MAD Solutions sends 7 films to Beirut’s Arab Short Film Festival

09 May 2024
MAD Solutions — the MENA region’s largest film distributor— is sending seven short films from its impressive and extensive distribution slate to the Arab Short Film Festival in Beirut, which will be running from May 13th to 17th.
The MAD lineup includes the Keserwany Sisters’ LES CHENILLES, Murad Abu Eisheh’s A CALLING. FROM THE DESERT. TO THE SEA, Majdi El-Omari’s MAR MAMA, Sami Saif Sirelkhatim’s NAIMA’S MOVIE, Tariq Rimawi’s animated short film ZOO, Inès Arsi’s FLESH AND BLOOD, and Wisam Al-Jafari’s BY THE SEA.
First in the MAD lineup is the Keserwany Sisters’ French-Lebanese short film LES CHENILLES — laureate of the Golden Bear Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, and the first Arab film to win the award — which follows two female waitresses, Asma and Sarah: Two women originally from the Levant who find themselves working in the same restaurant in the city of Lyon, France, both bearing the weight of a home they were forced to leave behind.
Initially wary of each other, they gradually discover a common thread that binds them — one that dates back to when the Silk Road connected Lyon to their home countries. In the midst of forced migrations, can they move past their animosity to find solace in each other?
The film will be screening on Tuesday May 14th, at 7 pm.
Next up is Murad Abu Eisheh’s Jordanian drama short A CALLING. FROM THE DESERT. TO THE SEA, which follows Ahlam, who, fearing that her younger sister will be married off just like she was, lures Yasmin to run away with her by telling a story of a mythical sea that lies beyond the desolate desert and its mountains.
In search of this mystical sea, the two sisters journey far from their home, predetermined fate, and secluded life with their father, however, along the way, young Yasmin is forced to face her inner demons and further her understanding of the world she lives in.
A CALLING. FROM THE DESERT. TO THE SEA will be screening onWednesday 15th at 9 pm.
Third in the lineup is acclaimed filmmaker Majdi El-Omari’s Palestinian short film MAR MAMA, which delves into the story of a young girl haunted by her mother's death and the recurring attacks on her city. Faced with these traumas, she becomes obsessed with death. As her father attempts to distract her by creating a stop-motion film, reality intrudes; she finds solace in her imagination and fantasies.
The film, which will be screening on Tuesday, May 14th at 7 pm, features a talented cast, including the award-winning Palestinian actor Ziad Bakri, who is known for SCREWDRIVER and Netflix’s THE WEEKEND AWAY, and Lana Abu Srour.
Fourth is Sami Saif Sirelkhatim’s Moroccan short film NAIMA’S MOVIE where Amir, following the unexpected death of a woman who had been his devoted supporter and muse in his filmmaking journey, feels compelled to honor her by creating a film as a tribute to her memory.
The film will be screening on Thursday, May 16th at 9 pm.
Fifth is Tariq Rimawi’s Jordanian-German animated short film ZOO, which follows Sami, who wanders through the worst zoo in the world while looking for his ball, and then crosses paths with a little tiger named Laziz, who follows him on his quest to find a safe place to play. Against all odds, they become friends. But the remnants of war harbor danger.
The film will be screening on Tuesday May 14th at 9 pm.
Moving on to the second-to-last entry from MAD, we have FLESH AND BLOOD, a Tunisian short film directed by Inès Arsi. The story centers around Donia, a 19-year-old survivor of rape who learns that she is pregnant as a result of the assault committed by her young neighbor. With a singular objective in mind, Donia strives to obtain an abortion before it becomes too late.
Flesh and Blood will be screening on Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Palestinian short film BY THE Sea by Wisam Al-Jafari, which follows Nahid, who wants to celebrate her husband’s birthday while he is on the run from Israeli soldiers, however, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it is really difficult for Nahid to get all the ingredients needed to bake the birthday cake.
Will Nahid be able to celebrate her husband’s birthday with him in their secret hideout?
The film will be screened on Wednesday May 15th at 9 pm.