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Arab, African stars descend on Carthage

Tunisian actress Mariem Ben Chaabane arrives for the opening ceremony of the Carthage Film Festival’s 28th edition on Saturday in Tunis. (AFP)
TUNISIA: The 28th edition of the Carthage Film Festival opened on Saturday evening with the participation of a large number of cinema stars from Arab, African and Latin American countries.
In the center of Habib Bourguiba Street, the red carpet extended to the Cinéma Le Colisée to welcome the guests of the film festival. Photographers rushed to take pictures of the artists, and hundreds of spectators gathered to greet the stars.
“We are delighted to welcome you today to the opening of the 28th Carthage Film Festival, in which we tried to reconcile the principles of the festival with the spirit of the times,” said Najib Ayad, director of the festival.
“The Carthage Film Festival is an African-Arab festival. All competitions are dedicated to African and Arab cinema, with an emphasis on a gradual return of balance between the Arab and African audience, and with greater emphasis on Africa as a cornerstone of the festival,” he said.
Four countries will be the guest of honor at the new edition of festival namely Algeria, Argentina, South Africa and South Korea.
At the opening ceremony, there was a musical performance by Algerian musician Hassan Belkacem Boualiaoui, in addition to a dance performance from Argentina.
In the opening speech, Tunisian Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohamed Zine El Abidine welcomed attendees.
The opening ceremony featured “Writing on Ice” by Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi, in the presence of the participating stars, led by Egyptian actor Amr Waked. The film is a joint Egyptian-Palestinian-Tunisian production.
The festival will feature films from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Senegal, Cameroon, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and South Africa.
The Carthage Film Festival, the oldest art festival in Africa and the Arab world, was founded in 1966.