Muscat Film Festival Committee comprising of the Omani Cinema Group raised the banner, “No For Politics and Sex” ruling out dealing with political and social taboos.
The festival is financed by the Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which considers the event as part of its activities that would enhance tourism. Therefore the festival committee has excluded anything that violates the country’s rules and regulations.
Among the films that have been rejected by the festival was Muthakkarat Murahiqa (Adolescent Memoirs) by Enas al Degheidi who nixed to omit any scene from the film despite the fact that the producer agreed to that. Degheidi refused attending the festival unless the festival accepts her film.
“It is difficult to screen the film with its hot scenes because the festival cannot accept any banned political activities or films that include kisses and other exciting sexual elements,” the festival head, Khaled al Zadjali was cited by the daily al Hayat as saying in justification for rejecting the film.
It was a paradox to invite films from east and west without the hosting country or its gulf neighbors having any participating films. The only prominent gulf presence was in the jury, which included Khaled Siddiq from Kuwait and Zaher al Ghafiri from Oman.
12 countries are participating in the festival, which will be concluded on January 27 including Egypt, Lebanon, France, Japan, India, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and Taiwan.
It seems that Muscat is not a filmmaker city but it dreams to be so. It has not produced any films but it seeks to make its festival secure the international quality.
However, this year’s festival has been more developed than last year’s festival -- Albawaba.com