Egyptian director Ahmed Maher transformed the September 11 attacks into a poll in his Italian-language film Other’s House which participated in the video contest at the African Film Festival held in the Italian city of Milano, according to the daily al Hayat.
Maher monitored Arabs and Italians by his camera to record their reactions day after day. He selected different samples including an Iraqi artist living in Italy, Moroccan and Egyptian workers and a Coptic priest. Through them, Maher discussed extensive topics including conditions of acclimatization and predetermined judgement on the other side regardless of his identity and concluding with the Arabs’ heavenly religions.
Within the feature film contest, the Senegal film The Price of Forgiveness won the first award, while the second award went to the film France, and the third went to the Egyptian film Asrar al Banat (Girls Secrets) by Magdi Ahmed Ali, which won more than one international prize and has been acclaimed by the audience for the strength of his themes and courage in tackling such themes.
The festival also screened the Tunisian film Fatma by Khaled Ghorbal on which the jury differed over its artistic and intellectual value. The Palestinian uprising and Middle East crisis were present at the festival through the films of Michael Khalifi, Omar Qattan, Elli Suleiman, Tawfiq Saleh, Mohammed Malas and Omar Amirlay. On the other side Israeli films directed by Amos Gitay were screened at the festival.
Also screened at the festival was the film African Alphabets by the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami whose photographer, Saif Allah Samidian, was selected by the festival as jury member. Mohammed Makhlouf, the former Libyan director of the Arab Independent Screen was among the jury members for Short and Video Films -- Albawaba.com