The Royal Film Commission Jordan | Films from Jordan, or with Jordanian Support, at El Gouna Film Festival

Sep 18, 2019

Amman, 18th of September 2019
Three Jordanian films are participating this year at El Gouna Film Festival (GFF): the feature-length documentary “Tiny Souls” by Dina Nasser which is competing in the Feature Documentary Competition, as well as two short movies selected for the festivals’ Short Films Competition: “Freekeh” by Bassel Ghandour and “Give Up the Ghost” by Zain Duraie.
The third edition of GFF’s program, running from the 19th until the 27th of September, will showcase 80 Arab and international recent productions.

“Tiny Souls” was screened in Amman last June in the framework of the Franco-Arab Film Festival organized by the French Cultural Institute in Jordan in partnership with the Royal Film Commission – Jordan (RFC). It has also participated in Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, DocsBarcelona International documentary film festival and Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

This film has received the post-production grant for feature documentaries from the Jordan Film Fund (JFF) in 2018. JFF was launched by the RFC to enable filmmakers to tell their stories and develop the independent film industry and contribute to its sustainability, especially in Jordan.

Commenting on her film, director Dina Nasser said: “Tiny Souls portrays children in the context of the Syrian crisis. The tragic present and future caused by wars are universal and have been reoccurring over the years, raising generations of traumatized children across the globe. In a conflict dominated by adults’ decisions, these children have been left out of the conversation, but they have a great deal to say.”

As to “Give Up the Ghost”, by Zain Duraie, the film had its World Premiere at Venice International Film Festival last month where it competed in the Orizzonti section for short films. It is worth mentioning that it has received the production grant for short films from the Jordan Film Fund (JFF) last year. Whereas “Freekeh”, directed by Bassel Ghandour, will have its World Premiere at the upcoming El Gouna Film Festival. The movie portrays how a minor incident turns violent in one of Amman’s neighborhoods.

In addition, two Arab movies, with Jordanian support, are competing in GFF’s Feature Narrative Competition: The Lebanese “1982” by Oualid Mouaness; and the Sudanese “You Will Die at 20”, which is the first feature-length for the director Amjad Abu Alaa and was written by the screenwriter Yousef Ibraheem.

Both Mouaness and Ibraheem worked on developing their scripts at “RAWI Screenwriters Lab”, an annual workshop organized by the RFC and which gives Arab writers an opportunity to develop their scripts under the supervision of well-known and professional advisors from all over the world. The Lebanese film participated in Rawi in 2011 while the Sudanese took part in the program in 2016. “You Will Die at 20” premiered last month at Venice International Film Festival, and “1982” was screened at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which took place from the 5th until the 15th of September, where it has won the NETPAC Award.

On another note, El Gouna Film Festival will honor three Arab personalities including the Jordanian-Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri, who directed and produced several films that were screened worldwide and won over 60 international awards.
Masri’s first narrative film, “3000 Nights” (2015) had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and was screened in several international film festivals where it received over 23 awards. The film was entirely shot in Jordan and has received the JFF’s production grant for feature-narrative films back in 2012. “3000 Nights” was selected to represent Jordan at the 2017 Oscar Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and Palestine at the Golden Globes.