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Euro Arab Film Festival AMAL 08 full line up

INTRODUCTION.


Since the first edition in 2003, The International Euro Arab Film Festival AMAL keeps the same values, the hope (Amal) of showing to the Western world the reality of Arab world through cinema as a symbol of a universal language.

This Festival is organized by Araguaney Foundation. This Foundation is a non-profit-organization with cultural aims. The Foundation pretends to achieve a union between the Arab culture and the Western culture; in addition, it gives support to creators and artists from any part of the world.

Year after year, AMAL Festival has grown with a very good reception by the public and an excellent repercussion at national and international levels. We have become one of the most important festivals of Arab cinema on the world, besides being the only one in Spain with this subject matter.

With more than 400 films received and an increase in participant countries; this year, the AMAL Festival, VI edition predicts a program intense in contents. Cinema lovers will be able to enjoy the VI edition of AMAL, that will be held from the 25th to the 31st of October, in Santiago de Compostela.


The sections of the Festival.


AMAL decides to renew his image and adapt itself to the new needs of the Festival. Our object is to promote the idea of a festival-bridge between two cultures. Our proposal: incorporate the Arab language in the logotype.

Faithful to the idea that, each year, the advertising image of AMAL will be different, we have designed an innovative campaign that enhances its aesthetic and its informative function. With the slogan “Live AMAL with the senses”, the festival promises to give free rein to the feelings through the eyesight, the smell, the touch, the taste and the hearing.


These five senses represent each one of AMAL sections that conforms the Festival:


• Documentary Section: related to the mouth. Through this section, we can listen to the voice of the documentaries of AMAL. These documentaries speak of the reality of the Arab world, its worries, its beauty and hope.


• Fiction Section: the eye represents this section. AMAL defines the eyesight sense as the sense that discovers our vision of the Arab world through our eyes. AMAL offers other way of seeing.


• Short film section: AMAL defends that with the fingers, we can feel the essence of the smallest things.


• Tasting Section: AMAL invites to take pleasure of the 1001 flavours and scents of the Arab world. With this aim, we have prepared a select menu with the best of the Arab gastronomy. On this menu we combine different typical dishes; as an example: cream of varied vegetables, brick pasta or salad. Then, as main course, we have a selection of assorted meats, and as climax, a typical dessert: Arab cakes with green tea.


• Concerts Section: The last one of AMAL 2008 sections. This section, identified with the sense of the hearing, is an enigmatic gate that leads us beyond the worldly through the sounds of music. AMAL 2008 will close the doors of its VI edition with a concert of Speed Caravan in the Sala Capitol in Santiago de Compostela.





SPEED CARAVAN.

Towards the end of the sixties, the masters of rock loved to join together and play as a trio.
It is through this “magic triangle” of guitar/bass/drums that some of the greatest rock talents of the moment, such as the Jimi Hendrix, Experience or Eric Clapton in Cream, emerged and, in doing so, revolutionised the music of the 20th century.

Without doing anything other than playing and enjoying his music, the musician Mehdi Haddab of Algerian decent has, in just a few short years, managed to radically transform the image of the Oud. With his frenetic and joyous playing of rock and roll, he has imposed this symbol of oriental music into the heart of the urban scene.

Having found fame alongside the likes of Rodolphe Burger, Erik Marchand, Rachid Taha, Jacques Higelin or Alain Bashung, they co founded Ekova (another vertiginous trio) and DuOud, and now finds with Speed Caravan the perfect vehicle to transcend the sounds and energy of the modern world.

More than just his perfect command of his instrument, the bassist Pascal Teillet (better known as Pasco) brings with him a captivating world forged alongside artists such as King Mensah, Ganoub, Mazaher or Archie Shepp. His powerful and sensitive touch creates a sublime sound that intensifies the stylistic acrobatics of the lute.

Hermione Frank, an old partner in crime from the time of Ekova; he is a journalist and above all an “electro” musician creating sublime, unstoppable electronic beats in a unique and incredible style.

Careful and respectful with one another, the three musicians blend together in order to thrust us into a world where music encompasses the five continents and creates a cutting edge sound.

Decompartmentalising styles and breaking down barriers, they cite The Cure or The Chemical Brothers as influences, as well as welcoming the old vocalists of Algerian hip hop collective MBS- thereby, creating an incredible sound which encompasses the spirit and soul of the cities of Istanbul, London, Algiers, New York, Tokyo, Kinshasa or Paris-.


Late night showing.

Section out of the competition for the night birds.





The members of the jury.


Mrs. Magda Wassef, President.
General Representative of the biennial show “Arabic Cinemas” in Paris. Director of the cinema department on the Arab World Institute (IMA) of Paris, correspondent of the Festival of Cannes for the Mediterranean and adviser for the Arab World in the Biarritz International Festival of audio-visual programming.


Mr. Abbas Arnaout.
Director of Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival


Mrs. Amalia Blanco Lucas
Corporate General Manager, Vértice 360º


Mr. Eduardo Galán
Programs Director at Galicia Television


Mr. Basel Ramsis
Documentary cinema director and Cinema Curator at Casa Árabe.



Mr. Alejandro Barreiro Muimelo
Cinema specialist at “Miradas 2” program at the Public Spanish Television (TV2)





Festival’s Representative.

Mr. Ghaleb Jaber Martínez
Cinema director and Amal’s Curator











The prizes of the Festival.

With the VI edition of AMAL, it is worth pointing out an increase in the amount of the others prizes. According to this, the prizes of the VI edition of AMAL 2008 amount are as follows:


Best long fiction film 5.000€
Best documentary 3.500€
Best short fiction film 1.200€
Best short documentary 1.200€
Best director 4.000€
Best female actor Trophy
Best male actor Tropy



Only one of this prizes can be ex – aequo.


Besides the prizes mentioned, there is also the People's Choice Award, by popular ballot and valued in 1.500 Euros.

In addition, there will be a rise in the AMAL 08 winners' list with the creation of a new prize that emerges from the agreements of Television de Galicia with Festival AMAL.

As a result, The Television of Galicia will award a documentary or long fiction film. This is the first year in having a prize that will purchase the broadcasting rights of the winner.


Nevertheless, all of the films on the official section are winners, because AMAL subtitles the films. So the directors have the subtitles and he can distribute his film more easily.


The inauguration and the closing ceremony.


The inauguration of AMAL 08 will be held next October, 25th of at 20:00 h., in the Teatro Principal of Santiago de Compostela. Afterwards, one of the films of the official section will be screened.

On the other hand, the 31st of October, at 21:00 h., we will celebrate the closing ceremony of the VI edition of AMAL 08, also in the Teatro Principal. The members of the jury will present the winners and when as the gala ends, there will be a farewell party.

This party will be held in the Sala Capitol, with a concert of Speed Caravan. This concert is for the participants and the members of the Festival, but also for everyone interested in the Festival.


PROGRAM OF THE OFFICIAL SECTION.

• Feature film.

Waiting for Pasolini.

Thami works as an extra in foreign films shot in his village. During the shooting of the film, he meets Pasolini. Forty years later, they come back to shoot another film. Thami, who has become an important man of his village, thinks he will meet again his friend. But he finds out Pasolini died long time ago…


Andalucía.

Yacine is a young French of Maghrebi origin. He is trapped in his own worries and in the stressful life of the French capital. This journey to Andalucia is where he will find his inner self. Now Yacine will find his identity between the European and the Arab world.


Ahlaam.

Ahlaam (Dreams) moves between the past and the present of three Iraqi lives: Ahlaam, Dr. Medhi and Ali. Three touching stories that cover a variety of social classes and divisions. Three lives marked by the brutality and the chaos produced by Saddam’s regime and the American warlike campaign.


Bajo el mismo cielo.

Hanna lives in Spain with her family. Hamid, her father, wants to go back to Morocco. Hanna´s, mother, Fatiha believes their future is here. Hanna feels lost in the middle between her father and mother. She feels completely Spanish but her special relationship with her father will lead her to go back to her country…


La Maison Jaune.

A car from the gendamerie approaches Aya and informs her that her brother died in an accident. Moulod, their father, a modest peasant from Aurès, goes to get back his son’s body. Will Mouloud, with Aya’s help, be able to return the smile to his wife and family?





Marrakech Inshall.

Aziz Raddad hopes, Inshallah (God's willing) that his dream of leaving his village to go to Marrakesh will better his life.



• Documentary.

Tiro libre.

Free Kick is a documentary that chronicles the challenges of the Palestinian National Football Team on their bid to reach a spot in the World Cup. It simultaneously defines a time-line of the Palestine-Israel conflict guided by the most renowned experts.


After de war.

A travel diary shot in Lebanon during and after the 33 days of war in the summer of 2006. The director joins his Lebanese journalist friends to enquire about the cluster bombs that were dropped by Israel. What strikes the visitor most is the tremendous will and energy of these people to still live; strong and proud.


A Jihad por love.
A Jihad For Love is a daring documentary film shot in twelve countries and nine languages. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma has gone where the silence is loudest, filming with great risk in nations where government permission to make this film was not an option.


Atlas Bereber.

Aïssa, a young student, leaves his village to go through the beloved mountains in his homeland. From here, a fragmentary succession of trips and characters takes us deeper in the heart of Grand Atlas.


Soy palestino.

This documentary is a musical comedy which charts a journey into the politics of the Cuba today.


• Short films of fiction.


Absence.

“He checks who’s at the door, he doesn’t find any body”. The film deals with the poignant subject of loneliness in a rapidly evolving society.


Niños que nunca existieron.

Somewhere were blood is mixed with soil and childhood has the name of soldier.


The Soother.

“Cinema is not the reflection of the reality it's the reality of the reflection”.


Make a wish.

A young Palestinian girl will do whatever it takes to buy a birthday cake. Determined to get the cake, she sets out to brave the obstacles. A journey that depicts not only the subtle tensions of a politically charged environment, but also illustrates the grief that can result from growing up under occupation.


Abimbowé.

“So, shall we wash that hair?”


Silent night.

Maja works as a tour guide in Egypt. Life was good but suddenly one day she witnesses a terror attack. In a state of shock, she goes back to her parents in Sweden. She wants to tell them about what has happened, but she can’t. A meeting with Jamal, an Arab tenant and a friend of her parents forces her to express her feelings.


Sellam and Démétan.

Sellam, a painter returns back to the village after being absent for 25 years. He encounters different people and finds his school in ruins. This takes him back to his beautiful childhood and particularly the day when he saw the last episode of his series of cartoon, Démétan, the small frog.


The fuel of life.

Nusret, a young european Muslim, feels a heavy weight on his shoulders. His only defence is his music. But today not even his cunning raps can help him. The world horrifying battle for natural resources has found its way direct into his living room.


Not like others.

He is a different man in his manners, traditions and instinct. He has AIDS. He has an Algerian girlfriend who loves him. She knows he is ill. She always dreams she is lost and that she just feels safe being beside this man. He gets worse and she takes him to the hospital. What happened in the hospital?


Feather of the birds.

There, behind the Nile, the characters got stuck between the real world and the tales world. Normal details and limited moments in the convulsing family relations.


• Short films documentary.

The sons of Eilaboun.

The Sons of Eilaboun is a documentary about the massacre, expulsion and return of a small Palestinian village on the fall of 1948. It traces the struggle of the people of Eilaboun to hold onto their existence, history and pride against a world that is intent on covering up the events that changed their lives forever.


Going nowhere-A story of iraqi refuges

Destitute Iraqi Christian families queue in the rain for free meals handed out by nuns at a Christian convent in a slum area of Damascus.


Borderlans.

Often artists sense the change even before it materializes and sometimes they have direct impact on the way we reshape our reality. This process makes the artist play an important role in society; therefore, contemporary artists play a key-role on the images from of the Middle East.





Dear terrorist-how to be a Muslim in the states.

“Dear Terrorist, please cease all terrorist activities...”. The humour of the comedian Negin Farsad reveals the innate helplessness she feels as US citizen, as a Manhattan urbanite, as a Muslim. Dear Terrorist gives us an idea of what it means to be a Muslim in the US today.


La caravana del manuscrito andalusí.

When Muslims left Spain, many of them took their manuscripts with them. Nowadays, we can find them spread through libraries along the Route of the Caravans. From Toledo to Mauritania, this documentary follows their footprints.


Nadia, nadie.

Nadia is a woman without a man. When she discovers that her husband marries a second woman, she decides to start a new life alone, while nonetheless staying close to God. To her, her five daughters are better than fifty Arabic men...


On the east side.

A day in the lives of a group of friends in East Jerusalem. Abu Daoud shares his grief and grievance with his friends. His son is due to appear in Israeli Military Court the following day. Although they come from varying walks of life, these friends share a deep-seated daily struggle against Israel's occupation.


My Palestine.

"What does "Palestine" means to you?" A question sounded simple, even naive at the beginning. But after this journey in people's minds, hearts and memories, searching for the true meaning of Palestine, it didn't sound so simple.


The last station.

Last Station is a personal experience of exile, return and the dream of a homeland. This journey between the dream and the reality contains much happiness, hope and yet much disappointments.


Engaiolados.

Heartbreaking story about the awful life conditions that people of Gaza support under the Israeli bloc and the fratricidal struggles for the power between Hamas and Al-Fatah.

• Late night showing.

Bab’aziz. El sabio sufí

Two lost figures in an ocean of sand: a charming girl and her grandfather, Bab’Aziz, a blind Sufi. Their destination is the great meeting of dervishes that takes place every 30 years. To find the place in which the meeting will take place, it’s a must to have faith and to listen with the heart the infinite silence of the desert.


Retorno a Hansala.

Martín is picking up the bodies of a small boat that was wrecked. One body has a paper with a phone number. It’s from Leila, a Moroccan woman. The deceased is her brother. Leila decides to repatriate the corpse. Both start a journey in which they will face their own fears and situations that will let them know the situation in Hansala.


Rompe el día.

Paquita is doorwoman of a noble building of the centre of Madrid, a modest and natural woman whose routine is rarely disturbed. Her passion in the dance accentuated her past, because during her youth she was dancer and she travelled to the Mediterranean and Middle East with a Spanish group of ballet. Now, for the first time in thirty five years, Paquita returns to those countries that represent so much for her: Lebanon, Syria, Greece, Turkey...


En el valle de Elah.

Hank, an American veteran, has to investigate the disappearance of his son, a soldier stationed in Irak who goes away without the leave’s base. With the help of Detective Sanders and his wife, he will revive the experiences of the boy in Irak. What he discovers will make him wonder about all he had believed until now.


Estación central.

In the train station in Cairo, Kinnawi is obsessed with Hanuma, who in turn is crazy about Abu Seria. Rejected by the young woman, Kinnawi loses his mind and decides to murder Hanuma, but he makes a mistake and kills another. Abu Seria is initially accused of the crime, but Kinnawi ends up arrested and led out of the station.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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