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Arab Spring features in Malmö Film Festival
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 22 - 09 - 2011

CAIRO - More than 30 Arabic films from various Arabic countries including Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria are participating in the first edition of the five-day Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) which kicks off on September 23 and ends on September 27 in the multicultural Swedish city.
The festival, which features films about the Arab Spring will present Arabic feature, documentary, short and animated films.
Egyptian actor Hany Salama, Egyptian director Saad Hindawi and Palestinian critic Bashar Ibrahim among other famous names will comprise the jury of this year's festival. It is organised by the Arabian Scandinavian Cultural Centre and the manager of the festival is the Palestinian director Mohamed Keblawi.
The festival consists of three competitions: long feature films, short films and documentaries.
Egypt will participate in the feature films competition with two movies: Binteen min Masr (Two Girls from Egypt) directed by Mohamed Amin and Rassayel al-Bahr (Message in a Bottle), directed by Dawood Abdel-Sayed.
The Agenda and Me, which revolves around the Egyptian revolution, directed by Niveen Shalabi, will be screened in the documentary films section.
The festival offers a great opportunity for people to meet, Arabic speaking and Swedish-speaking, as groups and as individuals.
The festival's aim is extended to minimise prejudice and contribute to positive integration, say the organisers, who maintain that moving images are a universal language, providing a good common ground for people to meet.
Directors and actors from the films will be invited to meet their respective audiences. The festival places great emphasis on mutual encounters between the films' participants, rising newcomers and the public.
On the sidelines of the festival, four seminars will be held on the following topics: 'The image of woman in Arabic cinema', 'Freedom', 'Revolution in Arabic films', and 'Development in Gulf films'.
Also, in co-operation with the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai, the MAFF will screen some 13 various Gulf movies: feature length, short and documentary.
The port of Malmö, on the Nordic Sea, was chosen to hold the festival because it is Sweden's third largest city, which, together with its suburbs, has around 400,000 inhabitants. Immigrants make up approximately 40 per cent of Malmö, which percentage is believed to be higher than that of any other city in Europe.
Of this 40 per cent, 15 per cent originate from the Arab world and/or have Arabic as a spoken and written language.

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