What are Arabs doing at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2017?

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Arab Cinema Center Partcipates for the Second Consecutive Year

What are Arabs doing at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2017?

The International Film Festival Rotterdam (25 January - 5 February) will witness a strong Arab presence, as the Arab Cinema Center will begin its third edition with extensive activities by offering Arab filmmakers the opportunity to participate in Rotterdam Lab for the second consecutive year. Director Elie Kamal will be in attendance as co-producer, in place of Jana Wehbe, the producer of the documentary film Beirut Terminus, in the Rotterdam Lab Workshop, alongside Producer Dina Harb, Managing Director of Birthmark Films.

Among the Arab Cinema Center partners who will be in attendance at the workshop are Karin Schyle from the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation; Alaa Karkouti, CEO of MAD Solutions; Afnan Sarraj from ART, whose film Tramontane will also be screened at IFFR within the Voices Section.

Arab Cinema Center (ACC) had presented its award at the 4th Cairo Film Connection (CFC), held on the margins of the 38th Cairo International Film Festival. The award went to producer Jana Wehbe, for her Lebanese documentary film project Beirut Terminus by director and co-producer Elie Kamal, granting her the opportunity to attend the Rotterdam Lab Workshop. Last year, the center also managed to facilitate the participation of both Palestinian producer Rami Alayan (Palcine Productions) and Qatari/Lebanese producer Aya Al Blouchi (Seat 26) in the workshop.

Beirut Terminus tells the history of Lebanon and the surrounding region through the railway that once existed and traced the country's four corners. Following the tracks and the discarded stations, the film investigates the history, geo-politics and anthropology of the path through this territory from station to station while looking for a latent terminus.

The feature film Tramontane by Lebanese-Armenian filmmaker Vatche Boulghourjian recently landed the Best Actress Award at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). The film tells the story of Rabih,
a blind musician, who travels across rural Lebanon in search of a record of his own birth. He meets people on the far fringes of society who tell their own stories and open further questions about his origins. Tramontane stars Barakat Jabbour, Julia Kassar, Toufic Barakat, and Michel Adabachi, and it is co-produced by ART, along with About Productions and Rebus Film Production.

Organized by CineMart, Rotterdam Lab is a five-day training workshop for promising emerging
producers from all over the world within the events of the IFFR (25 January - 5 February). The aim of Rotterdam Lab is to provide emerging professionals with the means to build and develop and international network. Providing confidence and skills to navigate the world of international film financing, sales and distribution, Rotterdam Lab offers a place to over 60 producers from over 30 countries.

Birthmark Films is a production services facility that offers clients a one-stop shop starting to ensure
a smooth shoot in the desired location(s) in Egypt. Established in 2009, their team has a combined experience of over 35 years in production and has produced more than 100 commercials, music and corporate videos, 2 programs and 3 feature length films. Birthmark Films also provides script doctoring and development services and workshops as well as creative production for feature length films. The company handles the sales and regional distribution of its own projects.

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. ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others.