7th Dublin Arabic Film Festival
Short Film Presentations 22-24 January 2021
BOOK ACCESS TO THE FEATURE FILMS AT WWW.DUBLINARABICFILMFESTIVALONLINE.COM
Jim Sheridan Talks to Ireland AM about DAFF 2020
FILM PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
To book your tickets go to : https://dublinarabicfilmfestivalonline.com
JIM SHERIDAN AND ZAHARA MOUFID’S FILM FESTIVAL--WORKING WITH SYRIAN REFUGEES AND THE HOMELESS IN IRELAND
The 7th Annual Dublin Arabic Film Festival(DAFF), curated by Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Jim Sheridanand Filmmaker , Zahara Moufid, will run online from the 10-13th December 2020. Eight feature length Arab films will be shown on the festival’s website www.dublinarabicfilmfestival.com at a price of €7 per film with the opening film priced at €10.A package price for seven films is available at a cost of €20.
This year’s festival will include a special screening ‘A Girl from Mogadishu’ by Mary McGuckian (10th Dec). The story is based on the testimony of Ifrah Ahmed, who escapes war-torn Somalia. The film was made in Ireland and Morocco and stars Aja Naomi King as Ifrah who was born into a refugee camp and trafficked to Ireland as a teenager.
Unlocking Doors of Cinema is a feature documentary exploring the fifty years of artistic contribution of the daring Syrian film maker Muhammad Malas. Malas, an exile from his hometown of Quneitra, provokes audiences to contemplate loss, memory, and home. From the 1967 War and Palestinian Camps in Beirut, to the songs of Aleppo, and the political tragedies of Syria, Malas exemplifies what it means to be an auteur and public intellectual.
The Moroccan film, L’Orchestre des aveugles by Mohamed Mouftakir is about the first years of the reign of Hassan II, Houcine. A fan of the newly enthroned king leads a popular orchestra. The musicians of this special orchestra pretend sometimes to be blind in order to play at parties reserved for women and organised by conservative Moroccan families.
The Iraqi film, Mother I am Joseph tells the story of Joseph who ran away from Saddam’s agents because he didn’t want to fight in the Iraq Iran war. No one hears anything about him for 21 years until after the allies invade Iraq.
Walled City is a Palestinian film by Sameer Qumsiyah which shows how the film maker attempts to travel the world while carrying one of the world’s weakest ranking passports. The film charts his journey over 3 years and during this time he films his encounters with freedom seekers, refugees, immigrants, and indigenous communities in the Amazon, among others.
A second Palestinian film, The Guardian of Memory by Sawson Qaoud will also be part of the progamme. It is a documentary film featuring Tarek Bakri, a Palestinian researcher who works to connect Palestinians in the diaspora with their homeland through his project ‘We Were and We Are Still Here’. He helps the families return to their land, many for the first time, then uses social media to share the stories and images online. Two Egyptian films, Poisonous Roses and The Blue Elephant will also leave audiences enthralled.
Chester Beatty in Dublin has been a cultural partner of DAFF since its inception in 2014 and once again and have made two films available for free viewing. Talking About Trees and The Perfect Candidate. Meanwhile, the
Ambassade de France en Irlande will show the Moroccan film, Zaina, cavaliere de L’Atlas in the French schools in Dublin.
Zaina, cavaliere de L’Atlas by Bourlem Guerdjou tells the story of young Zaina, who must lead a caravan of precious thoroughbreds to Marrakech to take part in the most prestigious of all races, the Agdal.
Along the way she will have to face powerful Omar and learn to trust her newly discovered father, Mustapha.
Talking About Trees by Ibrahim Shadad, is a Sudanese film which draws attention to Sudanese film history. Four filmmakers with a passion for film battle to bring cinema-going back to Sudan, but not without resistance. The Perfect Candidate by Haifaa Al- Mansour is about a determined young Saudi doctor’s surprise run for office in the local city elections and goes on to explore how her family and community struggle to accept their town’s first female candidate.
Shelter Me: Apollo House
The film was directed by Zahara Moufid and produced by Jim Sheridan and Zahara Moufid will also be available for viewing on the festival’s website in order to help raise funds for homeless people. The film was made by the duo in 2016 and shows how ‘Apollo House’, an empty Nama-controlled office block on Dublin’s Poolbeg Street was commandeered by housing activists and made into a shelter for homeless people. Well known figures including Jim Sheridan and musicians Glen Hansard and Hozier helped raise awareness for the cause and the public responded in their droves by donating food and clothing. Viewers can watch the film for €6 on the Dublin Arabic Film Festival website and all proceeds will go to help the charity, Inner City Helping the Homeless
Inner City Helping Homeless, Zahara Moufid, DAFF Festival Director said, “There is a great mix of films from several Arab countries. We are delighted to have been able to secure some wonderful, really evocative, and thought-provoking films. The French, Egyptian and Palestinian Embassies, The Chester Beatty and the Centre Cinematography in Morocco were a great help to us and really assisted us to source films for this year’s programme. Some of the films explore the themes of displacement and fear but also great courage in the face of diversity. There are stories of love, trust and some black comedy is presented particularly in the film L’Orchestre des aveugles. We are also very pleased to be able to help people in need with this festival and are delighted to say that we have supplied some light entertainment and child friendly Arabic films to the Red Cross in Ireland for Syrian refugees who have just arrived to Ireland.
We were careful to pick films that were fun, entertaining and lighthearted and we understand that the children especially have really enjoyed them which is great news! Film can help transport us all to a different place, even for a few hours and when we heard that the Red Cross needed some assistance to entertain the refugees we were delighted to help.”
Colette Morris, Head of Migration Services at the
Irish Red Cross said, “We reached out to DAFF to see if they could help us identify some light entertainment and films that would appeal to newly arrived Syrian refugee families heading into quarantine for a period of weeks. Zahara Moufid and Jim Sheridan were both immediate with their response and generous with their time. Their support helped us to source suitable Arabic screen entertainment for the children, teens and parents, giving them some visual escape and comfort in their new environment in Ireland.
Our work in IRC Migration Services focuses on supporting migrants, particularly those who are most in need or vulnerable, to recognise their rights, to support their aspirations, to link assistance and to work with other organisations to build effective partnerships to help them. Thank you to DAFF for helping us bring a little light to these families.”
Zahara Moufid and Jim Sheridan established DAFF in 2014 in a bid to allow Irish audiences the opportunity to enjoy some of the best new and classic Arab films ever made. The festival, which has been presented and supported since its inception by
Dubai Duty Free, has had some very high-profile actors, filmmakers and celebrities involved with it over the years. Legendary, actor Omar Sharif launched the inaugural edition of DAFF in 2014 and was the guest of honour for the duration of the festival. The Egyptian actor was due to return to Ireland for the 2015 festival but sadly died in the summer of 2015. He was subsequently represented by his eponymous grandson, Omar Sharif Junior. Other famous faces who have supported the festival over the years have included The Edge, actress Fionnuala Flanagan, singer Damien Dempsey and last year’s patron, Liam Cunningham of ‘Game of Throne’s’ fame.
An additional, exciting element has been added to this year’s film festival, ‘The Jim Sheridan International Short Film Competition’ which has been created by Zahara Moufid and Jim Sheridan in order to inspire young filmmakers around the world.
Entry details maybe found on www.dublinarabicfilmfestival.com
Jim Sheridan, DAFF President said, “The pandemic has affected all of us in so many ways, life as we know it has changed utterly and I wonder if we will ever be the same. Film has played an essential role for so many people, particularly through the various lockdowns of 2020. The medium of film provides us with an escape mechanism and in these strange times it’s important to be able to escape, even in our minds and even if just for a short time. We felt this year, was particularly important to run the festival. So many things have been cancelled or postponed we wanted to give people something to look forward to. Additionally, The Short Film Competition will hopefully inspire young filmmakers and I look forward to seeing the submissions”.
Colm McLoughlin Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free is the presenting sponsor of DAFF offered his congratulations to the festival organisers and said, “I am very impressed with the innovation and determination shown by both Jim Sheridan and Zahara Moufid in these challenging times.
I would like to congratulate all involved and are once again delighted that Dubai Duty Free is the presenting sponsor of DAFF for the seventh year running.” Ahmad Younis, Secretary General and CEO of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce
said, “The AICC has been a sponsor of DAFF since its inception in 2014. During this time, we have been proud to have been able to share some of our most beloved Arab films with Irish audiences.
Our involvement with DAFF allows us to strengthen our Arab- Irish relationships and helps strengthen both our business and cultural ties.”
Submitt Short films to the link below