BAGHDAD — Arab cinema has been getting a special airing this month in countries as diverse as Lithuania, Turkey, Italy and Spain, thanks to Beirut-based Med-Screen.
The European Union-funded group has organized Arab film weeks in each of those countries to coincide with its own film national festivals, screening a varied selection of recent film productions from the Arab MEDA countries.
The MEDA countries comprise Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.
In Vilnius, Lithuania, Med-Screen, in conjunction with the Vilnius Film Festival that ran April 3-17, held Arabic Mirages (Arabski Mirazai), which included special screenings of six features, one documentary and a short film.
In Istanbul, Med-Screen partnered with the Istanbul Film Festival April 5-20 to present a parallel section dedicated to Arab Films.
The program included the presentation of five feature-length films produced in 2006 and 2007.
Med-Screen is also following up its successful 2006 partnership with Milan’s Festival del Cinema Africano, d’Asia e America latina, which is dedicated to cinema from African, Asian and Latin American countries.
The 2008 festival sees Med-Screen presenting six features, two documentaries and six shorts from the Arab MEDA region.
In Tarifa, Spain, meanwhile, Med-Screen has teamed up with the fifth African Film Festival from April 25-May 3 to showcase a selection of four Arab features, five documentaries, four shorts and two animated pics.
Among the feature films screened include “Barakat!” by Djamila Sahraoui, Algeria; “Caramel” by Nadine Labaki, Lebanon; “Making Of” by Nouri Bouzid, Tunisia; “Chaos” by Youssef Chahine/Youssef Khaled, Egypt/France; “Captain Abu Raed” by Amin Matalqa, Jordan; “Aquarium” by Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt; “Waiting for Pasolini” by Daoud Aoulad-Syad, Morocco; and “Out Of Coverage” by Abdullatif Abdulhamid, Syria.