The San Sebastian International Film Festival announced the four films to make the 7th edition of their Cinema in Motion series, which features films at the end of their filming or at their post-production stage, made by directors from Maghreb, Portuguese-speaking African countries and developing Arab countries. The selected filmmakers will compete for a bevvy of prizes, including €15,000 in sound mixing services, €5,000 towards post-production costs, €2,500 towards French or English subtitling, and more.
The four films screen September 19.
The four selected films are (synopses courtesy of the festival):
“Confession and Struggle”
Director: Eliane Raheb
A documentary exploring the tragic events of the Lebanese Civil War from the point of view of two people on different sides: Assaad Shaftari, a member of the Secret Services, a “killing machine” seeking redemption and forgiveness; and Maryam Saiidi, the mother of a young boy who disappeared during the fighting. Eliane Raheb (Lebanon, 1972) has formerly directed two fictional shorts and three documentaries; one of these, Hayda Lubnan (This is Lebanon), landed an award at the Yamagata Film Festival. She is a founding member of the cultural cooperative Beirut DC and artistic director of the “Ayam Beirut al Cinem’iya” Festival.
“The Last Friday”
Director: Yahya Alabdallah
Cast: Ali Suliman, Yasmine Almasri, Fadi Areida
The existential crisis of a divorced forty year-old man who needs an operation and has to find the money to pay for it. Yahya Alabdallah (Libya, 1978) is a writer, producer, director and literary critic. He has directed several short films, including: Six Minutes 2004, winner of awards at the Al Jazeera Film Festival, Amman Short Film Festival, Trenton Film Festival and Carthage International Film Festival, and SMS 2008, with which he participated in the Rotterdam Festival, the Tangiers ISFF and the Osian’s Cinefan-IFF.
“Une Fusee Dans Le Ciel”
France – Lebanon
Directors: Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas
A documentary shining light on a forgotten story in Lebanon’s history: a project by professor of mathematics Manoug Manougian and his university students to launch a rocket into space. This unusual experiment was eventually controlled by the army and received financial contribution from the State. In 1999, Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas (Lebanon, 1969) directed their first feature Autour de la maison rose, followed by A Perfect Day (2006) and Je veux voir (2008), an entrant in the Cannes Festival “Un Certain Regard” section after having participated in the 2007 edition of Cinema in Motion.
“When I Saw You”
Jordan – Palestine
Director: Annemarie Jacir
Cast: Mahmoud Asfa, Ruba Blal, Saleh Bakri
Set in the late 1960s, the film looks at discovery of the world by Tarek, the 12 year-old son of a Palestinian refugee in Jordan. Annemarie Jacir (Palestine, 1974) had previously made the shorts The Satellite Shooters (2001) and Like Twenty Impossibles (2003). Her feature debut, Milh Hadha al-Bahr (Salt of this Sea, 2008), landed a Cinema in Motion award at the 55th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival. She is a founding member of the Palestinian Filmmakers’ Collective.
In addition to this announcement, the festival picked the six films slated to participate in the Film in Progress 20 series, open to Latin American cinema. A total of 71 films from 15 countries vied for the slots. The series screens from September 21-22.
The six films are: “Era uma vez Verônica” (Brazil), by Marcelo Gomes, who already participated in the Horizontes Latinos section at San Sebastian Festival with his “Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus” (2005); “Infancia Clandestina” (Argentina), by Benjamín Ávila, who previously presented the documentary “Nietos (Identidad y memoria)” in Zabaltegi Specials in 2004; “Joven & Alocada” (Chile), by Marialy Rivas; “Un Mundo Secreto” (México), by Gabriel Mariño; “La Playa” (Colombia), by Juan Andrés Arango and “7 Cajas” (Paraguay), by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori.