release date April 30 2023
MAD Solutions to feature 7 films at 2023 Malmö Arab Film Festival
Seven titles from MAD Solutions’ distribution slate are set to feature at this year’s edition of the Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF), which is scheduled to run from April 28th to May 4th in Sweden.

The Middle Eastern distribution giant’s lineup includes four feature films: Erige Sehiri's UNDER THE FIG TREES, Soudade Kaadan's NEZOUH, and Firas Khoury's award-winning feature film ALAM — three of which will compete in the festival's Official Competition for Feature Films — as well as Mohamed Ali Nahdi's MOEZ THE END OF THE TUNNEL, which will be screened as part of the festival’s Arabian Nights Program

It also includes three shorts — Ward Kayyal’s HAMZA: CHASING THE GHOST CHASING ME, Inès Arsi’s FLESH AND BLOOD, and Abedalsalam Alhaj’s ABED; all of which will be competing in the festival’s Official Competition for Short Films.

In other news, all of the movies’ directors are set to attend the screening of the films with the exception of UNDER THE FIG TREES’ director Sehiri, who will not be able to make it to the screening.

First up in the MAD lineup is Sehiri's social thriller UNDER THE FIG TREES, which will be screened on Tuesday, May 2nd at 5:30 pm.

Co-written by Ghalya Lacroix and Peggy Hamann, the film stars Fide Fdhili, Feten Fdhili, Ameni Fdhili, Samar Sifi, and Abdelhak Mrabti.

Taking place over the course of a day, UNDER THE FIG TREES presents an intergenerational dialogue between a group of teens and older folk as they work the summer harvest, catch feelings, attempt to understand each other, and navigate the complicated terrain of building deeper ties.

Next up is Soudade Kaadan's NEZOUH, which takes place against the backdrop of the Syrian civil war, where a missile destroys the ceiling of the house of 14-year-old Zeina. As a result, she sleeps for the first time under the stars and makes friends with Amer (Nizar Alani) — the boy next door.

When the violence escalates, Hala (Kinda Alloush) — Zeina's mother — decides to leave, getting into an argument with her husband, Motaz (Samer Al-Masri), who refuses to become a refugee and tries everything to stop his family from leaving their house.

The film stars Kinda Alloush, Samer Al-Masri, Hala Zein, Nizar Alani, and Darina Al-Joundi, and is lensed by prominent cinematographer Hélène Louvart.

The film is expected to be screened on Sunday, April 30th at 7:30 pm.

Third in the roaster is Mohamed Ali Nahdi’s debut feature film MOEZ THE END OF THE TUNNEL, which follows a 25-year-old young man, Moez, who lives with his mother and his little sister in a disreputable district of Tunis.
Moez, who is delusional, is then arrested and taken to the police station, where he meets Hassen — a radical Islamist coming from France who will turn his life upside down.

Starring Seif Mannai, Akrem Sakkouhi Mag, Lamine Nahdi, and Leila Chebbi; MOEZ THE END OF THE TUNNEL is co-written by Mohamed Ali Nahdi and Slim Ben Ismail

The film is set to be screened on Monday, May 1st at 10 pm.

Fourth in the lineup is Firas Khoury's six- time-award-winning feature film ALAM, which follows the story of a Palestinian teenager named Tamer. 

Tamer and his friends lead typical teenage lives, until one day, he is swept off his feet by the arrival of the beautiful Maysaa. As he grows closer to her, Tamer agrees to take part in a mysterious and life-changing operation dubbed ‘Alam.’
Written and directed by Firas Khoury, ALAM — which stars Mahmood Bakri, Sereen Khass, Saleh Bakri, Mohammad Karaki, Ahmad Zaghmouri, and Muhammad Abed Elrahman— will be featured on Tuesday, May 2nd at 10 pm.

After that, Ward Kayyal’s HAMZA: CHASING THE GHOST CHASING ME will be featured on May 2nd at 9:30 pm as part of the festival’s third package of shorts. 

Starring Kamel Al-Basha, Ruba Blal, Motaz Malhes, and Khulood Basel, the film follows Hamza — a middle-aged man, who refuses to abandon a routine he has kept since his release from an Israeli jail; he goes into the woods every day to chase a lion that the locals don't think exists. 

Despite his wife's pleadings and the villagers' contempt, Hamza sets his baits and traps in the forest, hoping to defeat the mysterious threat and finding refuge in his journey after each battle. In the woods, Hamza is free to act according to his beliefs, fighting his own battle to heal an open wound and confront horrific memories of torture and guilt. 

MAD’s penultimate entry in the MAFF is Inès Arsi’s FLESH AND BLOOD, which will also be shown on May 2nd at 7:15 pm as part of the festival’s second package of shorts.
The film follows Donia — a 19-year-old rape survivor whose life is thrown into disarray when she discovers she is pregnant. Donia has one goal: To abort her pregnancy before it's too late.

Written and directed by Inès Arsi, FLESH AND BLOOD stars Sana Lahbib, Mourad Gharsalli, and Noomen Hamda.
And MAD’s final entry in the festival is Abedalsalam Alhaj’s ABED, which follows the story of a child who works with his cruel father in a restaurant. After a particularly long day at work, Abed is forced to confront his fear of the dark and street dogs when he is asked to buy his father a pack of cigarettes past midnight.

Directed and written by Abedalsalam Alhaj, the film stars Hisham Alomari, Mohammad Abuagoulah, and Ali Badrana and is scheduled to screen on May 2nd at 5 pm as part of the festival’s first package of shorts.