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A scene from "For Those Who Can Tell No Tales."

DFI-funded films to debut at Toronto festival

Doha, September 2, 2013

Four films funded by Doha Film Institute (DFI), Qatar’s independent, not-for-profit cultural organisation that promotes global filmmaking, are set to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The 2013 edition of the festival is set to take place from September 5 to 15.

The films are Mohamad Malas’ "Ladder to Damascus," screening in TIFF’s Contemporary World Cinema section; Jasmila Žbanic "For Those Who Can Tell No Tales" in the Special Presentation section. Both films were co-financed by DFI.

DFI grant recipients Néjib Belkadhi’s "Bastardo" and Mais Darwazah’s "My Love Awaits Me by the Sea" will screen in the Contemporary World Cinema and Discovery sections, respectively.

Abdulaziz Al Khater, chief executive officer, Doha Film Institute, said: “It is truly rewarding to see the films DFI has chosen to support make significant strides in the international festival circuit.”

Mohamad Malas, widely recognised as one of Syrian cinema’s contemporary auteurs, confronts the question of the role of cinema in times of turmoil in Ladder to Damascus, a searing drama that employs its own unique visual language.  Shot in Damascus just months after the outbreak of the 2011 insurgency, the film weaves fiction and documentary and is a window into the psyche of ordinary Syrians as they grapple with the upheaval.

In Jasmila Žbanic’s "For Those Who Can Tell No Tales," an Australian tourist discovers the silent legacy of wartime atrocities when she arrives in a seemingly idyllic town on the Bosnia and Herzegovinian border with Serbia. The film confronts the viewer with the true scope of the Višegrad atrocities, where approximately 3,000 people were murdered early in the Bosnian War.

Nejib Belkadhi’s "Bastardo", a combination of film noir and magic realism, follows a downtrodden orphan, now grown, who takes on the thugs who control his ghetto. A contemporary allegory of the corrupting nature of power, set in a ruthless Tunisian neighbourhood, Bastardo is peppered with mysterious, larger-than-life characters – some of whom have supernatural powers.

Mais Darwazah’s "My Love Awaits Me by the Sea" is a poetic, first-person essay film that chronicles the filmmaker's first-ever visit to her homeland of Palestine, charting a journey to the seafront of Jaffa. The film contemplates the meaning of belonging, affiliation and love, and is a voyage of discovery, encounters, reckonings and inward drifts guided by artist and writer Hasan Hourani drawings and poems.  

The annual Toronto International Film Festival, now in its 37th edition, is a leading film festival, bringing together filmmakers and film fans to celebrate the diverse and growing landscape of world cinema. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: festival | film | Toronto | DFI |

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