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Give Up the Ghost Selected for the Palm Springs International ShortFest

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Winner of El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short Film

Give Up the Ghost Selected for the Palm Springs International ShortFest


Give Up the Ghost by director Zain Duraie will screen at the 31st Palm Springs International ShortsFest (June 16-22). The festival presents several awards, including the Oscar Qualifying Awards for Best Live-Action Short. Recently, it was announced that the festival will go virtual in light of Coronavirus pandemic.

Held through 12 days, the Palm Springs International ShortFest is one of the largest festivals in North America that annually brings together more than 130,000 festival guests every year. The festival screens more than 200 documentary and feature films from more than 60 countries.

Give Up the Ghost has been screened in several film festivals across the Arab world. Recently, it was selected for the Sudan Independent Film Festival, and is expected to be screened at Haifa Independent Film Festival in Palestine. The film landed its Arab world premiere at the 2nd El Gouna Film Festival where it won the El Gouna Star for the Best Arab Short. It also screened at the Rabat International Author Film Festival (FICAR) (Festival International du Cinema D'Auteur de Rabat) and landed its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.

Give up the Ghost tells the story of Salam whose dreams of becoming a mother shatters when she finds out that she is unable to have children with her husband. Written and directed by Zain Duraie and produced by Tabi360 (Alaa Alasad), the film brings together Maria Zurek and Zaid Bakri in the leading roles and is shot by DOP Benoit Chamaillard. MAD Solutions handles the film's distribution in the Arab world.

Zain Duraie has worked on several regional and international films. As part of her graduation project at Toronto Film School, she wrote and directed two shorts. In 2010, she kick started her career in the filmmaking world as a trainee at Philistine Films with prestigious filmmaker Annemarie Jacir and acclaimed producer Ossama Bawardi. She worked on several projects at different phases; from pre-production to post-production. Projects include: When I Saw You, The Rendezvous, Thank You for Bombing and Wajib. Duraie's debut short fiction film, Horizon, had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International ShortFest. The film also screened at several festivals, including Montreal World Film Fest.

Duraie was selected in 2017 to work with acclaimed Bosnian filmmaker Aida Begić in Turkey/Sanliurfa in her most recent film Never Leave Me. Afterwards, Duraie began developing the screenplay of her feature film abroad, which was one of only two among entries from across 70 countries to be developed with the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Academy and in parallel with its selection at Meditalents Residence and Torino Film Lab. Duraie's most recent film is the short Give up the Ghost, which landed its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, and won a Special Mention at the MAFF Market Forum in 2018.