MAFF 2nd Day: Industry Days kicks-off and diverse activities

Malmö – 29 April 2023

The second day of the 13th Malmö Arab Film Festival (Saturday 29 April) included a variety of activities, seminars, and professional meetings, all of which witnessed an extensive presence of the audience of the city of Malmö and the festival’s guests from Arab filmmakers, journalists and critics.

The day events kicked off early with the opening of the 9th edition of Malmo Industry Days (MID), the industry arm of the festival, through a panel discussion titled “The Art of Adaptation”, speakers were Egyptian writer Ramy Abdel Razek, Saudi actor and filmmaker Baraa Alem, and Lebanese actress Nada Abou Farhat, Moderated by Lebanese director Lara Saba.

In parallel with the panel, the pitching of the projects participating in MID and competing for its valuable prizes began. Five feature narrative projects in the development stage were presented to the jury: Christer Nilsson (Sweden), Karim Debbagh (Morocco), and Teresa Cavina (Italy), followed by three feature documentary projects in the development stage, presented to the jury: Khaled Ramadan, Olle Toftenow and Ylva Skarsgård (Sweden).

The day also witnessed the launch of the two film workshops organized by the festival in cooperation with the Saudi Film Commission to train 14 young talents. The first workshop is entitled “Make your film in five days” and the second is entitled “My Film Project”. The day expert was Kristina Börjeson, Film i Väst Head of Production.

MID activities continued with a work in progress case study of “Goodbye Julia”, the first Sudanese film in history to be selected to participate in the Cannes film festival, with focus on the experience of co-production between six countries, including Sweden, through participation in Malmö Industry Days. Speakers included the film producer, Amjad Abu Alala, Swedish co-producer, Issraa ElKogali Häggström, moderated by Egyptian critic Ahmed Shawky.

Meanwhile in Panora Cinema, the day began with a workshop for children with educational expert Wafaa Suleiman, which included coloring and storytelling, then screening the short film “Firas Fits In” directed by Tony El Ghazal.

Starting the evening, four feature film competition films were screened to a big audience: “Batata” by the Lebanese director Nora Kevorkian, “Riverbed” by her compatriot Bassem Breche, “Queens” by the Moroccan Yasmine Benkiran, and “Heroic Bodies” by the Sudanese Sarah Suliman.

As usual, Malmö Arab Film Festival hosted a reception with Arabic music at Panora Cinema Hall, followed by the opening “Arabian Nights” program by screening the Saudi film “Valley Road” by Khaled Fahd. Also “Films Worth Watching” program started with the Moroccan film “A Summer in Boujad” by Omar Mouldouira.

Commenting on the activities of the second day of the festival, MAFF founder Mouhamad Keblawi said: “We work throughout the months of the year to be ready for this particular day when many activities are launched simultaneously. The success of all these screenings and events is what makes us feel that the past months efforts were in the right direction”.