The world's longest running film festival is back despite postponement, and will include a total of four Arab selections from Tunisia, Morocco, Palestine, and Algeria. Scheduled for September, the 77th edition of the Venice International Film Festival will be the first industry event to be physically held since the onset of Coronavirus.
Three Arab feature-length films will be shown, as well as one short—all four competing in the Horizons category. The festival will also be showing Palestinian filmmaker Ameen Nayfeh's 200 Metres as an out-of-competition screening, which follows a couple who live in villages only 200 metres apart from each other but are separated by the wall in the West Bank.
This year’s festival will also screen Egyptian actor Ahmed Malek’s starring role in Australian film The Furnace, which is set during Australia’s gold rush in the 1890s, and will also premiere in the Horizons category.
Here’s a closer look at the selections:
The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia)
Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania, the film follows a Syrian refugee called Sam Ali after he agreed to have his back tattooed in exchange for money. The film also stars Monica Bellucci.
Zanka Contact (Morocco)
Described as a mix between Western and romance, rock n roll and desert music, Ismael El Iraki's Zanka Contact revolves around an Irish rock star who loses his voice to cancer before it is restored when he falls in love with a streetwalker in Casablanca.
Gaza Mon Amour (Palestine)
Directed by Gazan twins Arab and Tarzan Nasser, Gaza Mon Amour follows a 60-year-old fisherman in love with a dressmaker, who discovers an Ancient Greek statue of Apollo on the shoreline. The storyline is inspired by true events in 2014, where an ancient statue of Apollo was fished out of the Gaza sea.
Under her Skin (Algeria)
The only short film in the bunch, this film by Algerian director Meriem Mesraoua is a childhood tale that follows a young girl called Sarah who must follow new rules her mother set for her to forbid her from biting her nails.