The second session of the Arab Film Festival will be held next May in Rotterdam. It will honor Egyptian actor Yahya al Fakharani for his prominent roles in TV and cinema.
The first session of the festival was lunched last March under the slogan of Cinema For All and honored scenarist Mahfouz Abdel Rahman. It also screened a summary of Um Khulthoum TV series, which narrates the biography of the Egyptian diva Um Khulthoum and referred to the masterpieces she sang in different Arab and European states.
A number of recently- produced feature films will be showed during the event. These include Asrar al Banat (Girls Secrets) Deil al Samaka (The Fish Tail) and Baheb al Cinema (I Love Cinema).
A Panorama of Arab Cinema will be held on the sidelines of the festival including features directed by Arab emigrants living abroad.
Director of the Festival Khaled Shawkat told Syria Times that the festival is considered an important Arab cinematic activity held in Europe. He added that 70 features were screened in the past session representing 12 Arab states. The most prominent of these features were those which deal with the Palestine question that included features directed by Arabs resident in Europe. The features were warmly welcomed in Europe and showed the European sympathy with the Palestine question and the steadfastness of the Palestinians in confrontation of the Zionist brutal practices.
Shawkat said, “the festival is not for commercial cinema, but it is an event of serious film industry that has an objective message. It is the cinema which unveils the problems of Arab people and their big questions. It is important to break traditions and open way before young talents to gain ground and prove their capabilities.”
The organizers of the festival have a strong wish to support renewal trends in the Arab cinema.
In reply to a question about the party responsible for the festival, Shawkat said that the festival is a non-governmental organization supported by different administrations in the Netherlands. The administrative committee includes the Palestinian, the Tunisian, the Egyptian and other nationalities. Their main concern is to improve the image of the Arab people in the West and show their literary and artistic productions. He added that holding artistic and cultural events in Europe is very important under the current critical circumstances in order to combat the distorted campaigns launched against the Arab and Islamic nations by the Zionist lobby – Albawaba.com