CINEPHILIA SHORTS LAB 2019


OFFICIAL SELECTION: 

"The Rich, The Widow and The Orphan" by KOSSI MESSAN AKODA (Togo) 
"Kids" by BESHOY YOUSEF (Egypt)
"El Gasya" by EMNA NAJJAR (Tunisia)
"Strong Girls" by INÈS ARSI (Tunisia)
"Horizontal Or Vertical" by YAHYA MOURAD (Lebanon)
"Chebba" by YASMINE BENABDALLAH (Morocco)

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ABOUT SELECTED FILMMAKERS & PROJECTS:

Project Title: The Rich, The Widow and The Orphan
Film Director: Kossi Messan Akoda
Country: Republic of Togo

Project Synopsis: 
Too orphans pick mangoes every evening on a rich man mangoes tree. One day the elder one loses his hand, cut by two blades, by climbing on the wall of the rich man house. 

Film Director Biography:
Born in 1984, AKODA Kossi Messan is a Graduate in Computer and Multimedia system from Jules Verne Picaride University (France). In 2012, he realized two short animation films “The Opportune Journey” (2017) and « The animal wickedness » (2018) both selected for the FESPACO. 

Project Title: Kids
Film Director: Beshoy Yousef
Country: Egypt 

Project Synopsis: 
A 70-years-old Christian widow struggles to sleep because of the loud Quran recitation coming from MAHMUD’s TV, her Muslim neighbor.

Film Director Biography:
Beshoy is an Egyptian filmmaker. His most recent short film “Hidden Lust” was officially selected in the 38th Durban International Film Festival and was broadcast on BBC Arabic. He is currently working on his third narrative short film “Kids” that was developed in MAHD Lab for script development and won the post production grant from Feluka film production.


Project Title: El Gasya
Film Director: Emna Najjar
Country: Tunisia 

Project Synopsis: 
In one village located near the Valley of kings in the city of Luxor, a beautiful young woman spends a weekly visit to a monastery. Away from all eyes, she gathers all the scraps of paper on which visitors have written their hopes and prayers, and then she hides them in her pocket, and exits in caution.

Film Director Biography:
Emna NAJJAR is a Tunisian journalist and filmmaker. She directed 3 Short films: Bitter Honey (2014), Waltz of Dawn (2018), Crossroads Happiness (2019). She is currently developing a feature and working on the short film El Gasya.

Project Title: Strong Girls 
Film Director: Inès Arsi 
Country: Tunisia 

Project Synopsis: 
Forced to marry her rapist ex-boyfriend, DONIA is a 17-year-old girl from a conservative rural village in Tunisia tries to abort at any cost.

Film Director Biography:
Inès Arsi is a Tunisian director and scriptwriter. Her multidisciplinary path led her to study in the Graduate School of Audiovisual and Cinema in Tunis then at La Femis in Paris, before taking part in multiple workshops in different countries. She is currently working on her short film “STRONG GIRLS”. The project received the Tunisian CNCI and AFAC grants.

Project Title: Horizontal Or Vertical 
Film Director: Yahya Mourad
Country: Lebanon

Project Synopsis: 
Horizontal or Vertical is a shop owned by a clerk who got enlightened and rebirthed out of her attempt to commit suicide and now offers her services to others to do the same thing.

Film Director Biography:
Yahya Mourad (b. 1991) is a Multidisciplinary Artist born in Tripoli, North Lebanon. The aim of any artistic project to Yahya is to push and question our own understanding of culture, reality, and the nature of our consciousness.

Project Title: Chebba
Film Director: Yasmine Benabdallah
Country: Morocco

Project Synopsis: 
Four women of one Moroccan family perform a ritual of purification from evil eye. In the midst of incense and protective psalms, each woman’s beliefs and feelings manifest.

Film Director Biography:
Born and raised in Rabat, Morocco, Yasmine Benabdallah studied film and mathematics at Columbia University in New York. In 2016, she directed her first short film “The Travel Curiosity” and followed by the feature documentary “Ojalà: La Vuelta Al Origen” and “Its People, Its Sky, Its Scent”. She is currently working on “Allah Made Me Queer” a short exploring the intersection of Islam and queerness.


LAB MENTOR

DARINE HOTAIT is a published author, screenwriter, film director and the founder/executive director of Cinephilia Productions. Her award-winning films can be seen on SundanceTV, AMC Networks, BBC Channel, ShortsTV and at over a hundred international film festival. She is the recipient of the prestigious New York Council on The Arts Artist Award, The New York Foundation For The Arts Fellowship, The AFAC Grant, a Goethe Award nomination and an EMMY Blu Ribbon nomination. Her work has been supported by Cannes’ International Scriptwriters' Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival, The independent Film Project in New York and The Sundance Institute. She is an advisor for New York’s leading arts organization NYFA and a writing consultant for FFFMed Residency. She is currently developing her narrative feature film "Like Salt" that was awarded the NYSCA Artist Award.


JURY “BEST SCREENPLAY” AWARD

ABBA T. MAKAMA is a Nigerian director, screenwriter and producer. His feature film Green White Green was selected in Toronto Film Festival 2016, Berlin Critics Week 2017 and won best Nigerian film in AFRIFF 2016. He is the founder and creative director of OSIRIS.
In May 2014, he was commissioned by AL JAZEERA to direct a documentary on the Nigeria Film Industry. The documentary titled NOLLYWOOD Something From Nothing was nominated for best documentary film at 2016 AMAA (African Movie Academy Awards.


CHARLOTTE CORCHÈTE is the head of the short film committee of the Locarno Film Festival. She is a researcher at EHESS, École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales in Paris. Formerly a member of the selection committee of the Festival Entrevues Belfort, Charlotte worked in the programming department of the film collection of the Centre Pompidou and managed the production and distribution of several independent films.


FLORIAN WEGHORN is the Programme Manager of Berlinale Talents, the annual summit and talent development initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival. He also advises the seven Berlinale Talents offshoots around the world, ranging from Beirut to Tokyo. Born in 1976 in Oldenburg, Florian holds an M.A. in Theatre, Film and Television Studies from the University of Cologne with a thesis on ‘The Visual Language of Melancholy in Film.’ Florian joined the Berlinale team in 2002, initially working for the Generation section. From 2008 to 2014, he was the section’s co-director and a curator of its annually around 60 short and feature films. Between 2012 and 2019, Florian was also a member of the Berlinale Competition selection committee. In addition, Florian has worked for various other international film festivals, film funds and cultural institutions and is a member of the European Film Academy. He is the author and editor of several publications covering film and youth culture. 


CINEPHILIA SHORTS LAB 2019 AWARD SPONSOR ($3,500)

SEAT26 PRODUCTIONS

Founded in 2015, Seat26 Productions aims at supporting filmmakers bring their ideas to life on screen. We finance films and create co-production opportunities, while contributing to projects that help construct relevant narratives, that move audiences and trigger conversations beyond borders. Highlighting the power of storytelling being our mandate, we also promote film literacy within communities by designing international workshops and industry-related events, with a focus on script writing and film development


ABOUT CINEPHILIA SHORTS LAB 2019 PARTNER

CARTHAGE FILM FESTIVAL JCC

Since 1966, the Carthage Film Festival (JCC) has been home to African and Arab cinema, offering a Southern forum to filmmakers from the region. Though its competition is open only to African and Arab films, JCC showcases films from Asia & Latin America. JCC’s professional platform Carthage Pro supports talents from the region with grants and funding.

Official festival website: http://www.jcctunisie.org


RSVP TO ATTEND THE FINAL STAGED READING AND JURY PRESENTATION

IF YOU ARE AN INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL PRESENT DURING CARTHAGE FILM FESTIVAL, WE INVITE YOU TO ATTEND THE FINAL STAGED READING AND JURY PRESENTATION ON OCTOBER 31st, 2019, 10:00-16:00 at Maison De Culture Ibn Khaldoun, Tunis.

The reading of the 6 screenplays will be conducted by professional actors in the presence of the jury.

RSVP Required
Questions: labs(at)cinephiliaproductions.com

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