rights Day, which is expected to be attended by EU Ambassador Andrea Matteo Fontana and Rima Khalaf, former executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. 

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