FILMMAKERS TO WATCH
. L'ÉCHAPPÉE by Hamid Saïdji & Jonathan Mason,Algeria
. MARIAM by Faiza Ambah, Saudi Arabia/France
. NEW EYES by Hiwot Admasu, Ethiopia
. SOUTH POLE/GÜNEY KUTBU by Emin Akpinar, Turkey
. THE RIFLE, THE JACKAL, THE WOLF, AND THE BOY by Oualid Mouaness, Lebanon
Program curated by Darine Hotait (filmmaker/Cinephilia Productions founder)
// Dubai, UAE | The Yard, AlSerkal Avenue - November 25, 2016
7pm-9pm - in collaboration with Cinema Akil
// Cairo, Egypt | Room Art Space - December 4, 2016
// Alexandria, Egypt | Jesuit Cultural Center - December 3, 2016
7pm-9pm - in collaboration with Cinemate
Co-Directed by Hamid Saïdji & Jonathan Mason
Produced by Claire Mazeau-Karoum & Tewfik Rays
Cast: Saïd Aït Ali Saïd, Mouni Boullam, Anis Bosli, Moussa Chikh, Samir Saidani
A kaleidoscopic journey through the streets of Algiers in Hocine Filali’s ramshackle taxi. With dreams of setting sail for a better life in Italy, Hocine will first have to escape the grip of this magical city and its colorful cast of characters.
Running Time: 20 minutes
Country of Production: Algeria
Language: Arabic/French/Italian with English Subtitles
Canal + Award for Best Short Film – Cinémed 2016
Rotterdam Arab Film Festival (Netherlands)
Montpellier International Mediterranean Film Festival – Cinémed 2016(France)
D.Haus Cinema Paradiso – Dusseldorf (Germany)
About the directors
After earning an MFA in Film (with Honors) from Columbia University, Jonathan Mason served as Creative Director at Belladonna Productions where he helped to develop nearly a dozen feature films and commercials, including “Cold in July” (Sundance and Cannes in 2014), and Dukhtar (Toronto 2014, and Pakistan’s official submission to the Academy Awards). As a screenwriter, Jonathan has translated and adapted works for Kad Mérad, Jamel Debbouze, Rachael Horovitz, Francis Veber, and Géla Babluani among others. Jonathan currently splits his time between his native Paris, France, and Philadelphia, USA, where he teaches film production and screenwriting at Rowan University.
HAMID SAÏDJI earned his MFA in film from Columbia University (NY) and has created non-fiction and narrative media in Europe, North Africa, and the United States. In Algiers, Hamid founded Midafilms, which produced commercials and documentaries. He also directed the short NOT IN THE MOOD, which played at the International Mediterranean Festival, Tangiers. Hamid co-wrote HOURIA which won best short film at the International Arab World Film Festival, Oran and worked on Hajar Bali’s play, REVE ET VOL D’OISEAU, which travelled from Algiers to Constantine, Sétif, and Lyon. Hamid currently splits his time between Algiers, Berlin, and Paris.
Written & Directed by Faiza Ambah
Cast: Oulaya Amamra, Lou Lévy, Ahmed Hafiene
Produced by Silvio Saade & Jérome Bleitrach
French Muslim teenager, Mariam, must choose between her hijab & school when France passes a law in 2004 banning religious symbols from public schools. A rare portrait of the coming-of-age of a Muslim teen, the themes of Islamophobia, the diversity of the Muslim experience, the choice of some Muslim women to wear the hijab, and the assimilation and acceptance of Muslims in the West.
Running Time: 44 minutes
Country of Production: Saudi Arabia/France
anguage: French with English Subtitles
Awards & festivals
Dubai International Film Festival 2015 – Winner Muhr Special Jury Prize for Best Short
UNESCO Commemoration of the 2015 international Day of Peace
Athens IFVF 2016 - Winner First Prize Narrative Feature
Mizna Twin Cities Arab Film Festival - Winner Best Short Film - Jury Best Short Film - Audience Award
Religion Today Film Festival - Winner Best Film, Jury Best Film - University Student Award
About the director
FAIZA AMBAH is a Saudi filmmaker with a background in journalism. She was Gulf Correspondent for the Washington Post before leaving in 2009 to focus on filmmaking. Her scripts have been supported by the Sundance Institute through the Rawi Screenwriters’ Lab in Jordan, the Dubai International Film Festival and the Doha Film Institute. She was a jury member at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai in 2013 and organized a festival of Gulf films at the Institute Du Monde Arabe in Paris. Ambah was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 2015 Dubai International Film Festival for her film Mariam. She has a feature film writing certificate from UCLA extension and has taken directing courses at the Cinematic Arts School at the University of Southern California and the New York Film Academy.
Written & Directed by Hiwot Admasu
Cast: Selam Fidaku, Berite Eshetu, Surafel Tsegaye, Feven Teshome
Produced by Les Films de L’après-Midi, François d’Artemare
A young girl on the threshold of puberty is facing an event that will trouble her for the first time. As the day unfolds, her unconscious mingles with her agitation, in the semi-urban environment that surrounds her.
Running Time: 13 minutes
Country of Production: Ethiopia
Language: Amharic with English Subtitles
Seattle Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Canada
37th Durban International Film Festival — AWARD
45th International Film Festival Rotterdam
39th International Short movie Festival Clermont-Ferrand
11th African film festival of Lausanne
Biennale, International Film Festival, Italy
Matatu Film Festival, California
CinemAfrica Film Festival
Carthage International Film Festival, Tunisia
MOOOV – Film facing the world
About the director
HIWOT ADMASU was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1988. She grew up with my grandmother, listening to her traditional stories, that influenced her storytelling. She completed her undergraduate studies in Electrical and computer Engineering. Shortly after, she shifted to her real passion of filmmaking. She attended the Blue Nile academy for a year, where she experimented with a few short films. New Eyes, is her first short film that has screened at Seattle Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), 37th Durban International Film Festival where it was awarded, 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam and more…
SOUTH POLE/GÜNEY KUTBU
Written, Produced & Directed by Emin Akpinar
Cast: Ayberk Attila, Tülay Bekret, Özkan Ayalp
Muhsin, a retired and simple man, lives in an old house with his wife. One day, while watching the news on television, he sees his own mug shot. The reporter claims that Muhsin is the head of a terrorist group, and he is going to be killed during the protests that day.
Running Time: 5 minutes
Country of Production: Turkey
Language: Turkish with English Subtitles
Beirut International Film Festival - Special Mention Award
Sao Paolo Entretodos Curtas -Special Mention Award
Seattle Turkish Film Festival- 2nd Runner Up
22nd Med Film Festival Rome
Athens International Short Film Festival
İzmir Kısa Film Festivali (Turkey)
Balkans Beyond Borders, (Athens, Sofia)
Festival On Wheels (Turkey)
About the director
EMIN AKPINAR graduated from New York Film Academy. He worked in several films, documentaries and TV series as director’s assistant, and camera operator. His practice also includes writing and photography.
THE RIFLE, THE JACKAL, THE WOLF, AND THE BOY
Written & Directed by Oualid Mouaness
Cast: Jad Badran, Fidel Badran, Ali Mneimneh, Layal Ghanem
Produced by Jinane Chaaya & Oualid Mouaness
Two brothers cross the line when they use a household rifle without their father’s consent to unexpected consequences.
Running Time: 19 minutes
Country of Production: Lebanon
Language: Arabic with English Subtitles
Oscars Shortlist Live-Action Short Film Category
Adana Int’l Film Festival Mediterranean Short Film Competition Sept 2016 - TURKEY
Tangier International Fillm Festival (in competition) Sept 2016 – MOROCCO
Beirut International Film Festival – October 2016 - LEBANON
Arab Film Festival - USA
Cinemed Int’l Mediterranean Film Festival Montpellier
Curta Cinema – Rio De Janiero International Short Film Festival
Tehran International Short Film Festival
Baghdad International Film Festival
Cairo Int’l Film Fest – Cinema of Tomorrow Short Film Competition
Gijon Intenational Film Festival – SPAIN
About the director
OUALID MOUANESS is an independent filmmaker born in Liberia and raised between Monrovia and Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Beirut and received an MFA in film writing and directing from FSU (Florida State University Graduate Film Conservatory). He started his career as a script reader at Blue Tulip Productions and followed that by a brief stint in the finance department at Fox Kids Network. He then edited and co-produced 'Kitchen Privileges' (SXSW 2000). In 2005, Mouaness forayed into documentary film by taking on producing the documentary 'Rize' (Sundance 2005) directed by David LaChapelle, followed by 'Paris Not France' (TIFF 2008) and the critically acclaimed LAFF 2015 Audience-Award-Winning documentary 'I Am Thalente'. Alongside documentaries and films, Mouaness was responsible for producing seminal music videos with artists Lana Del Rey, Annie Lennox and David Bowie among others.
His work includes live visual experiences: namely Michael Jackson's posthumous live performance at the Billboard Music Award, 'Slave to the Rhythm' (2014); Annie Lennox's 'A Night Of Nostalgia' (2015) which garnered an Emmy nomination.
Mouaness has directed several short films including ‘Saint in the Sun’ (2002-US) and 'The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy' (2016-Lebanon). He is currently preparing his first feature as director.
What is Cinephilia Filmmakers to Watch Series?
Launched in 2013, Cinephilia Filmmakers to Watch series is an annual program that highlights the work of unique and remarkable voices from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Cinephilia curates 5 narrative short films and sets them to screen around the world at art house independent cinemas, art galleries, film festivals and cultural spaces.
CINEPHILIA DOES NOT ACCEPT UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS.
Middle East & territories: Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Cyprus.
Southeast Europe: Malta & Greece
South/Southeast Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.