release date December 01 2017
Axe Pictures to Present a Short Film and a Feature Film Project at the Dubai International Film Festival
Axe Pictures, a partner of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC),is going to take part in the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) by presenting two of its productions; the short film Halawa (Lollipop) by director Hanaa Saleh Alfassi, which will compete in the Muhr Gulf Short competition, and the feature film project The Flower Men by the same director, which has been selected to participate in the Dubai Film Market (DFM).

Halawa (Lollipop) is produced by Hanaa Saleh Alfassi and Shannon Emigh, co-founder of Axe Pictures in the U.S, and co-produced by Alex Lampsos and Malika Frikouk, the Executive Producer and Co-founder of the Moroccan branch of the company. The film was partly funded by Enjaaz, Dubai Film Market's production support programme.

The film follows a 14 year-old Muslim girl who experiences the onset of puberty, meaning she must begin wearing a full black niqab. When her tormentor at school swipes her jacket, a case of mistaken identity exposes the perversity of the bully's father. Halawa (Lollipop) stars Malak Radwan, Ayman Samman and Sarah Alhazmi.

The Royal Film Commission - Jordan (RFC) has selected the feature film project The Flower Men to participate in the DFM after its participation in the regional program Med Film Factory with the help of directors and producers Hanaa Saleh Alfassi and Waleed Bedour.

The film tells the story of a curious photojournalist, who lives in a hostile remote Saudi village, finds himself under suspicion when the mayor's son is murdered.

Axe Pictures is a production house that was founded in 2007 by producers Malika Frikouk, Hanaa Saleh Alfassi and Shannon Emigh. Running branches in Morocco, KSA and U.S., the company specializes in bringing diverse stories with often unusual perspectives to the screen.

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.

Since the beginning of 2017, the ACC has made 19 stops at international festivals and markets. The festivals attended are the International Film Festival of Rotterdam (IFFR), Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), Beirut Cinema Platform (BCP) held within the Beirut Cinema Days, Istanbul Film Festival, Tripoli Film Festival, the 34th WIPO SCCR in Geneva, Cannes Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Eurasia International Film Festival, Festival del film Locarno, Venice International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Film and Television Careers Connection (FTCC), San Sebastian International Film Festival, Malmo Arab Film Festival, Cape Town International Film Market & Festival (CTIFMF), Days of Cinema in Palestine, MedFilm Festival in Italy and the LatinArab Co-Production Forum.