Middle East International Film Fest to pay tribute to Jane Fonda


Mumbai: The second Middle East International Film Festival, to be held from 10-19 October, will pay a tribute to the actress Jane Fonda.

A special event in partnership with Cinema Verite will be held for the same. Cinema Verite is in an exhibition/screening space located in Paris, dedicated to social and humanitarian issues, associated with it is a fund that finances socially conscious films on a yearly basis and the international rendezvous yearly event that aims to bring together prominent directors, actors, politicians and leaders to address social issues. Fonda has been an incredible success since her early screen performances in the 1960s and has been a dedicated political and social activist throughout her entire career. Joining Fonda for the event with Cinema Verite will be the icons of cinema including Susan Sarandon, and Carole Bouquet.

Special presentation screenings were also unveiled by MEIFF vice chairman and director general of ADACH, project coordinator Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei executive director Eissa Al Mazrouei, Emirates Film Competition director Nashwa Al Ruwaini and Abdalla Bastaki,.

"Abu Dhabi’s cultural project, with its future horizons and openness to the other, would not be completed without a strong presence of cinema which constitutes one of the major themes of contemporary culture. The Middle East International Film Festival, since its launch in October last year, constitutes the first crucial step on that long road," said Mazrouei.

"The inaugural Middle East International Film Festival was a huge challenge as to start a new festival that strives to have a predominant role in the international festival world is not easy with over 3000 other festivals taking place every year around the world. We believe that universality does not happen except through regionalism the Festival serves Arab cinema, especially in the Emirates and the Gulf, and we are honored to have great Arabic titles both in and out of competition as well as a massive selection of international films. We aspire to serve the art of film from all over the world. This year we promise an experience not to be missed for cinema lovers and interesting industry initiatives that would cater for the Industry professionals. Our extended ten days of the festival along with the new and returning sections of the festival will add on to the quality of achieving status as a must attend festival" quoted Ruwaini.

This year’s MEIFF has expanded to ten days and the prize money for the prestigious Black Pearl Awards has been increased to more than $ 1 million, giving MEIFF its own unique personality within the film festivals of the world.

A tribute honoring the Tunisian director Nacer Khemir will also be held during MEIFF on his 60th birthday with a special screening of his film Touaq al Hammama al Mafqoud  based on the book by Ibn Hazem. Khemir is a theatre and film director as well as a poet, writer and painter. His films have won many awards worldwide and his famous theatrical show, Al Hakawati has appeared on stages in Africa, Europe and America. There have also been several exhibitions of his artwork in Tunis, Paris and other European cities as well as many illustrated books, joining together images and words.

Ruwaini also announced that MEIFF will be launching the ‘MOST’ initiative during the Festival this year in conjunction with The Saban Center for Middle Eastern Policy at The Brookings Institute in Washington. ‘MOST’ stands for ‘Muslims on Screen and Television’ and will become a cultural resource center providing valuable resources and information on Islam and Muslims for the US entertainment community. Its aim is to meet the critical need for increased understanding and accurate representation on both sides during this time of great tension and mutual suspicion between the US and Muslim World.

MEIFF will also be launching the Arab Film Industry Research Circle that covers the current situation of Arab cinema in the Levant, Egypt, The Gulf and North Africa. This research circle aspires to shed light on the points of strengths and weaknesses in Arab cinema along with ways in which co-production initiatives can be achieved.