release date October 23 2017
Short Film Project Maradona's Legs Wins MAD Solutions Award at Days of Cinema in Palestine
The short film project Maradona's Legs by director and writer Firas Khoury has won the MAD Solutions
award, which is offered to one of the competing films at the Sunbird Production Award, held within the events of the 4th Days of Cinema in Palestine. The competition showcases short film projects with a maximum length of 20 minutes that are going to be set in Palestine or thematically refer to Palestine. The award won by the film offers marketing and distribution services in the Arab world.

The statement issued by the jury, which included directors Enas Muthaffar, Aage Rais, and Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, Managing Partner of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) and CEO of MAD Solutions, said, "Maradona's Legs is honest and authentic in portraying a popular theme among people around the world; a topic that crosses boundaries and reaches for the heart. We believe that director Firas Khoury
will be capable of portraying it perfectly."

Maradona's Legs is written and directed by Firas Khoury and produced by May Oudeh. The film's events take place during the FIFA World Cup Championship in 1990.

The brothers Raa'fat (11) and Fadil (7) - Brazil fans - steal money from their father and buy lots of stickers of soccer players to tape inside the "World Cup album". If they complete the album, they will be crowned as the first people in their village to do so, and they will receive a valuable prize.

The brothers have almost completed the album; they only need one more card - the image of the young Argentinean player Diego Armando Maradona, whose image consists of two cards. The brothers succeed in obtaining the image of his upper half body, but they're unable to find the image of his legs. The road to finding "Maradona's legs" leads them to discovering their passion for football and realizing the meaning of life.

Firas Khoury is a Palestinian director and screenwriter. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Film and Cinema. He wrote and directed a number of short films, that took part in international film festivals and won numerous awards, such as Islamic, Asi & Gil, Hit Man, Seven Days in Deir Bulus, and Suffir.

Maradona's Legs was selected along with two other film projects to compete for the film award presented by the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation in the Short Films category. The winner of the award will be announced early next year.

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 Final Cut in Venice workshop held within the Venice International Film Festival, and the Malmo Arab Film Festival and Forum in Sweden.

Days of Cinema is an annual event, organized by Filmlab every October, and aims to place Palestine on the map of the International film industry and movie landscape, in addition to promoting local and international films across several venues in different cities within Palestine. The first edition of Days of Cinema was launched in 2014 presenting a unique program of renowned international film screenings for adults and children, along with panel discussions, professional film workshops, specialized programs for children, and networking opportunities.

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 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 17 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, Locarno International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Film and Television Careers Connection (FTTC), San Sebastian International Film Festival, Malmo Arab Film Festival, Cape Town International Film Festival, and Days of Cinema in Palestine.