Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film (AIFF) announces the line-up of its inaugural edition, due to take place 23rd – 31st of August in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
The inaugural edition remains similar to what was initially planned last Spring when the outbreak of COVID-19 brought the Festival’s preparations to a halt. The line-up includes 30 feature-length narratives and documentaries, Arab and international, in addition to nine Arab short films. The Festival will open with the multi-awarded French movie “Les Misérables” on the 23rd of August, while “Luxor”, by the British-Jordanian filmmaker Zeina Durra, will screen at the closing awards ceremony on the 31st of August.
“The Festival is happening against all odds, mainly thanks to the commitment and resolve of its organisers and partners”, said Nada Doumani, Director of the AIFF. “In these peculiar times, we are more than ever in need of cultural opportunities, and we strongly believe in the power of art and creativity and the necessity to support filmmakers in Jordan and the region.”
Keeping in line with rules of social distancing, and keen on offering an experience as physical and festive as it can be, the Festival had to find a creative alternative method through three drive-in cinemas in New Abdali area and one open-air theatre at the Royal Film Commission, in addition to a hybrid format – physical and online – for the industry activities of the Festival.
Commenting on the films selection, Hanna Atallah, artistic director of the AIFF said: “More than 700 films were submitted to the festival. The selected films are all recently produced and will be shown for the first time in Jordan; they are mainly by first-time filmmakers, as per the festival’s specific edge. They use an interesting innovative cinematic language. We are glad that several Jordanian films are competing for the Black Iris Award in different categories.”
Out of 60 applications received to this first round of the Amman Film Industry Days (AFID) pitching platforms, a total of 14 projects were selected in both the development and post-production categories. Deema Azar, Head of Industry, commented: “In addition to its workshops and sessions, the Amman Film Industry Days (AFID), taking place 24-26 August, provides a much-needed platform for Jordanian and Arab emerging voices whose film projects are still in progress, with the aim of helping them advance or even complete their films thanks to the AFID Awards. In this exceptional year, such a platform is key as support opportunities have become scarce in light of the ongoing global pandemic.”