Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Mahdi Fleifel


Arab cinema snatched the spotlight at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlinale Festival recently concluded after running from Feb. 11 to 21.

More than 10 Arab films participated in the Berlinale’s Forum and Forum Expanded programs this year

Not only have a notably large number of Arab films screened to approving audiences throughout this year’s event, but many of them have also won significant awards at the prestigious event.

Tunisian, Saudi, Palestinian, Lebanese and Egyptian directors snatched the spotlight at Berlinale.

The Tunisian film “Inhebek Hedi,” the work of Tunisian filmmaker Mohamed Ben Attia, received two of the Berlinale’s top honors.

Attia’s debut feature film, a thoughtful love story about identity and independence in Tunisian society, won the Best First Feature Award.

Its leading man, Majd Mastoura, also received the prestigious Silver Bear for Best Actor for his role as Hedi.

Palestinian director Mahdi Fleifel’s portrayal of a young refugee struggling to make a life for himself in Lebanon’s Ain El-Helweh camp was also honored.

A Man Returned” won the Silver Bear Jury Prize for Short Film.

The filmmaker used to be a refugee himself and previously made an award-winning documentary about his own experience. The short film was also selected as the Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards.

As for the prizes of the Ecumenical Jury, Saudi filmmaker Mahmoud Sabbagh‘s well-received romantic comedy “Barakah Yoqabil Barakah” (Barakah Meets Barakah) won the jury’s Forum Prize.

The film, a comedic love story serving as a social commentary on the lives of young people in Saudi Arabia, shared the prize with Danish production “Les Sauteurs” (Those Who Jump) – a film that also highlights the plight of Europe-bound refugees.

Additionally, Egyptian filmmaker Tamer El-Said’s feature film “Akher Ayam El-Madina” (In the Last Days of the City) won the Caligari Film Prize.

The film, which looks at a young filmmaker’s struggle to complete a film about Cairo, was the only Egyptian film to participate in the 2016 Berlinale Forum.

Lebanese filmmaker Maher Abi Samra’s documentary “Makhdoumin” (A Maid for Each), which looks at the legal system that controls the lives of Lebanon’s foreign domestic workers, won the Peace Film Prize.

More than 10 Arab films participated in the Berlinale’s Forum and Forum Expanded programs this year, in addition to the ones which participated in the official competitions, marking an especially remarkable year for Arab cinema’s presence in Berlin.




September 2021

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