Another Oscar-qualifying Festival Picks Gaza Film
- The Amman Filmmakers Cooperative
ANOTHER OSCAR-QUALIFYING FESTIVAL PICK GAZA FILM
January 31, 2011
Following its selections to IDFA and The Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, the short film Into the Belly of the Whale by Hazim Bitar has now been officially selected to Tampere Film Festivalâs international program.
Tampere Film Festival is an Oscar-qualifying event for winners of the international and national film competitions.
Into the Belly of the Whale is about Younis (Jonah), a Palestinian in Gaza who decides to make his last tunnel run between Gaza and Egypt, to break the Israeli siege, but things take a turn for the worst. While stuck underground, he ponders existential questions.
âThis is more good news for the volunteer cast and crew of the film who toiled selflessly to tell a story we all feel passionately aboutâ said Hazim Bitar, film director.
Members of the film of cast are largely residents of Palestinian refugee camps with the lead role going to Mr. Alabbas Saed, Cooperative filmmaker and actor. The film, produced by the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative, was shot on location in the Baqâah and Marka refugee camps in Jordan with no budget. The tunnel was built by renowned sculptor Aziz Abughazaleh.
The oldest film festival in the Nordic region and one of the worldâs leading film festivals, Tampere Film Festival in Finland evolved from Tampere Short Film Days, a cinema event held in Tampere around the end of February 1969. In 2009, over 3000 films have been submitted to the festival.
The Amman Filmmakers Cooperative is a Jordan-based initiative established in 2002 to promote independent filmmaking in marginalized communities in Jordan.
The film has been selected previously to Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival â11, France; IDFA '10, Netherland; London Palestine Film Festival â11, UK; Kazan Film Festival '10, Russia; San Francisco Arab Film Festival '10, USA; Boston Palestine Film Festival '10, USA; Jordan Short Film Festival '10, USA; Beirut Cinema Days, Lebanon.
Tempere Film Festival
Original Title: Ela Batn el-Hoot
English Title: Into The Belly of the Whale
Synopsis: Younis (Jonha), while caught in a Gaza tunnel, ponders the contradictions of being alive underground.
Director: Hazim Bitar
Writer: Hazim Bitar
Producer: Hazim Bitar
Editor: Hazim Bitar
Cast: Alabbas Saed, Leen Azzam, Hussam Ayesh, Muhammad Azzam, Muhammad Abujudeh, Almamoun Abughazaleh
Set Design: Aziz Abughazaleh
Effects: Rabee Zureikat, Yazan Ashqar
Music: Marcel Khalife, Muhammad Flefel
Language: Arabic w/English subtitles
Format: HDV | PAL| Stereo | Color & B&W
Duration: 25 min
Distribution: Amman Filmmakers Cooperative
BIO: Hazim Bitar is Jordanian/Palestinian director and producer. He is the founder of the Amman Filmmakers Cooperative, Jordan's leading indie cinema education initiative focusing on marginalized communities. He produced over 50 short films many of which have screened at leading film festivals and won various awards. He also served on various juries such as Huesca Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival, and the International Emmy.
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