Embark on an enchanting journey as AFAC launches its second Music and Film Summer Festival, titled “Wish You Were Here” from 24th to 26th August, 2018 in Berlin.
The Festival, held in partnership with ALFILM, will open on 24th August with a concert featuring Malika Zarra, an inspiring new international voice, accompanied by Amen Viana (Guitar), Elvin Bironien, (Bass) and Adhil Mirghani (Percussions) at Freiluftkino Kreuzberg, followed by the screening of The Journey (al-Rihla) directed by Mohamed al-Daradji. The Festival will continue on 25th and 26th August at Silent Green Kulturquartier, with a concert by Kamilya Jubran (singer, oud) and Werner Hasler (trumpet, electronics) followed by the screening of Volubilis (Walili) directed by Faouzi Bensaïdi on 25th August. The closing on 26th August features a concert by saxophonist Basel Rajoub and virtuoso Matthias Loibner, followed by the screening of Hedi (Inhebbek Hedi) directed by Mohamed Ben Attia.
The AFAC Music and Film Summer Festival is part of the activities of the Arab European Creative Platform (AECP). Spearheaded by AFAC in 2016, AECP is a three-year multi-disciplinary special program of events, showcases, conferences and workshops that aims to galvanize the vital inventiveness of Arab and European artists and institutions, towards empowering and enabling the production of art, culture and knowledge.
CONCERT: Malika Zarra
Malika Zarra is an inspiring new international voice, both influenced by jazz and bringing her own culture and creativity to the melting pot of the international jazz scene. Born in Morocco, raised in France, this gifted composer, producer and singer has invented a new Moroccan world-jazz by tastefully using traditional North African chaâbi, as well as Berber and Gnawa polyrhythms to underpin her distinctly contemporary urban compositions, all the while maintaining a sophisticated improvisational modern jazz approach. She will perform with Amen Viana (Guitar), Elvin Bironien, (Bass) and Adhil Mirghani (Percussions). Her debut CD, Berber Taxi, was released to critical acclaim.
9:50 pm SCREENING: The Journey (al-Rihla) directed by Mohamed al-Daradji (Iraq/UK/France/Qatar/The Netherlands), 2017, Color, 82 minutes, in Arabic with subtitles in English.
Director: Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji; Producers: Isabelle Stead, Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji; Writers: Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, Isabelle Stead; Co-Writer: Olivia Hetreed; Co-Producer: Hélène Cases; Associate Producer: Andy Guy, Rene Goossens; Cinematographer: Duraid Al-Munajim; Composers: Mike Kourtzer & Fabian Kourtzer; Sound Designer: Oliver Laurent; Editors: Herve de Luz, Pascale Chavance, Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji.
Baghdad, December 31st, 2006: Sara enters Baghdad station with sinister intentions for its reopening ceremony. As she braces to commit an unthinkable act, her plans are drastically altered by an unwanted and awkward encounter with Salam, a charming hussler. She takes him hostage, but the limits of her own agency soon come into question. Bound together in this state of fear and confusion, Sara and Salam are forced to examine their beliefs — from radically opposite sides of politics and society. Solely set in the station and its environs over the course of a day, the film employs a huis-clos set-up that provocatively mirrors contemporary Iraqi society while positing the complex question of how hatred is born upon us. Filmed on location, unfolding with a gripping intensity, expertly juggling suspense and various narrative strands, never succumbing to the sentimentality it sometimes flirts with, The Journey is reminiscent of Italian neorealism but classic plays by the likes of Saroyan and Wilder, in which small interactions between characters affirm the value of life with all its sorrows and bittersweet joys.
Silent Green Kulturquartier
8:00 pm CONCERT: KAMILYA JUBRAN & WERNER HASLER
Kamilya Jubran (singer, oud) and Werner Hasler (trumpet, electronics) have been collaborating since 2002, their first collaboration, titled Mahattaat, was an experiment where different cultural and artistic roots but their worlds intermingled. Their next collaboration, Wameedd, released in 2004, combined Kamilya's unique vocal skill and limitless imagination, with Werner’s melodies and his unique talents in electronic music in a unique alchemy. Their third collaboration, Wasl, released in 2010, included bassist Sarah Murcia, circled their experimentation with poetry, language, musical sensibilities and cultural legacy.
Kamilya Jubran is a critically-acclaimed Palestinian musician and artist. She started her career as the lead song performer, Oud and Qanoon player of the group Sabreen that represented the voice of resistance and struggle for freedom. Since 2002 Kamilya has been living in Europe. Through the various projects she realises, she searches for an original musical expression with her voice and the Oud, her instrument.
Werner Hasler is a Swiss composer, trumpet player and electronic musician. Besides his long time collaboration with Kamilya Jubran, he runs the outer string, a loose formation of cello, trumpet, electronics and drums. Recently he was working on hybrids of Exhibition/ Installation and Live performances. His last work OUT TOO is a space filling, audio-visual installation followed by a liveset with audio-surround, released 2018 by manufactured audio in collaboration with Carlo Niederhauser (cello), Hugo Ryser (optickle visuals), Everest Records, Orbital Garden and Perron3. Werner Hasler also lectures on Electronics & Music at Hochschule der Künste in Bern.
Volubilis (Walili) directed by Faouzi Bensaïdi (Morocco/France/Qatar), 2017, 106 minutes, Color. In Arabic with subtitles in English.
Written and Directed by: Faouzi Bensaïdi; Produced by: Saïd Hamich; Cinematography: Marc-André Batigne; Edited by: Maxime Garault; Sound: Patrice Mendez, Alexis Meynet, Samuel Aichoun. Cast: Mouhcine Malzi, Nadia Kounda, Abdelhadi Talbi, Nezha Rahil, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Mouna Fettou.
In the Moroccan city of Meknes, recently married and madly in love, Abdelkader and Malika struggle to make ends meet. He works as a security guard at a shopping center, and she as a cleaning lady in a wealthy woman’s home. They dream of leaving the family house and finally start a life of their own together. After Abdelkader experiences a violent and humiliating incident at work, their destiny upside down. Volubilis delves into the outrageous rift between rich and poor, portraying the violence, indignity and indifference with a clinical precision, without ever falling into manicheistic schemes. Masterfully directed, Bensaïdi’s characters are complex, and his actors deliver superb performances. The film is a tale of love in a world of fear and despair, but also of beauty among the lost glory of Volubilis.
Silent Green Kulturquartier
8:00 pm CONCERT: BASEL RAJOUB & MATTHIAS LOIBNER
Saxophonist Basel Rajoub and hurdy-gurdy virtuoso Matthias Loibner cannot label the music they create together, it is not jazz, not strictly contemporary, no box can be checked. It’s new, honest and very true. While Rajoub borrows melodies from the East, bending its oriental roots, it grinds it through the mesh of the hurdy-gurdy. The repertory is elusive, flowing from medieval to baroque, then to the modern, contemporary, and to the oriental. Not a single piece is performed twice in the same manner.
Basel Rajoub is a saxophone player, born in Syria and living in Switzerland. He performs oriental melodies to an instrument not native to that tradition, combining jazz, classical music and the myriad microtonal subtleties of Arabic music. For his expressive performance, Austrian-born Matthias Loibner has been described as the Astor Piazzola and the Jimi Hendrix of the hurdy-gurdy. Together, their improvisations are unique and surprising, they have a charming spontaneity, while being rooted in age-old musical traditions.
Hedi (Inhebbek Hedi) directed by Mohamed Ben Attia (Tunisia/Belgium/France/Qatar/UAE), 2016, 98 minutes Color. In Arabic with subtitles in English.
Written and Directed by: Mohamed Ben Attia; Produced by: Dora Boushousha Fourati; Executive Producers, Lina Chaabane Menzli, Delphine Tomson; Co-producers, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Nadim Cheikhrouha; Cinematography: Frederic Noirhomme; Editors: Azza Chaabouni, Ghalya Lacroix, Hafedh Laaridhi; Music, Omar Aloulou; Sound: Faouzi Thabet; Sound design: Jean-Sebastien Garbe; Associate Producers, Imed Marzouk, Philippe Logie; Cast: Majd Mastoura, Rym Ben Messaoud, Sabah Bouzouita, Omnia Ben Ghali, Hakim Boumessaoudi, Arwa Ben Smail.
Hedi is a young Tunisian men going through an existential crisis. Docile and compliant with social conventions and his mother’s plans, who has always organized his life. He is indifferent about his job as a salesman, despite the high-rate of unemployment, and he is indifferent towards Khédija, whom he is marrying, as per his mother’s wish. A week prior to the actual wedding Hedi meets Rim, an itinerant dancer, with whom he falls passionately in love. Rim is a free spirit woman, embracing life and fiercely independent. Hedi is left with a hard decision to make, settle down for a mediocre marriage or follow his globetrotting sweetheart. This remarkably directed first feature has the power to captivate, with Frederic Noirhomme’s careful lensing and Majd Mastoura’s engrossing performance, that earned him the Silver Bear at the 2016 Berlinale.
SPACES AND TICKETS DETAILS
Freitluftkino Kreuzberg: The Freiluftkino is located near Kottbusser Tor U-Bahn station, in the courtyard of Kunstquartier Bethanien at Mariannenplatz, on the corner of Adalbertstraße and Bethaniendamm.
Ticket at the Box Office: 7.50€. Box Office opens 30 minutes before show time.
Online Ticket: 7.50€ (http://www.freiluftkino-kreuzberg.de/freiluftkino_kreuzberg_english.php). Use link button next to film title.
Children under 13 years old: 5:50€.
5- and 10-show ticket: 5-show ticket is 30€, 10-show ticket is 55€
Over length surcharge: 1€
Contrat and Group discounts for school classes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silent Green Kulturquartier: Gerichstraße 35, near S-Bahn Wedding and U6-Bahn Wedding.
Standard ticket: 5.00 €. Box Office opens 30 minutes before show time.
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) was established in 2007 by cultural lobbyists as an independent initiative that funds individuals and organizations in the fields of cinema, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts while facilitating cultural exchange, research and cooperation across the Arab world and globally. Since its inception it has become internationally and regionally recognized, working with a range of reputable institutional partners, and has issued around 1,300 grants to date with about 150 new grants per year. AFAC is registered in Switzerland with headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Arab European Creative Platform (AECP) is a pilot multi-disciplinary special program of events, showcases, conferences and workshops that aims to address alarming realities in Europe, namely the growing ranks of displaced creative talents, and the rise of xenophobic and reactionary movements. The three-year program aspires to explore innovative and constructive actions, commissions and productions, because we are confident that establishing a platform that probes and explores imagination and expression, engages the creative and artistic communities from both Europe and the Arab world, holds keys to allaying fearful minds and hearts and shifting perceptions.
The idea is to not only to challenge terms of discourse and perceptions by providing a platform to Arab intellectuals and artists in Europe, but also to enable genuine contact and creative collaborations between Arab and European artists. Moreover, building on the success of AFAC’s public showcases, and responding to the difficulties Arab artists face with the circulation, visibility and dissemination of their work, the AECP is grounded in structured partnership with European institutions and funders to co-produce and co-present each event in the proposed program.
ALFILM (www.alfilm.de) is organized by the association makan – Center for Arab Film, Arts and Culture. The independent non-profit association was founded in 2004 to promote and support Arab cinema. Since then the association acts as an intermediator of a multi-faceted Arabic culture serving its role in an intercultural dialogue through film. The association has organized various film programs and events, and eventually the annual ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin was launched in 2009.
The work of the association and the festival is carried out by a team of culturally-motivated volunteers. Individuals from different professional and personal backgrounds commit themselves every year to bring Arab filmmakers’ works to the Berlin screens, bringing up new perspectives on the Arab world to the city’s international film audience.