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Egyptian Director Hala Galal’s ‘From Cairo’ to Participate in Arab Film Festival Berlin

The documentary From Cairo by Egyptian filmmaker Halal Galal will take part in the upcoming edition of the Arab Film Festival Berlin (AFFB).

From Cairo

From Cairo (2021) was in the first batch of films announced to participate in the 14th edition of AFFB, an event taking place between 26 April and 2 May 2023 with films screened across numerous cinemas in Berlin: Kino Arsenal, City Kino Wedding, Kino in der KulturBrauerei, and Sinema Transtopia.

From Cairo takes place on the streets of Cairo, with the filmmaker’s story linked to those of Heba and Aya, as the three women challenge the norms and limitations of what it means to be a woman in contemporary Egypt.

As the film’s brief reveals, “photojournalist Heba tries to find space in her life as a single mother by conceiving art that focuses on the female body. As for Aya, she tries to find a foothold in her relationship with family, religion and her passion for roller derby, which takes up more and more space in her life and pushes her to rethink her position as a woman. All three women have a desire to create space for more voices in contemporary Egypt.”

The one-hour long documentary won the Jury Award at the Malmo Arab Film Festival (2022). Prior to its official premiere, the film received a Stadion Video Award from the MedFilm Works in Progress section of the Rome MedFilm Festival.

The festival’s organisers also revealed more than 40 feature films, documentaries and short films with high artistic value as well as further events in its three sections ALFILM Selection, ALFILM Spotlight and ALFILM Atelier.

Moroccan fiction film The Damned Don’t Cry by Fyzal Boulifa will kick off the festival on 26 April; screened within the ALFILM Selection.

In fact, this year, the ALFILM Selection focuses also particularly on Palestinian cinema 75 years after the Nakba with the screening of films like Foragers by Jumana Manna, Mediterranean Fever by Maha Haj and Alam by Firas Khoury, as well as a panel discussion dedicated to this topic.

The documentary section of the 14th ALFILM Selection features numerous films by female directors, bringing their stories and those of their communities to the forefront.

The ALFILM Spotlight called Ghosts, Griefs and Lost Dreams: Visions of the City in Arab Cinema will open with Tunisian film Ashkal by Youssef Chebbi.

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