- Title: ARGENTINA: Latin-Arab film festival wraps up in Buenos Aires
- Date: 29th November 2012
- Summary: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (NOVEMBER 28, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ENTERING THEATRE VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE IN THEATRE
- Embargoed: 14th December 2012 12:00
- Location: Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Reuters ID: LVA7JDQ5E6KHJEKNUJ1NHXHV0KFJ
- Story Text: The second annual Latin Arab International film festival wrapped up Thursday (November 29) in Buenos Aires, with film from across the Middle East being shown in the Argentine capital.
The week-long event, organized by Cine Fertil, featured a diverse selection of documentaries and films from across the Arab world.
Edgardo Bechara El Khoury, the festival's director, underlined how the films provide a window into another world, allowing one to identify and relate to others despite geographical distance.
"This lets us have a direct window through to the Arab world, to be able to have a south to south dialogue. At the same time this window creates a mirror that is sort of what the festival is offering, to show that the others, in the Arab world, aren't so 'other' but just us in other settings. A bit like this and like in cinema, it's a universal narrative and feel, and what Latin Arab offers is precisely this, to rediscover ourselves in another place," said El Khoury.
Leila Hotait, director of "Crayons for Askalan", a film about a young Palestinian jailed in an Israeli high security prison, spoke about the unique cast and filming under difficult conditions.
"So my sister and I went to all the different refugee camps and told them about the movie we wanted to do. I designed a short (film) that I had done in stop motion and I told them, well, this is what we want to do, this is the movie, and little by little we got the cast together, with a lot of people coming out. Since all of them had experience in jail, and all of them had the experience of having someone very close to them imprisoned in Israel, all of them felt that the film spoke about their experiences. So, yes, when you have a cast like this, even though it's not a professional cast you can really do everything," said Hotait.
"In spite of it being a very difficult shoot because there was a moment when Israel was bombing very close and we were scared. There was no electricity, etc. etc.but, with the strength of the people and the support from around the world, you can press on. And so we were able to make a film with a good technical quality, even though we had a small crew and we were working in difficult conditions," added Hotait.
An award ceremony for this year's film selection will wrap up the festival later this evening.
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