Arab Film Festival Sydney 2011
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» Music/Arts » » Movies Overview When: 30/06/2011 - 31/07/2011 Time: 07:00 pm - 10:00 pm
This is a propitious time to be running an Australian festival devoted to Arab cinema. Not only have two relatively new, well-funded festivals in the neighbouring emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi given a shot in the arm to the region’s filmmakers, but the region is undergoing the kind of social and political turmoil that can only nourish dramatic storytelling. Its filmmakers are not just making calling card films to land themselves a gig in Hollywood, as so often occurs in the West, but have local stories they are burning to tell.
by GREG KING “Arab stories are different,” states Fadia Abboud, the co-director of the Arab Film Festival, who is speaking from her office in Sydney. “They come from the Arab world, but they are also about Arabs in the diaspora, because we’re here and we’re making films as well. Our perspective very rarely gets seen on Australian screens, so it’s very important for us to include those in our festival.”
First published on . Updated on . The stories, culture and heritage of Arab people worldwide will be celebrated with a collection of local and international shorts, documentaries and features at the Arab Film Festival. "We've got a range of different styles of films," explains festival co-director Fadia Abboud.
The Last Days Of Emma Blank A black comedy with overtones of the Theatre of the Absurd. When the members of a family, held to domestic servitude by their dying matriarch, discover there is no inheritance, they seek revenge on the bitter woman for all she has put them through. Winner of the Golden Calf for Best Screenplay at the 2009 Nederlands Film Festival.
Son of Babylon is one of the films that will be showing at the Arab Film Festival. When he wanted to make his controversial film about present-day Cairo, the director Sameh Abdel Aziz needed to be creative about obtaining a film permit from censorious authorities. ''I had to call on favours from many, many friends in the film industry, directors and producers who gave me their permits to film [including] under the guise of shooting a commercial for a laundry detergent,'' he says.
When: Thursday, 30 June - Sunday, 3 July Where: Riverside Theatre, Cnr Church and Markets St Parramatta NSW 2150 How much: 18/12 or 69/99 Marathon pass It must be an exciting time to run an Arab film festival this year, while the Arab Spring cascades across the region. But nail-biting too, not knowing if this year's selection of films will still be relevant two months from now. The 2011 Arab Film Festival got lucky: opening the Festival this year is The Cry of an Ant .