Hommage à Omar Amiralay

The French based (in Marseilles) promotion and distribution mechanism Aflam, which has its focus on Arab cinema, pays a tribute to the late Syrian documentary film director, Omar Amiralay, who died in February this year. Amiralay was a persona non grata by the regime in Damascus and many of his films were not allowed to be screened. He was even forbidden to talk in public sessions as we witnessed at the first session of the Dox Box festival in 2008.

The tribute is one element of the fourth edition of ”Ecrans des Nouveaux Cinémas Arabes” in Marseilles May 23-31, followed by its ”Caravane en region” from July 6-12. Here is – in French – a clip from the introduction by the organisers:

“Pour la 4è édition des « Ecrans des Nouveaux Cinémas Arabes », Aflam propose un choix de films, pour l’essentiel inédits en France, qui, de la Syrie au Maroc, couvre tout l’arc des pays arabes, avec la présence de pays dont on voit peu de films : la Libye, l’Irak.

Les cinéastes arabes sont à l’écoute : un court-métrage sur la « révolution tunisienne », Dégage de Mohamed Zran, sera projeté et présenté par son auteur lors de la soirée d’ouverture.

Les cinéastes arabes ont toujours été combatifs : en point d’orgue de ce programme, nous rendons hommage au grand documentariste syrien Omar Amiralay, récemment disparu, qui eut bien des démêlées avec le régime. Preuve que le genre vit, deux documentaristes d’aujourd’hui, Mohamed Zran (Vivre ici) et Hakim Belabbès (Fragments), viendront présenter leurs films.

A l’heure où un vent de liberté souffle sur les pays arabes, cette sélection de films des années 2009 et 2010 témoigne de la force d’intervention du cinéma : nombre de ces films traitent directement des sujets politiques, et plusieurs mettent l’histoire en perspective. Le voyage à Alger, La longue nuit, Encore une fois en proposent, chacun à leur manière, une relecture qui, dans le climat de ces derniers mois, prend une dimension nouvelle.”

www.aflam.fr

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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