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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 25/08/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The selection includes two narrative movies Theeb directed by Naji Abu Nowar and The Valley directed by Ghassan Salhab; and two documentaries.Four Arab films supported by Sanad the Abu Dhabi Film Festival’s (ADFF) development and post-production fund will be screened at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which runs from September 4 to 14. This is the fifth consecutive year that Sanad films will be screened at TIFF. The four selected films are also expected to be part of ADFF’s programme this October.

“This achievement is a testament to ADFF and Sanad’s success in supporting and developing international quality Arab films” said Ali Al Jabri director of ADFF.

The selection includes two narrative movies — Theeb directed by Naji Abu Nowar and The Valley directed by Ghassan Salhab; and two documentaries — Iraqi Odyssey directed by Samir and The Wanted 18 directed by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan.

“Theeb has also been selected for Orizzonti competition of Venice Film Festival later this month; it is the only Arab feature film to be screened in the official selection of this year’s programme in Venice” pointed out Al Jabri.

Theeb selected to be part of the Discovery Category of TIFF follows the story of a young Bedouin boy named Theeb who lives with his tribe in a forgotten corner of the Ottoman Empire. Having recently lost his father it falls on Theeb’s brother Hussein to raise him. ussein tries to teach Theeb the Bedouin way of life but the young boy is more interested in mischief than mentorship. Their lives are interrupted with the arrival of a British army officer and his guide on a mysterious mission.


Lebanese director Ghassan Salhab returns to TIFF following the screening of his film The Mountain in 2011 with The Valley participating in the Contemporary World of Cinema category.

The story revolves around a man who loses his memory following a car accident in the Beqaa Valley. While stranded he is held hostage on a local farm that doubles as an illegal drug-production facility.

TIFF’s documentaries category will showcase Iraqi Odyssey by Swiss-Iraqi director Samir who entered the spotlight following the release of his film Forget Baghdad in 2002.

His latest documentary is a 3D adventure telling the story of the director’s immigrant family that travelled for half a century recalling dreams that were crushed by the horrors of dictatorship and drawing a portrait of the Iraqi middle class of the fifties and sixties.

In the same category Palestinian director Amer Al Shomali and Canadian director Paul Cowan showcase their documentary The Wanted 18. The film sarcastically recreates an astonishing true story from the first Palestinian Intifada: the Israeli army’s pursuit of 18 cows whose milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.

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