release date September 06 2017
Moroccan Film Joint Possession Wins MAD Solutions Award at the Final Cut in Venice
The film project Joint Possession by Moroccan director Leila Kilani won the MAD Solutions Award that is granted to one of the Arab film projects taking part at the 5th Final Cut in Venice held within the 74th Venice International Film Festival. The Award offers marketing and distribution services across the Arab world to the winning film.

The film is produced by Dkb Productions (France) and Socco Chico Films (Morocco), Joint Possession is set on the hills around Tangier where rapacious real estate developers are tearing up the landscape and a family must decide whether to sell a large plot of land on which their old manor house lies.

Born in Morocco, Leila Kilani studied Economy in Paris, obtaining a Master's Degree in Mediterranean History and Civilisation, and prepared a thesis at L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She started out making acclaimed documentaries in 2000 including Tangiers, The Burners' Dream (Tanger, Le rêve des brûleurs, 2002) about candidates for immigration to Europe, Zad Moultaka, Passages (2003), and Our Forbidden Places (2009). On The Plank (2011), supported by SANAD, was her first feature film and was screened at Directors Fortnight in Cannes in 2011. It was broadcast in France by Epicentre and shown at more than 80 international festivals. Currently, Leila Kilani is working on her second fiction, Joint Possession. In 2013 she received funds from the CNC for the conception of another project A Pray in The Sky about the fate of Touria Chaoui, the first Moroccan and Arab woman aircraft pilot.

This is the third consecutive year for MAD Solutions to offer its award at the Final Cut in Venice. Last year, the MAD award went to the documentary film Obscure by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan, and in 2015, the same award was given to the documentary film Separation by Iraqi director Hakar Abdel Kader. Currently, the two films are taking their tour around international film festivals.

The award offered by MAD Solutions comes as part of the company's strategy to support the Arab film industry through its different production stages internationally and within the Arab region and to promote them on the long run. The company previously offered similar awards for winning projects at the Open Doors initiative held as part of the 67th Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, and at the MAFF Market Forum (MMF) at the 5th Malmö Arab Film Festival in Sweden.

The 5th Final Cut in Venice workshop offers post-production support for films from African countries including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria, through screening the selected films in the presence of a group of producers, distributors and festival managers. The workshop concludes with an award ceremony to honor the winning films that will be supported through post-production phase.

The aim of the Final Cut in Venice workshop is to develop the role of the Venice International Film Festival to become a bridge for supporting well-crafted independent films from these countries, through giving effective assistance to film production and supporting film competitions in the international market.

Organized by MAD Solutions, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), which operates for the third year, 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 ACCpartners 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 ten 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, and the Festival del film Locarno.