West Beirut (1998) - News Poster

(1998)

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Middle East Hopes to Pull Off Another Oscar Win

Middle East Hopes to Pull Off Another Oscar Win
With last year’s winner, Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman,” hailing from Iran, Oscar handicappers should be sure to give the Middle Eastern titles close scrutiny this time around. Among the region’s 11 submissions are several films likely to be highly competitive in the foreign-language category. These include the 2017 Venice prize winners “Foxtrot,” from Israel, helmed by Samuel Maoz (“Lebanon”) and “The Insult,” from Lebanon, directed by Ziad Doueiri, whose first feature “West Beirut” was also a Lebanese submission.

The lineup also includes a rare title from Syria, the documentary “Little Gandhi” about Syrian peace activist Ghiyath Matar. Another title with an unusual pedigree is Afghanistan’s “A Letter to the President,” a rough-edged feminist drama about a female Kabul police chief, helmed by Roya Sadat, the country’s first distaff director to emerge in the post-Taliban era.

Could this finally be Israel’s year? The country has submitted films for the foreign-language Oscar since 1964, receiving 10 nominations
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lebanese Director Ziad Doueiri Detained in Beirut, but Cleared of Charges by Military Tribunal

Lebanese Director Ziad Doueiri Detained in Beirut, but Cleared of Charges by Military Tribunal
Updated: French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri, who was briefly detained by authorities in Beirut the day after his new film “The Insult” won a prize at the Venice Film Festival, has been cleared of all charges by a Lebanese military court.

“Charges against Ziad have been dropped by the military court: he is free,” producer Jean Brehat, who works regularly with Doueiri, informed Variety in a text message on Monday.

French news agency Agence France-Presse had reported that Doueiri was briefly detained upon arriving at the Beirut airport Sunday and that he was ordered to appear Monday before a Lebanese military court. Though the exact charges against him remain unclear, the action on the part of Lebanese authorities is believed to stem from the director’s previous film, “The Attack,” which was partly shot in Israel. Lebanon bans its citizens from visiting Israel, with which it is officially at war.

“They held me at the airport for two
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Venice: Italy’s Lucky Red Nabs Ziad Doueiri’s ‘The Insult’ (Exclusive)

Venice, Italy — Italy’s Lucky Red has scooped Italian rights to Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult,” which is turning out to be one of the early standout titles in the Venice Film Festival competition, with distribution deals now in place for the U.S. and several European markets.

Cohen Media Group, which is a co-producer on the pic, has acquired North American distribution rights in a previously announced deal. Diaphana Distribution has picked up rights for France, and Cineart for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

“Everyone who saw this film has been telling me how great it is, so I went ahead and took it,” said Lucky Red chief Andrea Occhipinti, who purchased the highly political courtroom thriller from Nicolas Eschbach’s Paris-based Indie Sales on Saturday.

In “The Insult,” a single slur pits a belligerent Lebanese Christian auto mechanic against an older Palestinian Muslim and flares into a court case that divides national Lebanese
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Telluride: ‘Wonderstruck’ Lenser Ed Lachman Reflects on His Career

Telluride: ‘Wonderstruck’ Lenser Ed Lachman Reflects on His Career
The Telluride Film Festival has held tributes for but a handful cinematographers over the last 44 years. The names are titans of the form: Karl Struss (“Sunrise,” “The Great Dictator”), Sven Nykvist (“Cries & Whispers,” “Fanny and Alexander”), John Alton (“An American in Paris,” “Elmer Gantry”), Vittorio Storaro (“Apocalypse Now,” “The Last Emperor”). This year, on the heels of a lifetime achievement prize from the American Society of Cinematographers earlier this year, Ed Lachman joins their ranks.

Oscar-nominated for “Far From Heaven” and “Carol,” Lachman is a frequent collaborator of director Todd Haynes. This year’s celebration of his work is pegged to their latest, “Wonderstruck,” which is part of the festival’s main program. But Lachman’s career outstretches those three movies alone, from working with icons of pop (Madonna) and humanitarianism (Mother Teresa), to collaborations with artists at the beginning (Sofia Coppola) and end (Robert Altman) of their careers.

Lachman spoke to Variety about his career to
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Indie Sales Boards Ziad Doueiri’s ‘The Insult’ (Exclusive)

Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired “The Insult,” Lebanese-born filmmaker Ziad Doueiri’s follow up to “The Attack,” and will start pre-selling the movie at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.

“The Insult” was co-written by Doueiri and Joëlle Touma, his co-scribe on “The Attack,” which scooped up several awards, including San Sebastian’s special jury mention.

A modern-day fable about dignity and justice set in Lebanon, “The Insult” turns on a trivial incident between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee which degenerates into a highly publicized trial and ends up dividing Palestinians and Lebanese Christian communities.

“When we first read the script, the force of the story penned by Doueiri and Touma blew us away,” said Nicolas Eschbach, the founder and CEO of Indie Sales. “We are happy and proud to work with such brilliant producers that year after year dedicate their time to producing strong
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Karlovy Vary unveils 50th plans

  • ScreenDaily
Karlovy Vary unveils 50th plans
Mel Gibson to film special trailer for the festival; plans for Lebanese cinema focus and tributes to late Us actor John Cazale and Chris Penn.

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Kviff) has unveiled plans for its 50th ‘annivarysary’ edition, set to run July 3-11.

The jubilee edition will include a look at recent Lebanese cinema, a retrospective of late Soviet-Ukrainian director Larisa Shepitko’s work and tributes to Us actors John Cazale and Chris Penn.

Actor-director Mel Gibson will also film a special trailer for the festival, set to be shot in Los Angeles in early May. The Lethal Weapon star received the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at last year’s Kviff.

Gibson continues a tradition that sees the recipients of this award feature in a short trailer for the following festival. It will be written and directed by Martin Krejčí, who has collaborated with Ivan Zachariáš since the beginning of the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Karlovy Vary Prepares to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Karlovy Vary Prepares to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
Prague — Building on a “you’re the star” theme, the Karlovy Vary Film Festival’s 50th edition will kick off with a massive street party July 3, serenaded by Czech rockers and forgoing the usual formal do at the spa town’s fabulously ornate Grandhotel Pupp.

“It won’t be a festival like we’ve had before,” said Eva Zaoralova, the fest’s former artistic director, noting the spirit of inclusiveness planned for Karlovy Vary’s fans, which will include open-air screenings and images of festgoers on the event poster unveiled in Prague on Tuesday.

Tributes will honor actors John Cazale (1935-1978), who portrayed the luckless Fredo Corleone in “The Godfather” franchise and also starred in “Dog Day Afternoon” and “The Deer Hunter,” and Chris Penn (1965-2006), who appeared in “Rumble Fish,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Short Cuts.”

There is also a tribute to Ukrainian auteur filmmaker Larisa Shepitko, whose works “Heat,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dubai Festival, German Institute to Screen Arab Films in Berlin

Dubai Festival, German Institute to Screen Arab Films in Berlin
The Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) is partnering with the Berlin-based Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art to screen productions from Diff’s list of the 100 greatest Arab films. The showcase will kick off June 13 with Ziad Doueiri’s West Beirut in the German capital's landmark Arsenal theater and run for six days. Diff worked with nearly 500 prominent regional and international film critics, writers, novelists, academics and other arts professionals to curate "Cinema of Passion," the first project of its kind in the Arab world to draw up a 100 greatest film list. Diff artistic director

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

AMPAS And Dubai Fest Partner To Hold ‘Arab Cinema Classics’ Screening Series In L.A.

AMPAS And Dubai Fest Partner To Hold ‘Arab Cinema Classics’ Screening Series In L.A.
After recently forging ties, the Dubai International Film Festival and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are co-presenting a two-day “Arab Cinema Classics” screening series at the Bing Theatre in Los Angeles this month.

Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri, a frequent Quentin Tarantino collaborator, will be on hand for a screening on June 21 of his largely autobiographical 1998 debut “West Beirut, about the roots of Lebanon’s Civil War.

Egyptian director Chadi Abdel Salem’s 1969 dreamlike drama “The Mummy,” recently restored by Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna with support from Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, and Egyptian master Youssef Chahine’s 1958 classic “Cairo Station” will both screen on June 13.

These titles are on the list of 100 Greatest Arab Films recently compiled by the Dubai fest in a book based on input from hundreds of experts being touted as the first project of this type in the Arab World. “The Mummy” (pictured) tops that list.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Academy Presents Top Arab Films

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff), will present “Arab Cinema Classics,” a two-day screening series of the best in Arab film on Friday, June 13, and Saturday, June 21, at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles. With input from nearly 500 prominent film critics, writers, novelists, academics and other arts professionals, Diff in 2013 compiled a tally of the 100 greatest Arab films of all time. The Academy will screen three selections from Diff’s Top 10: “The Night of Counting the Years” (“Al-Mummia,” 1970) Friday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. Director Shadi Abdel Salam’s film is based on the true story of the Horabat tribe’s 1881 plundering of pharaohs’ tombs in the ancient city of Thebes. Long unavailable for exhibition, the film was restored in 2009 by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation. “Cairo Station” (“Bab el Hadid,” 1958) Friday, June 13, at 9:20 p.m.
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Chadi Abdel Salem’s ‘The Mummy’ Tops List of 100 Greatest Arab Films

Chadi Abdel Salem’s ‘The Mummy’ Tops List of 100 Greatest Arab Films
Rome - Egyptian director Chadi Abdel Salem’s 1969 dreamlike drama “The Mummy,” recently restored by Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna with support from Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation, tops the list of 100 Greatest Arab Films compiled by the Dubai International Film Festival, in a book based on input from hundreds of experts being touted as the first project of this type in the Arab world.

Films from Egypt feature prominently, with two Youssef Chahine-directed classics, “Cairo Station” and “The Land,” ranked at number two and number four respectively, and helmer Daoud Abdel Sayed’s more recent drama “Kit Kat” (1991) about a very observant blind man, weighing in at number eight. Egyptian director Tewfik Saleh’s 1973 “The Dupes,” which is about the Palestinian predicament and was produced by Syria’s National Film Organization, came in at number ten.

North Africa is further represented by Algerian helmer Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Interview: Ziad Doueiri (The Attack)

  • ioncinema
Lebanese writer/director Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut – ’98, Lila Says- ’04) finally returns behind the camera for his third feature, an adaptation of the novel by Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra. A successful Arab surgeon living in Israel finds his life shattered when he finds his wife was involved in a suicide bombing thus sending him on a journey full of unintentional discovery. A thoroughly profound, layered and complex film, the Israeli and Palestinian conflict provides the backdrop for what is essentially a thriller with a love story at its core. With Ali Suliman in a dramatically anchor-heavy lead role, and equally strong perfs from supporting players Reymond Amsalem and Uri Gavriel, according to our four-star review, “this is perhaps the most humanistic take on the never-ending conflict to ever be presented on the screen, definitely an important and compelling film.” The Attack [06.21 - NYC and Washington] received its world premiere showing at Tiff last fall where
See full article at ioncinema »

'Homeland' irks Lebanese, Israelis

'Homeland' irks Lebanese, Israelis
Militants carrying assault weapons clear the area around a street, shouting in Arabic for people to get out of the way. A jeep pulls up: The world’s No. 1 jihadi has arrived for a meeting with top Hezbollah commanders. On rooftops, U.S. snipers crouch unseen, the kingpin in their crosshairs at last.

The scene, from a recent episode of the hit U.S. Showtime series Homeland, is supposed to be Beirut. But it is really in Israel, a country similar enough in some areas to stand in for Lebanon, yet a world away in most other respects.

The show
See full article at EW.com - Inside TV »

Tiff Capsule Review: 'The Attack'

  • Indiewire
Tiff Capsule Review: 'The Attack'
"The Attack," by the Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut), a former assistant cameraman on films by Quentin Tarantino, tells an unsettling story about Israel and Palestine. As it opens, an Arab surgeon Amin Jafaari (Ali Suliman) receives an Israeli prize for his life’s work. The same surgeon treats victims of a bombing that kills Jewish children, and the prime suspect turns out to be the surgeon’s wife. Amins is ostracized from most of his Jewish colleagues. After initial denial, Amin accepts that that hard evidence that his wife was the bomber, and travels to the Occupied Territories to find the sheik who taught and counseled her. The film adapts a novel by the Algerian writer, Yasmina Khadra, who publishes under a pseudonym. Shot in a thriller mode that accentuates melodrama, "The Attack" breaks new ground (certainly in Arab cinema) by confronting the role that ordinary citizens can
See full article at Indiewire »

Cohen Media Group And Focus World Teaming Up To Release Ziad Doueiri.s The Attack In The U.S. And Canada

Cohen Media Group and Focus World are teaming up to release The Attack in the U.S. and Canada in 2013. Cohen Media Group will be handling theatrical release and DVD distribution and sales while Focus World will be controlling all digital media and television rights.

The Attack, adapted from Yasmina Khadra.s international bestseller by the film.s director, Ziad Doueiri and with a screenplay by Ziad Doueiri and Joelle Touma, is produced by Jean Bréhat and Rachid Bouchareb. John Wells is also a producer on the film. The Attack is a 3B Production and Douri Film, Uag, Scope Pictures and Random House Films co-production.

The Attack marks Doueiri.s third feature, following his critically acclaimed films West Beirut and Lila Says. Acclaimed international actor Ali Suliman (Paradise Now) stars as Amin Jaafari, an Israeli-Palestinian surgeon who has fully assimilated into Tel Aviv society. His picture-perfect life is turned upside
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Tiff Watch: Cohen Media and Focus World Pick Up Doueiri's 'The Attack'

Tiff Watch: Cohen Media and Focus World Pick Up Doueiri's 'The Attack'
Cohen Media Group and Focus World are joining forces for the North American 2013 release of Ziad Doueiri's "The Attack," a drama-thriller following an Arab surgeon who uncovers a shocking secret about his late wife, a victim of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The film will be a special presentation at Toronto in September. "The Attack" is Doueiri's third feature, following his critical successes "West Beirut" (1998) and "Lily Says" (2004), both of which had robust festival runs. The film is adapted from Yasmina Khadra's international bestseller, and stars Ali Suliman in the lead role. Programmer notes from the Tiff website: When a suicide bomber strikes at a Tel Aviv café, Dr. Amin Jaafari (Ali Suliman), a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a highly respected surgeon, treats the wounded victims of the blast at a nearby hospital — at least those who will let him, as some refuse to be attended to by a.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

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