Toronto's eyes opened to Tunisian film by Leyla Bouzid
"As I Open My Eyes" is getting a moment in the spotlight. (Image used for illustrative purposes)
Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid’s film As I Open My Eyes supported by twofour54’s development and post-production fund, SANAD, has been selected to screen five different times in the “World Contemporary Cinema” at the 40th edition of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which runs from 10 – 20 September 2015. It was recently announced that As I Open My Eyes was selected to Venice Days with another SANAD film, Madame Courage by Merzak Allouache selected to the Orrizonti Competition in Venice.
Leyla Bouzid started her career making short films and will now screen her first long feature As I Open my Eyes at this year’s TIFF. Her film received a SANAD development and post-production grant for its originality and boldness. In 2013, Bouzid’s short film Zakaria was screened and won the Best Producer prize at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and was also screened at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France.
This is the sixth consecutive year SANAD films have been screened at TIFF, with half of last year’s Arab selection supported by SANAD including two narrative films Theeb, directed by Naji Abu Nowar and The Valley directed by Ghassan Salhab as well as documentary films Iraqi Odyssey by Samir and The Wanted 18 by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan. Films screened at the festival over the past five years include Death for Sale by Faouzi Bensaïdi, In my Mother’s Arms by Atia and Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, A World Not Ours by Mahdi Fleifel and When I Saw You by Annmarie Jacir.
The SANAD films have continually been featured at international film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Venice, and have received international recognition by winning numerous awards and accolades.