13th Malmö Arab Film Festival Kicks-off

– “Mediterranean Fever”, the first Palestinian film to open the festival

– Hussein Fahmy receives a lifetime achievement award

– Deputy Mayor of Malmö: MAFF built a permanent relationship between the city and Arab cinema

Malmö – April 28, 2023

Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) opened its 13th edition on Friday evening, April 28, in the Swedish city of Malmö, in the presence of many Arab and Scandinavian stars, directors, and film industry professionals.

On the red carpet for the opening, which was held in front of the historic Malmö municipality building, festival guests walked, led by the Egyptian star Hussein Fahmy, who received lifetime achievement award for his entire artistic career, which extends for more than half a century, through which acted in more than two hundred films, series, plays, and radio works.

Hussein Fahmy expressed his happiness with the award, thanking the festival for the hospitality, speaking about his artistic career and what he learned through the decades, especially his work in recent years as a goodwill ambassador, which gave him a new rich human experience.

Among the stars of Arab cinema, Hana Shiha from Egypt, Nicolas Mouawad, Nada Abu Farhat, Shadi Haddad and Carole Abboud from Lebanon, Baraa Alem and Ayman Mutahar from Saudi Arabia, Mansour Al-Feeli from UAE, and Tayseer Idris from Syria attended.

Malmö Deputy Mayor Amani Loubani welcomed the guests to a gala dinner in the Royal Hall. The deputy mayor gave a speech in which she referred to the role played by MAFF in bringing cultures closer together and establishing a permanent relationship between the city of Malmö and Arab cinema. Janne Grönholm, the chairman of the cultural committee in the city, confirmed what the deputy mayor said, mentioning that Mouhamad Keblawi, founder of MAFF, has won the Malmö City Business Award this year, in the Creative Industries category, a trophy that demonstrates the continuous festival’s impact is valued by the city.

MAFF founder and president, Mouhamad Keblawi, welcomed the guests, and gave a speech in which he referred to the festival’s efforts to select and screen the best Arab films and support Arab-Swedish co-production. Keblawi expressed his happiness at having the star Hussein Fahmy in Malmö, considering the presence of such an iconic star a tribute to the festival.

After the dinner party, the guests moved to the Royal Cinema, which witnessed the presentation and screening of the festival’s opening film, “Mediterranean Fever” by Palestinian director Maha Haj, in its Swedish premiere after a successful tour of festivals that began last May in Cannes international film festival, Un Certain Regard competition, where it won the best screenplay award. Then, it started a successful trip between many festivals including Chicago, Sarajevo, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Sao Paulo.

It is noteworthy that this is the first time in the festival’s history that a Palestinian film has been selected as the opening film.

The activities of the 13th Malmö Arab Film Festival will continue from April 28 to May 5, in which 45 films (18 features and 27 shorts) will be screened, produced by 12 different Arab countries, with co-production with 11 Western countries. The festival continues as the largest platform dedicated to Arab cinema outside the Arab world. Malmö Film Industry Days (MID) platform also continues its efforts to support Arab films, encourage co-production between the Arab world and the Nordic countries, and build communication bridges between filmmakers on both sides.

The 9th edition of Malmö Film Industry Days, the festival program dedicated to supporting the Arab film industry and encouraging co-production between the Arab world and the Nordic countries, will start on Saturday, April 29, with a variety of professional activities, panel discussions and meetings.