DIFF Helps Syria Reach Cannes
Syria is at Cannes, thanks to the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF)! Waiting for P O Box, co-produced by DIFF, has earned Syria its first ever in-competition berth at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival. The film will screen at Cannes from May 23 onwards.
The 15-minute film, a short about recognition, independence and originality and a commentary on the challenges of filmmaking in an emerging region, is one of 10 works selected from 4,500 international submissions to the Cannes Short Film Competition.
Directed by Syria’s Bassam Chekhes and produced by Jordan’s Rula Nasser of DIFF award-winning feature films The Last Friday and Transit Cities, the film is also supported by the Netherlands Film Fund and is one of the most recent beneficiaries of the Dubai Film Market’s Enjaaz post-production support programme for Arab filmmakers.
The film follows Mustafa and Ayoub, two Arab filmmakers struggling to make their film. Hindered by the local mismanaged funding entities, they are forced to resort to foreign funds, where they are challenged by the lack of meaningful translation. The movie stars Yazan Al Rousan and Rami Al Nihawi.
Cannes 2012 is also host to other Arab films and talent: post-revolutionary Egyptian feature film After the Battle by seasoned director Yousry Nasrallah is among the 22 titles vying for the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, alongside global auteurs Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach; Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch’s God’s Horses, a feature about poor children manipulated into becoming terrorists, is screening in the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, alongside 7 Days in Havana, an anthology directed by seven international directors including Palestine’s Elia Suleiman, returning to Cannes after the award-winning Divine Intervention in 2002. Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas is also serving on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival this year.