Four AFAC-supported Films Play Cannes 2021
11 Jun 2021

Four AFAC-supported films, hailing from Somalia, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, will be participating in the 73rd edition of the Cannes Film Festival (July 6 to 17, 2021) and its sideline programs.

Premiering in the 60th edition of the Festival’s Critics’ Week – which aims to highlight first and second features directed by filmmakers from around the world – “The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Somalian director Khader Ahmed is a love story about Guled, a 45-year old Somali gravedigger who lives with his wife Nasra, 39, in the slums of Djibouti City, until their life is shaken by Nasra’s serious illness.

Two films will premiere in the Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight section – a parallel selection of the Cannes Film Festival that showcases a wide spectrum of films and highlights the most singular and visionary practices in contemporary cinema. The first is “The Sea Ahead” by Lebanese director Ely Dagher, which captures the vicious circle that all generations of Lebanese are trapped in. The second film, "Europa” by Iraqi filmmaker Haider Rashid, follows a young Iraqi man, entering Europe on foot through the border between Turkey and Bulgaria, and the adventures that subsequently unfold.

On the sidelines of the festival, the Syrian film “Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege” by Abdallah Al-Khatib will screen in Acid Cannes - an association of film directors which promotes the distribution of independent films. The film records the daily deprivations of the Yarmouk camp’s refugees, while celebrating their courage.

Four other Arab films are taking part in this year’s edition of the festival. Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch’s feature film “Casablanca Beats” has been selected in the festival’s official “In Competition” section, while Algerian director Karim Aïnouz’s film “Mariner of the Mountains” features among the Special Screenings section line-up. Also participating in the Critics’ Week are AFAC previous grantee Leyla Bouzid’s film “A Tale of Love and Desire” (Tunisia), and Omar El Zohairy’s film “Feathers” (Egypt).

For more details and the full program, check the Cannes festival website.