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Newsletter May 2016

1. DRY HOT SUMMERS wins in Ismailia and shows Amman, Cairo and Den Bosch
2. HAUNTED in Bilbao, Lima, Montreal and Munich
3. AND ON A DIFFERENT NOTE in Tunis
4. NATION ESTATE in Paris and Rhône-Alpes
5. FREE RANGE in Beirut and Gaza
6. publications
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1. DRY HOT SUMMERS wins in Ismailia and shows Amman, Cairo and Den Bosch

We are very proud to announce that Sherif Elbendary’s DRY HOT SUMMERS won the awards for the Best Short film as well as for Best Short Film dealing with Women Issues at renown Documentary and Short Film Festival Ismailia in Egypt! By the end of this month the film is showing at a special screening organized by the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Royal Jordanian Film Commission in Amman as well as at the Goethe Film Week in Cairo. Yesterday DRY HOT SUMMERS was presented at Den Bosch/The Netherlands in the festival cinéma arabe.

Content
Two lonely people at opposite chapters of life accidentally meet on a busy summer day in a Cairo taxi. Frail old Shawky and bubbly young Doaa are both caught up in their busy routines as their race through the city evolves into a journey of self-discovery that reconnects them to life.
Egypt/Germany 2015, 30 min, digital, color, Arabic with English or French subtitles
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2. HAUNTED in Bilbao, Lima, Montreal and Munich

Liwaa Yazji’s urgent documentary about the relation of Syrians to their home in the face of the war shows in May at the Ibero-Arab Women’s Caravan in Bilbao/Spain, at the European Film Festival in Lima/Peru, at the Syrian Film program of the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montreal/Canada as well as at the International Documentary Film Festival Munich/Germany.

Content
“When the bombs fell, the first thing we did was run away. It was not until later that we realized we had not looked back. We were not allowed to say goodbye to our home, our memories, our photos and the life that was lived within them. We have become vacant like these spaces; our hastily packed belongings and the forgotten things haunt us.” An uncertain existence followed the escape and expulsion from Syria that tumbled into a physical and mental nowhere, a non-space between yesterday and tomorrow. “Haunted” tells of the loss of home and security, of the real and metaphorical meaning which a house, a home has in one’s life.
Liwaa Yazji, Syria 2014, 112 min, digital, Arabic with English or French subtitles
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3. AND ON A DIFFERENT NOTE in Tunis

Mohammad Shawky Hassan’s experimental short film AND ON A DIFFERENT NOTE, a new entry to the mec film World Sales catalogue, is showing at the AFAC Film Week in Tunis at the end of May.

Content
Today in this house nothing happens, nor does it in the homes of others. Time and place stand on parallel lines, refuting the coordinates of existence. The chronology of events is obscured, subversive noise is obliterated, elucidation impossible and language futile. All that remains is a soundscape perpetually occupied by self-proclaimed patriots, and scattered spaces carved by the rhythm of everyday life, all conspiring to maintain the status quo while hiding the humming background noise of the world.
And on a Different Note is a navigation of an attempt to carve out a personal space amid an inescapable sonic shield created primarily by prime time political talk shows with their indistinguishable, absurd and at times undecipherable rhetoric/ noises. Equally repulsive and addictive, these noises travel across geographies gradually constituting an integral part of a self-created map of exile.
Egypt 2015, 24 min, color, Arabic/ English with English/Arabic Subtitles
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4. NATION ESTATE in Paris and Rhône-Alpes

We are very happy that Larissa Sansour’s short Sci-Fi NATION ESTATE from 2012 is still touring festivals. This month it can be seen at the Palestinian Film Festival Paris as well as at the Palestinian Film Festival 'Palestine en vue' in Rhône-Alpes, where the installation of Nation Estate is showing.

Content
Nation Estate is a 9-minute sci-fi short offering a clinically dystopian, yet humorous approach to the deadlock in the Middle East.
The film explores a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood: One colossal skyscraper housing the entire Palestinian population - now finally living the high life.
Larissa Sansour, Palestine/Denmark 2012, 9 min, digital, no dialogue
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5. FREE RANGE in Beirut and Gaza

Lebanese Spaghetti Western FREE RANGE by Bass Bréche is showing in May at the Karama Human Rights Film Festivals in Beirut and Gaza.

Content
Based on actual events, Free Range is the story of a cow that crosses the border from Israel to Lebanon and meets with 16 year old Malakeh and her family. A  Lebanese Spaghetti-Western that talks about borders and power between people, religions, cows and UN interventions.
Lebanon/Germany 2014, 16 min, digital, cinescope, Arabic with English subtitles
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6. publications

In 2013 GIZ, the development aid company of the German Federal Republic, together with the University of Tuebingen, published the field manual ‘Islamist and Jihadist actors in partner countries of German development cooperation’. It presents eight such actors and recommends cooperation with all, except Al Qaeda on the Arab Peninsula and Hamas. On the backdrop of the German executive’s actual support of Islamist and Jihadi groups as well as its increasing religionization, Irit Neidhardt (mec film) started reviewing previous government released books on Islam and reform. The publication discussed here is striking for its call for German NGOs to join forces with opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Ennahda Movement in Tunisia or the Taliban in Afghanistan. Despite its political implication, the book’s research and analysis are insufficient. First published in inamo 85 | spring 2016, online at linksnet (German).
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A review by Irit Neidhardt of Rachid Bouchareb’s La Route d’Istanbul for the Arte broadcast in April can be found at German nation-wide’s Frankfurter Rundschau daily newspaper’s online edition (German).
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