2017 Cannes Film Festival: Arabian film screenings

2017 Cannes Film Festival: Arabian film screenings


Text: Faizal Dahlawia

Image: Instagram

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival is ready for an injection of Middle Eastern culture courtesy of these must-watch films...

The spotlight is set to fall on the Middle East at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival as it showcases the region's best films and talents. From a nominee for a prestigious award to first previews, a strong Arab contingent prepares to impress the international cinematic community. Leading the way is award-winning Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania, whose new film Aaal Kaf Ifrit, is in the running for the Chopard-designed Palme d'Or trophy. The thought-provoking movie centres around Mariam, a victim of assault who faces an uphill battle to bring her attackers to justice.

Alongside Ben Hania's masterpiece are five Arab films – Joint Possession, Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf, Poisonous Roses, Until the End of Time and Wajib – that will be presented for the first time to a jury of distributors, festival programmers and sales agents for an opportunity to be released to a global audience.

2017 Cannes Film Festival preview: Top Arab films

Directed by Moroccan filmmaker Leïla Kilani, Joint Possession delves into a forgotten estate in Tangiers and a family's struggle to relinquish ownership, while Poisonous Roses is an exploration of a deteriorating sibling relationship by Egyptian, Ahmed Fawzi Saleh. Then, Algerian-born Yasmine Chouikh tells the unexpected love story between two elderly strangers in Until The End of Time as Palestinan Annemarie Jacir plays on the fragile relationship between a son and his estranged father in Wajib. Finally, Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is an expansion of the short story by Susan Youssef that looks at a teenage girl's search for her identity in her motorcycle.

This year, five films that debuted at the 2016 Dubai International Film Festival will also be scheduled for screening at the Cannes Short Film Corner including Fadhilat An Takona La Ahad by Bader Alhomoud, Laila Fe Taxi by Aisha Alzaabi, Mahal Bu Teir by Sager L'Khrebani Al Nuaimi as well as Mamsous and Robian by Emirati directors Shatha Masoud and Yaser Alneyadi respectively.

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival will run from May 17-28. Now, take a look at the trailer for Stephen King's The Dark Tower.