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"Battle for Haditha" opens new Euro-Arab Caravan
Published in Daily News Egypt on 05 - 05 - 2008

The Euro-Arab Cinema caravan - a project funded by the European Union within the Euromed Audiovisual Program II - returns this month with an eclectic selection of long features and documentaries screened for the first time in Egypt. The festival kicks off today and ends on Monday, May 12. All screenings will be held at the Cairo Opera House's Artistic Creativity Center.
The Caravan is a series of Euro-Arab film festivals held in a number of Arab and European cities, moving from city to city throughout the year, promoting cultural exchange and creating an opportunity for dialogue.
Throughout the past two years, the Caravan screened more than 200 European and Arab productions ranging from narrative features to long and short documentaries, and short narratives. The Caravan has toured more than 10 European and Arab cities, inviting renowned filmmakers, holding question and answer sessions, panels, open discussions and press conferences, in addition to the special programs and tributes.
As 2008 is the year for intercultural dialogue, The Caravan is dedicating this event to the theme of dialogue between the South and the North, screening features and documentaries which contributed to this mutual exchange through camera lenses and the views of talented filmmakers from different cultures.
The program includes a selection of international award-winning films.
British filmmaker Nick Broomfield's "Battle for Haditha, which premiered last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, will be screened at the opening. It was awarded the Silver Shell for best director in the 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival, selected in the official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival and the London International Film Festival 2007.
The event closes with "Under the Bombs by Philippe Aractingi.
The action takes place in the wake of Israel's 2006 war on Lebanon, following a woman who finds her way into the country, convincing a taxi driver to take a risky journey in search of her sister and her son. It's the winner of several awards from international film festivals including the Golden Pony and Best Actress from Dubai International Film Festival 2007, Human Rights Film and Altre Visione awards from the 64th Venice International Film Festival.
Some of the films screened in the program also include French Algerian co-production "The Yellow House by Amor Hakkar. The film was awarded the Third Youth Jury Prize, Oecumenical Jury Prize, and FICC/IFFS prize from Locarno International Film Festival. The film also won the Golden Palm and best soundtrack from the 28th Mostra de Valencia Festival.
"Argana , released in cinemas in Morocco March 2008 and quickly becoming the highest-grossing film of the year so far, will also be screened and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the director, Hassan Rhanja.
In addition to the award-winning productions, Polish film "Saviour's Square, Spanish German co- production "The Great Match, and the French Algerian "Paloma Delight are among the selection.
The festival also presents the world premiere of the documentaries "Voices by Dina Hamza and "Take Me Home By Mais Darwazah.
Guest of honor of this edition is renowned Syrian director Omar Amiralay.
The festival will screen a group of his most celebrated documentaries.

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