Rotana film fest to promote Saudi cinema

Updated 19 May 2013

Rotana film fest to promote Saudi cinema

Rotana movies channel is starting the second Saudi Film Festival from today for eight weeks under the supervision of film directors Mamdouh Salem and Hana Al-Umair, and broadcaster Mujahid Omari.
“In the first show of the festival three short films and a documentary will be shown. The films have been selected by a jury: Writer Abdo Khal, Hana Al-Umair, film critic Fahd Al-Yahya, artist Abdullah Al-Sanani and I,” said Salem. There is also a competition going on between the festival films for which the jury will award points. Prizes are awarded to the best short feature film, best actor, best actress, best editing, best film, best cinematography, best screenplay, best documentary, best influences of art, best director, people’s choice award, and a jury prize.
“Films will be shown every day at 10 p.m. on Rotana TV channel, providing almost 35 Saudi short films, animated films and documentaries in those eight weeks,” Salem added.
“There are 24 short films participating in this year’s festival, we received eight documentaries, and three feature films. The main aim of the festival is to promote Saudi films and filmmakers to a large audience so they will have a chance to show their talent to the world,” said Salem.


Film review: ‘Parkour(s)’ takes obstacle course through class conflict

The sport of parkour forms the backdrop of this Algerian film. Supplied
Updated 08 December 2019

Film review: ‘Parkour(s)’ takes obstacle course through class conflict

  • Fatma Zohra Zamoum’s “Parkour(s)” is set in a small city in Algeria
  • It screened at the recent Cairo International Film Festival

CHENNAI: The fast-paced sport of parkour — or negotiating obstacles in an urban environment by running, jumping and climbing — forms the backdrop of this Algerian film.

Fatma Zohra Zamoum’s “Parkour(s)” is set in a small city in Algeria, and it seems that the director has used the title to convey the kind of histrionics her characters indulge in. Take, for instance, Youcef (Nazim Halladja) — a sportsman playing parkour — literally cartwheeling through the urban landscape. His reckless antics also include threatening people with a gun and pleading with would-be bride Kamila (Adila Bendimered) to ditch her future husband, Khaled, (Mohamed Bounoughaz). 

The movie, which screened at the recent Cairo International Film Festival, unfolds during a day and takes us to the wedding and the assorted group of men and women gathered there. As we see these people making their way toward the occasion, we get to see that they are all motivated by different pulls and pressures.

The film unfolds during a day and takes us to a wedding and the assorted group of men and women gathered there. Supplied

Youcef is there to try to persuade Kamila from walking up the aisle. The kitchen help is set to make an extra buck. However, other characters have not been written with much conviction.

Zamoun says in a note: “The multi-character drama shows how a normal situation turns into major clashes reflecting the conflict between classes, ideas and generations in Algerian society, whose youth try to take control of their lives. But they are surrounded by those who try to handcuff them.” 

The movie is not convincing on this count. For example, how is the bride — who willingly prepares for the wedding (that was my impression, anyway) — “handcuffed?” The same can be said for other characters we encounter.

What comes across loud and clear, however, is the class difference. No clarity is lost when Khaled gives money to Youcef to buy a “decent” suit for the wedding and he is offended by Khaled’s arrogance. Youcef makes no bones about this to his friend — and perhaps he is taking his revenge when he tries to sow discord among his fellow characters. Also worthy of note is the performance by the young daughter of the kitchen help, Nedjma (Lali Mansour), who gives one of the most moving and natural sequences in “Parkour(s).”

The cinematography is nothing to rave about and Youcef’s parkour antics are rather intrusive and add little to the narrative.