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Malaga Film Festival and ACC Select the Documentary Underdown to Take Part in Malaga Work In Progress

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One of the Film Projects at Beirut Cinema Platform

Malaga Film Festival and ACC Select the Documentary Underdown to Take Part in Malaga Work In Progress

After wrapping up the events of the third edition of the Beirut Cinema Platform (BCP), the Málaga Film Festival and Arab Cinema Center (ACC) announced the selection of the Lebanese documentary film Underdown (Taht Al Taht) by director Sarah Kaskas and producers Liliane Rahal and Ines Meier to participate in the Málaga Work In Progress that will be held on the sidelines of the festival (13 -22 April) in Spain.

Moving to Beirut's anarchic rhythm, Underdown follows the struggles of a Palestinian cab driver who lives in his car, a homeless Syrian kid, and a Lebanese woman and her family.

Beirut Cinema Platform (BCP) aims to encourage the participation of all film projects in the pre-production phase. The BCP also cooperates with several associations for the organization of parallel events, such as: Beirut Cinema Screenings, organized by Beirut DC, Beirut Good Pitch, a workshop organized by Doc Society in collaboration with Beirut DC, the first Beirut-Locarno Industry Academy, organized by Metropolis Association, a workshop for rewriting scenarios organized by Foundation Liban Cinema, and Global Media Makers Workshop, organized by Foundation Liban Cinema in cooperation with Film Independent. This year, the platform has selected 21 documentary and feature film projects in the pre-production phase from across Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Qatar.

A few weeks ago, Málaga Film Festival and the Arab Cinema Center announced the selection of Gunshot by director Karim El Shenawy to participate in the Málaga Work In Progress, and at a conference held within the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, they announced the selection of the two Arab film projects, In Between by director Dalyah Bakheet and producer Hanaa Saleh Alfassi, and Chentian by director Suha Arraf and producer Joshua Cassar Gaspar, to take part in the MAFF - Málaga Film Festival Fund & Co-production Event, held on the sidelines of the Málaga Film Festival.

The two winning film projects of the MAFF - Málaga Film Festival Fund & Co-production Event are going to have the opportunity to connect with the international funding institutions attending the festival and producers from Spain and other European countries. On the other hand, the Málaga Work In Progress focuses on financing film production, facilitating its completion and international distribution.

Through its website, the ACC has opened call for submissions for Arab film projects to participate in the MAFF - Málaga Film Festival Fund & Co-production Event and the Málaga Work In Progress, as per an agreement between the Arab Cinema Center and the Málaga Film Festival. Under this agreement, the Málaga Film Festival is going to cover the accommodation and accreditation for the producers or directors of the film projects taking part in both the co-production fund event and the workshop. This is the first initiative dedicated to the Arab film industry in the history of the Málaga Film Festival.

The Málaga Film Festival was launched in 1998. Through its 19th edition, the festival helped in supporting and boosting Spanish films on both national and international levels, along with promoting the Spanish city of Málaga as a cultural city open to different cultures. The Málaga Film Festival aims to promote film culture and reach audiences from all over the world.

This initiative comes as part of the ACC's strategy of promoting the Arab film industry internationally and supporting Arab filmmakers. In January 2018, the ACC selected Arab producers to attend the Rotterdam Lab, held on the sidelines of the International Film Festival Rotterdam - IFFR. Furthermore, a few days ahead of the Berlinale the ACC announced the selection of Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), and Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of DIFF, to be the winners of the Arab Cinema Personality of the Year award, presented by the ACC in cooperation with The Hollywood Reporter. This marks the first time that an award of this nature is given to the directors of a film festival. The Arab Cinema Personality of the Year award was given at this year's Berlinale.

Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes. The ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The Center's activities vary between film market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, as well as meetings with international organizations and festivals, and the issuance of the Arab Cinema Magazine to be distributed at the leading international film festivals and markets.

Furthermore, newsletter subscription is now available on the ACC's website, allowing users to obtain digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, as well as news on the ACC's activities, notifications of application dates for grants, festivals and offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab films participating at festivals, exclusive news on the Arab Cinema LAB, and highlights from the ACC partners and their future projects.

The ACC also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that comprises a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside of the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives to easily identify Arab film productions.