SANAD Titles Highlighted in San Sebastian Film Festival’s Cinema in Motion Program
02.09.2011 - Last week the San Sebastian Film Festival announced the films selected for this year’s Cinema in Motion program for films from the Middle East and Africa. All four of the features contending for the prestige and valuable post-production support offered by the program this year hail from the Arab world. Two of those films were also just announced as winners of ADFF’s SANAD post-production grant for Arab filmmakers: When I Saw You, directed by Annemarie Jacir, and Lebanese Rocket Society, directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
The seventh edition of Cinema in Motion takes place September 19. The annual program offers a venue for filmmakers from the Maghreb, Portuguese-speaking African nations and developing nations in the Middle East who are near completion of their feature projects. Selected films compete for over €22,000 (over AED 116,000) in prizes for post-production services including sound mixing, subtitling and the striking of 35mm prints.
Jacir’s When I Saw You, a Jordanian-Palestinian co-production, is one of 12 features announced by ADFF last week as recipients of a SANAD grant – bringing the total to 23 this year. When I Saw You tells the story of a 12-year-old boy growing up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. Director Jacir also won a prize at Cinema in Motion in 2007 for Salt of This Sea – the first feature film to be directed by a Palestinian woman.
Hadjithomas and Joreige’s French-Lebanese co-production Lebanese Rocket Society was also announced as a SANAD grantee last week. The documentary chronicles the efforts of a Lebanese math professor and a group of his students to fire a rocket into space in the 1960s. Hadjithomas and Joreige also participated in Cinema in Motion in 2007 with I Want to See, starring Catherine Deneuve. It went on to screen in the Un Certain Regard section at the Festival de Cannes in 2008.
The other two films selected for this year’s Cinema in Motion are Lebanese director Eliane Raheb’s Confessions and Struggle, a documentary about her country’s civil war; and The Last Friday, directed by Jordan’s Yahya Alabdallah, which tells the story of a poor man’s efforts to raise money for a medical procedure.
Cinema in Motion has supported a number of important films from the Arab world in its seven years of existence. Past winners of the program’s prizes include Palestinian director Najwa Najjar’s acclaimed Pomegranates and Myrrh (2008); Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Al Daradji’s Son of Babylon, which premiered at ADFF before going on to success at festivals worldwide; and Moroccan director Leïla Kilani’s Our Forbidden Places (2007) and On the Edge (2011). The latter screened in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes this year and won Best Picture at the Taormina Film Festival after receiving a SANAD grant last year.
The 59th San Sebastian Film Festival takes place September 16-24.