The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has partnered up with the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) to produce “Arab Cinema Classics,” a two-day screening event that will showcase some of the best Arab films.
In 2013, to celebrate their 10 years in service, DIFF collaborated with nearly 500 prominent film critics, writers, novelists, academics and other arts professionals to create a list of the 100 best Arab films.
As a result, the Academy, as part of their International Outreach Initiative, which brings together their members and filmmakers from around the world, decided to work with DIFF on a series of programs. With this collaboration, AMPAS also announced that DIFF now qualifies as a festival that can submit short films for Oscar consideration.
The two-day event, which will be held Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 21 at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles will show the following films (descriptions courtesy of AMPAS):
“The Night of Counting the Years” (“Al-Mummia,” 1970)
Friday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m.
Director Chadi Abdel Salam’s film is based on the true story of the Horabat tribe’s 1881 plundering of pharaohs’ tombs in the ancient city of Thebes. Long unavailable for exhibition, the film was restored in 2009 by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation.
“Cairo Station” (“Bab el Hadid,” 1958)
Friday, June 13, at 9:20 p.m.
Directed by the internationally renowned Egyptian auteur Youssef Chahine, the film takes place at Cairo’s main railroad station, commonly referred to as the Iron Gate, and offers a tense portrait of life at the margins of Egyptian society.
“West Beirut” (“West Beyrouth,” 1998)
Saturday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. With special guest writer/director Ziad Doueiri.
This directorial debut of Ziad Doueiri is set in the tumultuous spring of 1975, as the Lebanese Civil War unfolds. Following the lives of two teenagers from the Muslim section of Beirut, the film blends the personal and the historical into a vibrant coming-of-age drama.