Cinema Akil is hosting the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) Film Week, with some award-winning filmmakers presenting their projects in Dubai, starting September 27.
The AFAC Film Week, which continues until October 5, will present a selection of contemporary feature narratives, documentaries and shorts from seven countries across the Arab world. Some of the screenings will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the director or crew.
Films to be featured include ‘A Kasha’, a romantic drama directed by Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka, Soudade Kaadan’s powerful Syrian drama ‘The Day I Lost My Shadow’, among others. Gulf News tabloid! runs down the features screening at the weeklong festival.
Directed by: Hajooj Kuka
‘A Kasha’ is a universal offbeat and humorous love story set in a time of civil war — but the war is in Sudan and it is happening right now. We follow Adnan, an AK47-loving rebel, his long-suffering love interest, Lina and the army dodging Absi, over a fateful 24 hours in a rebel-held area of Sudan.
Screenings: At 7pm and 9pm at on September 27. On October 2 at 9.30pm. On October 4 at 7.30pm.
The Day I Lost My Shadow
Directed by: Soudade Kaadan
Syria 2011, between water outages and power cuts, all Sana dreams about is a hot shower. She has a nine-year old child that she needs to take care of and a husband working in Saudi Arabia. A gas crisis sets her off searching for a place to buy a cylinder. The road to the distributor is far away and she has to pass by people who have lost their shadows.
Screenings: At 7pm on September 28, 9.15pm on September 30 and 4pm on October 5.
Directed by: Erige Sehiri
Tunisian railroaders call it “the normal way” because it is the only railroad in the country built according to international standards. However, for those working on it, nothing seems normal. Abderahim (aka Abee), an assistant train driver, uses his job as inspiration, as well as a way to finance his first professional rap album. Issam Fitati publicises the grave social and technical deficiencies of the railway company.
The first-ever female train driver, Afef, fights against her family to have a career. Ahmed, a former artistic director who became a train driver following in his father’s footsteps, is secretly preparing for his departure. And Najib, the lonely head of a small train station, no longer speaks to the passengers, since no one buys tickets anymore. Keeping the irony of the railroaders in its sights, ‘The Railway Men’ presents a mirror of into Tunisia.
Screenings: At 9pm on September 28; at 7.30pm on September 30, followed by a session with the director; on October 1 at 9.15pm.
Twenty Eight Nights and a Poem Speical
Directed by: Akram Zaatari
When a filmmaker travels to an old photographic studio in Saida, Lebanon, he recounts the story of a photographer and how the man’s work connected to the culture and city.
Screenings: On September 29, at 7.30pm, followed by a session with the director; on October 5 at 2pm.
What Comes Around
Directed by: Reem Saleh
In Rod El Farag, one of the poorest residential areas in Cairo, obtaining meat, fruit and daily bread is a constant struggle, but the sense of community shared by the inhabitants helps them to some extent overcome their hardships through a social practice known as ‘al Gami’ya’, or ‘the assembly’.
Screenings: On September 29 at 9.45pm; on October 1 at 7.30pm, followed by a session with the director and on October 3 at 9.45pm.
Directed by: Naziha Arebi
At the turbulent dawn of a nation once cut off from the world, a dynamic group of women from fractured sides of the revolution come together with one hunger in common. Their dream: to form the first national Libyan women’s football team.
Screenings: On October 2 at 7.30pm, followed by a session with the director. On October 4 at 9.30pm at October 5 at 9pm.
AFAC Shorts: Lebanon in Focus
The Street of Death and Other Stories
Directed by: Karam Ghossein
The place of beginnings: a suburb pushed up against Beirut airport. Our turf: a treacherous stretch of highway, separating us from the sea, the roar and shadow of planes bearing down from the sky. The road claims some of us, the sea yet others, and the planes a few more. But guns also take their share.
Crossed the Hallway
Directed by: Rabih El-Amine
The film is a look at child who wakes up in the dead of night and crosses a dark hallway to their parents
Directed by: Chadi Aoun
In the city of Ghabra, the price of any form of expression is death. Yet, a few free souls defying this austerity have decided to dance for life.
Directed by: Ely Dagher
Omar, a high-school kid living in the northern suburb of Beirut, is struggling in his social bubble. On a quiet afternoon, he notices a giant golden animal protruding from between the buildings that draw him and leads to his discovery of a special part of the city.
Directed by: Bassem Breish
A cow crosses the border from Israel to Lebanon and meets with 10-year-old Malakeh and her family. Based on a true story, ‘Free Range’ is a comedy about power struggles between humans, borders, peacekeepers and cows.
Screenings: On October 3 at 7.30pm, followed by sessions with the directors of all shorts, except Breish for ‘Free Range’. Then again on October 4 at 5pm.
Don’t miss it!
Tickets for the screenings at the Alserkal Avenue venue will be available for sale at Cinema Akil’s box office and are priced at Dh52.5.