CAIRO – 14 August 2019: After announcing the Arab participation in the upcoming session of Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival unveiled its film program, which included a number of Arab works. The festival will be held from September 5-15.
The Egyptian film “Elm el-Wosool” (science of arrival) by Hisham Saqr is one of the films participating in the discoveries film section in the upcoming edition of Toronto Film Festival, being the first Egyptian film to participate in an international film festival since the beginning of 2019.
“Elm el-Wosool” has previously participated in the Final Cut film section of the 75th Venice Film Festival, and also won the la Francophonie award in the training department of Carthage International Nights Film Festival.
The film is starring popular Egyptian actress, Basma, alongside Basant Shawky and Mohamed Sarhan. “Elm el-Wosool” is co-produced by Mohamed Hefzi’s Film Clinic and Hisham Saqr’s White Feather.
In the same section, Lebanese director Walid Mounis will participate by his first long feature “1982”. The film received a support award from the last edition of El Gouna Film Festival in the post-production category.
Set in a private school on the outskirts of Beirut during the Lebanese war in 1982, the film stars a group of actors and Nadine Labaki plays the leading role.
“I have known Nadine for a while and talked to her about this film in 2013. She read the script and liked it a lot. When I started working on the film I called her on the phone and asked her if she is still interested in the role. She said she definitely is. She filmed her scenes while working on the editing of her film ‘Kafr Nahum’,” clarified Mounis.
Additionally, the third Arab participation in the festival comes from Tunisia with Hind Boujemaa’s “Nora Dreams” starring famed actress Hend Sabry alongside a number of stars.
“Nora Dreams” is based on real events revolves around a woman who falls in love with another man while her husband is serving his sentence in prison, but then she is forced to return to her normal life with her husband after his release.
Furthermore, four Arab documentary films will participate in the festival’s coming edition. The first is entitled “El-Kahf” (The Cave) and is directed by Firas Fayad. Fayad’s latest film, “The Last Men in Aleppo”, made it to the final list of nominees for the Oscar’s best documentary award.
In his new film, he returns to Syria to highlight the work of a group of female doctors tirelessly treating injuries in an underground hospital during the siege of Ghouta between 2012 and 2015, while fighting systematic sexual discrimination.
The Arabic films also include Karim el-Sayad’s “Ibn Ami el-Englizy” (My English cousin). The film traces the journey of the director’s cousin, Fahd, who left Algeria to England in 2001, and is not thinking of returning back to his home country.
Among the participating films is “Ibrahim” directed by Lina al-Abed. In the film, Abed searches for traces of her missing father, who appeared as an ordinary Palestinian man, but is really a secret member of a radical dissident faction. The father disappeared whilst she was still a little girl.
Moreover, director Hind Madab is participatingwith the film “Paris Stalingrad”, where she wanders around carrying cameras in the streets of Stalingrad district in the French capital, meeting with many refugees struggling to find a home.