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Sheffield Film Days kick off at Rainbow Theatre

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Mar 26,2018 - Last updated at Mar 26,2018

AMMAN — The fifth edition of the Sheffield Film Days kicked off on Saturday at the Rainbow Theatre, bringing five internationally acclaimed documentary features to Jordanian audiences, in addition to  a collection of local short documentaries.

Organised by the Royal Film Commision (RFC) in cooperation with the British Council, the festival will continue through March 29 with a daily screening at 7 pm, according to the organisers. 

“The British Council is happy to bring the Sheffield Film Days to Amman for the fifth time,” arts project manager at the council Hana Faouri told The Jordan Times, explaining that the festival’s film selection is based on the best documentaries screened at the latest edition of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival. 

“69 Minutes of 86 Days” was selected for the opening of the event, taking viewers into the journey of three-year-old Syrian refugee Lean as she makes her way to Sweden with her family. 

Directed by the Norwegian Egil Håskjold Larsen, “69 Minutes of 86 Days” is the winner of the Emerging International Filmmaker Award at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the Sheffield Youth Jury Award at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, and the Festival Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Nordic International Film Festival.

The Sheffield Film Days continued on Sunday with “The Workers’ Cup”, a documentary featuring a close and personal look inside Qatar’s labour camps, where the World Cup is being built by over a million migrant workers. 

Directed by Adam Sobel, the film follows a team of labourers living a real-life version of fantasy football. The movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival and has been laureated with the McKinnis Sports Documentary Award for Best Sports Documentary at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.

The show is set to continue through Thursday with “Brimstone and Glory” (Viktor Jakovleski, 2017), “The Work” (Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous, 2017) and”City of Ghosts” (Matthew Heineman, 2017). 

All sessions will be followed by a discussion with Rami Abdel Razek, a art critic born in Cairo and member of several theatrical and artistic groups in Egypt and the Arab world.

The Sheffield Film Days will conclude with the screening of a series of Jordanian short documentaries produced at the “Jordan Stories” workshop held during last year’s festival, according to Faouri. 

“The British Council strives to celebrate the efforts of Jordanian filmmakers,” Faouri said, noting that this year’s edition will include another capacity building programme where 15 local directors will learn new skills.

“But the experience doesn’t end with the festival,” she stressed, noting that several Jordanian emerging directors will head to Sheffield in June as part of a filmmaking exchange programme.

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