Franco-Arab Film Festival in Amman

Celebrating a quarter century of friendship and creativity, the  openerd in Amman on June 17.   

The film fest, held under the Patronage of HRH Princess Rym Ali and in collaboration with the Royal Film Commission  (RFC) and the Greater Amman Municipality, will run until June 24.

Considered as one of the oldest in Jordan, this festival has proven to be, by its quality and longevity, one of the cultural landmarks of the Jordanian cultural scene.

The festival will bring to the Jordanian audience a selection of the most recent movies. Ten new films from the Arab region (fiction movies and documentaries) coproduced by France will be screened for the very first time in Jordan, in addition to four films that marked the previous editions in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

The 2019 edition, which has a special focus on youth, will take the audience to different countries, from France to Syria, to Iraq, to Tunisia, to Morocco, to Palestine, all the way back to Amman. The festival will also feature meetings with guests and filmmakers, workshops and discussions.

French director Emmanuel Hamon was the guest of honour as the festival opened with his film “Escape from Raqqa”. This movie was filmed both in Jordan and France. Jordanian director Dina Naser presented her first long feature film “Tiny Souls” on Tuesday night, which was filmed entirely in Jordan.

From Morocco, the fest will have Maha Alemi, the main actress in “Sofia” and the director of the animated movie, “The Tower”, Mats Grorud will also join from Norway on Saturday.

This year again, a short film competition will allow the winners of the two jury prizes — for the best narrative and best documentary — to participate at the French Mirror Edition that takes place in the city of Noisy-Le-Sec, near Paris, in November 2019. The film fest will also have winners of the short film competition of Noisy-Le-Sec in Jordan to present their films.

During the opening ceremony, Princess Rym, member of the board of commissioners at the RFC, expressed her pride that the festival was opened with a movie that was filmed in Jordan as well her pride to have a Jordanian documentary supported by the RFC among the selection of films to be screened.

She highlighted that the competition has attracted a record number of films made by young people from Jordan. “All this reflects the new audiovisual dynamic that Jordan is experiencing,” the princess said.

In his address, French Ambassador to Jordan David Bertolotti said he was “thrilled” to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival that reflects the strong and old cultural bonds between France and Jordan.

“France supports cinematographic creation in Jordan and believes in its talents. For the first time this year, we will send a young Jordanian filmmaker to Femis, the prestigious French film school in Paris. It is through such initiative and by providing trainings locally that we are supporting, with our partners, the new generation of Jordanian filmmakers,” the ambassador said.

Screenings take place on the RFC premises and the Rainbow Theatre and are free.

This edited article first appeared in Jordan Times.