From 1992 to 2006 the IMA’s Arab Cinemas Biennale was a landmark. It often gave first screenings to talented Arab film-makers whose films are now routinely presented in prestigious international festivals. It also raised French and European awareness of a usually little-known cinema.
This year, after an absence of more than ten years, the IMA is reviving the festival. The organisers want to highlight a new generation of inventive, courageous film-makers who have chosen to describe the sociopolitical upheavals which have so marked Arab countries in recent years. The festival is a way for the IMA to offer them an outlet where expression is free.
The 2018 edition will be held in June and will be chaired by Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbas. About 70 films of different genres will be presented. In the official competition there will be 13 recent films, including Palestinian director Muayad Alayan’s “The Reports on Sarah and Salim”, well-received both at Rotterdam and Cannes.
The jury will include Moroccan actor / director Faouzi Bensaïdi, Saudi actress Fatima Al-Banawi and Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzi.
The festival will pay tribute to Jean Chamoun, pioneer of Lebanese cinema and Mahmoud Zemmouri, Algerian actor /director, who both died in 2017. Saudi films will also be given special focus following the country’s recent decision to end 30 years of censorship.
Sources: Site internet de l’IMA, Screen international