Embracing the region’s creatives, Cinema Akil, the independent cinema platform and GCC’s first arthouse cinema, is launching a new annual event showcasing Arab films. And this October will be the first kick-off, starting with a quality selection of films, scheduled to take place from 7 to 16 October.
The program, curated by Rabih El-Khoury, is meant to shed light on Arab films and filmmakers, introduce the audience to powerful stories and fantastic narratives, and bring more attention to Arab cinema.
This back-to-back week will be your telescope lens to watch stories of Arabs created by Arabs, conveying what they go through, from struggles, heartbreaks, victories, and beyond. The program will provoke your senses during each scene of each film. Starting with ‘The Alleys’ by Bassel Ghandour, telling us the story of Ali and Lana from East Amman, and the rocky roads they find themselves forcingly going through in their relationship. While the Algerian melodrama film ‘Héliopolis’, directed by Djaâfar Gacem, takes us to an entirely other place and time, illustrating a historical event of Alegria’s struggle for its independence from the French colonial power.
Moreover, Omar El Zohairy, the director of ‘Feathers’, discusses a social problem through a blend of fantasy and drama with a hint of comedy, where a magic trick takes a curve and turns one of the characters into a chicken. Other stories to look forward to watch from the exceptional selection of Arab films that will leave you in awe, including the Saudi film ‘Becoming’ directed by five Female Saudi filmmakers Hind Alfahhad, Jowaher Alamri, Noor Alameer, Sara Mesfer, and Fatima Al-Banawi; the documentary ‘Mariner of the Mountains’ by Karim Aïnouz; ‘Soula’ directed by Salah Issaad which portrays a story of a woman who fights to change her fate; ‘Beirut Hold’em’ by Michel Kammoun; and the drama film ‘Gravedigger’s Wife’ by the Somalian director Khadar Ahmed.
The thoroughly curated program will also give the audience a chance for a meet-and-greet session with some of the film’s directors, and a 90-minute conversation with the Palestinian actor Saleh Albakri, who will share exciting stories about his career.
This may not be enough to take you through the transformative stories of each and every film, as a program curated in such ways is made for you to experience yourself. Mark your calendars and book your tickets now.