At least 90 short films from the Gulf, Levant and North Africa are currently showing at the 2011 Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, including several screened at the Dubai International Film Festival 2010 and the recently concluded Gulf Film Festival.
The 90 shortlisted films include 16 from Lebanon, 15 from the UAE, eight from Qatar, four each from Jordan and Palestine, three from Egypt, two each from Syria and Saudi Arabia and one each from Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey are also represented, as are films made by Arab directors or on Arab subjects.
The Short Film Corner, which continues until May 21, is considered a vital meeting ground for short filmmakers from around the world to present their films, network with industry leaders and develop their careers via workshops and conferences. The shortlisted films can be accessed by all festival-goers, programmers and buyers, and filmmakers receive access to select databases and screening rooms in addition to Cannes accreditations.
At least 19 of the short films were selected for the 2010 Dubai International Film Festival in December or the 2011 Gulf Film Festival, including Haider Rashid’s Before the Storm (Iraq); To Rest in Peace by Fawaz Al Matrouk (Kuwait); Lulwa by Osama Al Saif (Bahrain); Exit by Tawfik Alzaidi (Saudi Arabia), Habibti by Nour Wazzi (United Kingdom) and Muhr prize-winner Mokhtar by Halima Ouardiri.
Syria-Canada co-production Mish Mush by Amar Chebib and Lebanon’s 2½ by director Elie Kamal – both DIFF 2010 Muhr Arab shorts - are also included in the line-up, as are five Qatari student films from GFF 2011: Land of Pearls by Mohammed Al-Ibrahim, Donia by Amir Scandar, Um Al Sebian by Wafaa Al-Saffar, Kanary by Sophia Al-Maria and Demi-Plie by Faisal Al Thani.
Shortlisted films from the Emirates include GFF and DIFF films Slow Death by Jamal Salem, Al Seefah (The Beach) by Mohammed Al Marri; Life of Stone by Moath Bin Hafez; Mad Camel by Mohammed Fikree and Malal (Bored) by Nayla Al Khaja.
Other films at the Cannes Short Films Corner include GFF prize-winner The Order of Things by Spain’s Cesar Esteban Alenda, and a number of other films by DIFF and GFF alumni.