The third session was a great success with 100 guests attending and real interaction between the local audience
Esraa Al-Radaydah – It was not an ordinary session of the Amman International Film Festival – the first film, as the third session, which concluded its activities last Wednesday, was a great success, through interactive with the presence of a large number of guests, and its main achievement goals of networking between filmmakers, experts and the public.
The biggest success was the presence of the local audience and their interest in the screenings, which included 49 films from 29 countries, smart choices through the programming of films and their options that combine Arab and international films in one theme, the first film.
Adopting the slogan “First Film, First Love”, passion has been the biggest motivator to achieve success through the efforts of the festival’s organizers and guests, through interaction, attendance, successes and work to achieve films, starting with the projects participating in Amman Filmmakers Days, which provided an opportunity for new directors to get Support to tell their stories, which is another goal of the festival.
The success of the third session is measured by the attendance of the local audience and its presence in the screening rooms spread in the drive-in cinema in Abdali Boulevard, Taj Cinemas and the outdoor theater of the Royal Film Commission. And help achieve these token ticket prices, and ease of access by providing easy direct and digital service stations.
In addition to the movie options, which experienced high demand, especially the two Jordanian films: Farha and Banat Abdul Rahman,” whose theaters were filled with their first screening and repeat.
The presence of the Tunisian actor Dhafer El Abidine in his movie “Ghadwa” increased the number of audiences who praised the film, which deals with the reality of political life in Tunisia, as well as the presence of stars from Lebanon, including Carmen Lebbs and George, stage Khabbaz, and local stars including Saba Mubarak, Farah Bseiso and others.
In the three “Amman Film Festival” competitions, which include Best Arabic Feature Film, Best Arabic Documentary and Feature Film, Best Short Film and the Audience Choice Award for International Screenings, the Algerian film Sola, directed by Salah Essaad, won the Black Iris Award for best Arabic film. The jury, which included director Nadine Khan, film critic Luciano Barisone and Jordanian novelist and writer Samiha Khreis, awarded the award to the director.
The film tells the story of Sola, a single mother, who is expelled from the family home by her father to find herself and her baby homeless. Sola tries to find a safe place, so she is forced to spend the night moving from one car. to another with several people, and during an eventful night among the streets of Algeria, Sola tries to change her fate, but to obtain a second opinion.
The events take place in one night, a road movie, where Sula experiences difficult events that show the fragility of her life, the violence to which women are subjected, violence and physical abuse, in a slow and fast harmonious and varied rhythm that shows the suffering and fate of his heroine.
In the category of Arabic feature length documentaries, the Palestinian-Syrian film “Little Palestine”, directed by Abdullah Al-Khatib, won the Black Iris Award.
The jury included filmmaker Irene Chalan, editor Phil Jandali, and director and producer Aseel Mansour. Al-Khatib in his movie “Little Palestine” depicts his surroundings while besieged by the Syrian army with no hope of escape.
For Al-Khatib, using the camera is a way to kill time by documenting life in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp. He never imagined that this situation would last for two years and take on unbearable proportions.
The film’s tone is initially relatively light, and over time, despite the constant hope seen in the poetry and smiles of children, or the piano kept in the rubble, it becomes darker and more disturbing.
Al-Khatib’s documentary has become an extraordinary war film because, with no visible military violence in the shot, it focuses above all on battles of a different kind: the ongoing struggle for dignity and against impending starvation. In terms of dignity, although some details show inevitable disagreements and tensions, Al-Khatib reveals a people generally united despite the disaster.
Meanwhile, the Arab Short Film jury, consisting of the theater and film actress Carmen Lebbos, the director Amir Fakhreddine, producer, participant and screenwriter Nadia Aliouat, awarded the award for the best Arab short film to the Algerian film “My Mother’s Voice”, directed by Mourad Hamla. , for the category in which 14 short films competed.
A film overflowing with human feelings and the state of loss, fear and longing the director experiences after losing his mother, many questions he asks amid fear of losing and forgetting the voice and image of his mother , while holding on to all his memories and what she left all over the house and the details of his life where as the mother always represents a safe embrace that can never be compensated.
Despite the small festival staff, the third edition is carefully organized with attention to detail and at a high level that simulates the major festivals in the region and at an international level and standards, starting with a discussion area that filmmakers, producers, bring together directors. , workshops and discussions that provoke experience and thought from the participants. To start the shows on time, provide services and conversations between festival guests and the public in direct interaction after each show.
This would not have happened without the support of HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, the festival’s president, HRH Princess Rym Ali, its director, Nada Doumani, the director of film programming, Oraib Zuaiter, and Bassam Al Asaad, the director of Amman Filmmakers Days.
This cycle, representing the true festival, began with a beautiful and successful opening ceremony, and 8 days of momentum in its cultural movement enriching experience and fun, after the first two sessions were obstacles due to the Corona pandemic.
Today, with the conclusion of this session, it has become certain that the film industry in Jordan is rapidly developing and expanding, and with the efforts of the Royal Film Commission, under whose umbrella the festival is held, and those who support the film movement in all sectors, local and Arab filmmakers and talents will always find space and an opportunity to embrace them, in a country full of creativity and culture.
As we move towards the fourth edition, there is hope for a greater expansion and a more comprehensive presence for local cinema, which carries a lot in its arsenal, with the passion of filmmakers, local support, encouragement and a belief that cinema all united , which is what the “Amman Film Festival – the first film” actually achieved on the ground. It is a language that transcends all differences and races.