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21 films in the official competition, including the Tunisian “Banat Olfa”, amidst a variety of Arab participation

From Tuesday, May 16 to May 27, the attention of art lovers around the world is directed towards the coastal city of Cannes, France, to follow the events Its 76th Film Festival.

About 100 films are participating in the festival’s competitions, 21 of which are in the official competition, with Arab participation, represented by the film “Banat Intimacy” by Tunisian director Kawthar Ben Hania. The documentary deals with a cinematic eye on the fall of women into extremism.

With much pride, the Tunisian director expressed, in a post, her happiness for choosing her film in the official competition: “What a joy. What a pride. My documentary ‘Banat Intimacy’ is in the official competition of the Cannes Festival,” before adding: “A vision My name among all these directors makes me understand the greatness of what I live.”

Ben Haniyeh directed a group of short and feature films, including “The Man Who Sold His Back”, which was crowned with several cinematic awards, and was a finalist for the Oscars in 2021.

Arabic participation

In addition to the Arab participation through “Banat Ufa” in the official competition, two Moroccan films are competing in “A Look”, one of which is directed by Asmaa Al-Mudair entitled “White Lies”, which dates back in part to the bread uprising in 1981, and its effects on Moroccan society, and the other “ Hunting Dogs” directed by Kamal Azraq. The film transports the viewer to the depths of deep Morocco through the story of two people, in which many social issues are mixed with criminality.

Jordan and Sudan are attending the festival for the first time in their history, by participating in the “Un Certain Regard” competition with the movie “Goodbye Julia” directed by Mohamed Kordofani, for the first country. The film presents another aspect of the conflict in the country according to a cinematic vision that was appreciated by the makers of the seventh art on previous occasions. As for the second country, it will participate in “God willing, we will be born” directed by Amjad Al-Rasheed in the “Critics Week” competition. The film tells of a young widow who, along with her daughter, is in danger of losing her home, and is forced to choose resistance.

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An exhibition of pictures of cinema celebrities near the Festival Palace, which hosts the international film festival © France 24 reporter: Boualem Ghobchi

Algeria is also participating in the screenings of the Midnight Competition with “Omar of Strawberry” directed by Elias Belkadar.

Morocco, which is strongly present in this session, is also represented by Faouzi Bensaïdi’s “The Empty Third” in the “Directors’ Half Month” section. As for the Film Schools competition “Lesinef”, the Kingdom also participates in the Amazigh short film “Ayour” (The Moon) by director Zainab Wakrim, and Egypt with “Al-Tara’a” by Jad Chahine.

The two works, along with 14 films, were selected from among 2,000 student short films that they submitted from all film schools in the world to reserve a place for them in this competition.

Big stars compete to boost their tally of Palme d’Or

Senior directors are participating in the official competition, seeking to enhance their balance of the Palme d’Or after obtaining one of them in previous competitions, such as the Italian Nani Moretti, the Turkish Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Japanese Hirokazu Kore-Eda and the German Wim Wenders, as well as the famous British director Ken Loach, 86 years old, And who seeks to win a third Palme d’Or.

For the first time, seven female directors are participating in the official competition in a sector in which men are still the first dominant, which aroused the interest of critics and the media, as the step was considered a message to filmmakers towards more equality between men and women in this field. Among them is the French-Senegalese director, Ramata Tolay Si, who is participating in the competition with her first feature film, “Panel a Adama”.

A number of Hollywood stars are expected to attend the stairs of the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, including Harrison Ford, who plays the archaeologist in the fifth part of the famous “Indiana Jones” series, written by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg.

In addition to Harrison Ford, actor Martin Scorsese will move to Cannes, where he will screen his new movie, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, who will be presented with an honorary Palme d’Or, and Pedro Pascal, star of “The Last of Us.” , who will be present on the occasion of the screening of an English-language short film entitled “String Way of Life”, starring with Ethan Hawke, and signed by the famous Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

This festival will be the first in the term of its new president, lawyer and cinematographer Iris Knoblock, who spent most of her career in the American “Warner” studios, and who will have the honor of receiving the biggest stars of the seventh art who will be guests of Cannes.

The jury of the official competition includes the Moroccan actress and director, the owner of the “Blue Caftan”, in which she participated in “A Look” in the previous edition of the festival, Maryam Al-Touzani, who is the wife of the well-known Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch. Thus, she will be the first Moroccan to be selected in this committee, which is chaired by Swedish director Robin Ostlund, who won the Palme d’Or for the previous edition for his movie “Triangle of Sadness”, “The Triangle of Sadness”.

Follow daily coverage of the festival’s events on France 24.

France 24 delegate to Cannes: Boualem Ghobchi