release date September 08 2021
Under the Fig Trees, grabs the MAD Solutions and El Gouna Film Festival award, at the final Cut Venice Workshop
MAD Solutions and El Gouna Film Festival, partners of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC), grant their award to Under the Fig Trees, directed by Ergie Sehiri, at the Final Cut in Venice workshop. MAD Solutions’ award comprises promotional and distribution services in the Arab world while El Gouna’s award is a financial support of $ 5,000.

In the shade of trees, a strong bond flourishes between the young summer harvest workers. Between flirting, feelings of attraction and denial, a deep connection develops between the young men and women as they try to understand one other.

Erige Sehiri is a Tunisian-French film director, producer and journalist who was born in France in 1982 and travelled to Canada at the age of 19 to study Business Administration, soon afterwards she dipped her toes into filmmaking. She committed herself to document and film the Tunisian life. In 2012, she directed the feature-length documentary Family Album and in 2013, she directed her short documentary My Father’s Facebook. Since then, she dedicated herself to filming the Tunisian railways and made her first feature film, Railway Men. Moreover, she co-directed the feature-length documentary Unspeakable Crime.

For the seventh year, MAD Solutions offers its award that is represented in promotion and distribution services in the Arab world to one winner project. This is also the fifth year for El Gouna Film Festival to present its monetary award of 5000 USD within the workshop, in addition to an invitation for the winning project to participate in CineGouna Platform.

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 regionally and to promote them on the long run. The company previously offered similar awards at Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, where the award was dedicated to films from the Maghreb region, the MAFF Market Forum (MMF) of the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden, the Palestine Cinema Days, and the Festival National du Film Professional Meetings in Tangier, Morocco.

As for El Gouna Film Festival, it offers monetary prizes for Arab film projects in international platforms, such as the MAFF Market Forum (MMF) of the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden, Latin Arab Co-Production Forum, Beirut Cinema Platform, CineGouna Platform, in addition to Final Cut in Venice.

The 9th Final Cut in Venice workshop supports films in the post-production stage from Africa, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. The film selections are screened to an audience of producers, distributors and programmers of international film festivals. The workshop concludes with an award ceremony to honor the winning films that will be supported through the post-production phase.
The Final Cut in Venice aims to develop the role of the Venice International Film Festival to become a bridge that supports independent filmmaking in these countries by providing effective production support and promoting the films on the international market level.