The line-up consists of 56 films from 19 countries, including feature-length narratives, documentaries, and shorts.
Amman International Film Festival (AIFF) has announced the line-up of its third edition, which is due to take place from August 15 and 22, 2023, in Amman, Jordan.
The programme includes additional activities specially designed for film industry experts, featuring the participation of directors, actors, actresses, international professionals, and producers.
The selection comprises 56 films, all of which were either released in 2022 or 2023, encompassing a diverse range of Arab and international feature-length narratives, documentaries, and short films from 19 countries. These films will be presented to the public for the first time in Jordan, with 11 of them premiering exclusively in the Arab region and five having their world premieres. It is carefully curated after viewing hundreds of submissions, offering viewers an opportunity to watch films, which might not make it to commercial theatres in Jordan.
The festival will open with the Palestinian film A Gaza Weekend, directed by Basil Khalil.
Commenting on the film selection, Areeb Zuaiter, Head of Programming of the AIFF, said: “We continue to celebrate the talent of debut creatives in the filmmaking sector. This year’s selection promises a vibrant window that will transport our audience into enchanting realms of fresh imagination, with a captivating blend of diverse narratives and innovative storytelling.”
The films taking part in the festival will compete for the prestigious “Black Iris” award, which is divided into four categories. Three of these sections, namely Best Arab Feature Narrative (eight films), Best Arab Feature Documentary (eight films), and Best Arab Short (18 films), are determined by respective juries. Furthermore, the Audience Award will be given to the winning film from the International section, which includes eight films. A new addition this year: the Arab feature-length documentaries also compete for the FIPRESCI prize.
For the third consecutive year, the festival continues to host the Franco-Arab Rendez-Vous, a non-competitive segment featuring seven feature films either of French origin or co-produced with France. Additionally, it includes four short film winners from two Franco-Arab competitions conducted simultaneously in Jordan and France.
As a demonstration of the AIFF’s commitment to promoting local talent, the festival will focus on Jordanian cinema by presenting a dedicated section called “Spotlight on Jordanian Short Films.” This section will showcase films directed by seasoned filmmakers from Jordan.
The film screenings will be held at various venues, including Taj Cinemas, the drive-in theatre in Abdali, the open-air theatre at the Royal Film Commission – Jordan, and Rainbow Theatre.
Starting from August 6, 2023, tickets for the event can be bought online and from two physical locations: the Film Library of the Royal Film Commission – Jordan and Taj Cinemas.
The film that will compete for the Black Iris Award in the Feature-Length Narrative category includes Hanging Gardens, directed by Ahmad Yassin Aldaraji (Iraq); The Last Queen, directed by Adila Bendimerad & Damien Ounouri (Algeria); Mother Valley, directed by Carlos Chahine (Lebanon); Ashkal, directed by Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia); Alam, directed by Firas Khoury (Palestine); and Rat Hole, directed by Mohamed El Samman (Egypt), among others.
Lyd, directed by Rami Younis & Sarah Ema Friedland (Palestine); The Tedious Tour of M, directed by Hend Bakr (Egypt); Broken Mirrors, directed by Othmane Saadouni (Morocco); Heroic Bodies, directed by Sara Suliman (Sudan), and more will compete in Feature-Length Documentary competition.
The franco-Arab Rendez-vous section includes The Dam, directed by Ali Cherri (Lebanon, France); Harka, directed by Lotfy Nathan (Tunisia, France); Houria, directed by Mounia Meddour (Algeria, France); and Under the Fig Trees, directed by Erige Sehiri (Tunisia, France), among others.
Dinar, directed by Moawea Al Omari (Jordan); 8.8.88, directed by Ahmad Alsamar (Iraq); The Visit, directed by Ali El-Saadi (Jordan); Buzz, directed by Mohamed Fawi (Sudan); Trinou, directed by Nejib Kthiri (Tunisia); Hibernate, directed by Houssam Hamo (Syria); Microbus, directed by Maggie Kamal (Egypt); and Closure, directed by Mooney Abu Samra (Jordan) and more will compete in Arab Shorts Competition.
The films in International Section include Stampede, directed by Joëlle Desjardins Paquette (Canada); To Leslie, directed by Michael Morris (United States of America); Daughter of Rage, directed by Laura Baumeister (Nicaragua); and Hafreiat, directed by Alex Sardà (Spain), among others.