CINEMD 2022: Three Tunisian films on the program

Tunisian films are among the 200 Mediterranean films on the program of the 44th edition of the International Festival of Mediterranean Cinema in Montpellier (Cinemed), France, which is held from October 21 to 29, 2022.

Youssef Chebbi’s first feature film Ashkal is among a selection of 9 films in the Fiction feature film competition.

Ashkal is a Tunisian-French co-production by Supernova Films (France), with Blast Film (Tunisia) and Poetik Film (France). International sales are handled by The Party Film Sales. The film will be distributed in France in January 2023 by Jour2Fête Distribution.

This fiction made its world premiere at the 54th edition of the Directors’ Fortnight, a non-competitive independent section of the Cannes Film Festival scheduled from May 17 to 28, 2022. Recently, the film received a grant from the Saudi fund “Red Sea Fund”, funded by the Red Sea International Festival Foundation.

The story takes place “in one of the buildings of the Jardins de Carthage, a district of Tunis created by the old regime but whose construction was brutally stopped at the start of the revolution, two cops, Fatma and Batal, discover a charred body. As construction sites gradually resume, they begin to look into this mysterious case. When a similar incident occurs, the investigation takes a disconcerting turn. »

The jury chaired by the duo Rachida Brakni – Éric Cantona is made up of Delphine Gleize and Chloé Mazlo (directors) and Piers Faccini (musician). It will award the festival’s grand prize to one of the films in the running for the 2022 Antigone d’or.

Guardian of the Worlds by Leïla Chaïbi (1h31′, 2021) is in the documentary competition in which 8 films are competing for the Prix Ulysse Decipro-Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole.

This second feature film by the director, initially a cameraman, is a co-production between Tunisia, France and Qatar. Synopses; One day, at the foot of a tomb, Hassan fell asleep and never left the cemetery. For 40 years, on the hills of Jellaz in Tunisia where he has taken up residence, he watches over the dead and observes the living. In search of love and freedom, Hassan navigates between day and night and invites us to discover his worlds.

In the same competition is After a Revolution (2h1’32s) by the Italian Giovanni Buccomino. The director followed, for six years, the journey of two Libyans, a brother and a sister, who invested themselves body and soul in the future of their country, during the revolution, but each in a different camp.

This documentary is a 2021 co-production between Libya, Italy and the United Kingdom, winner of the Geneva Grand Prix and Best Film at Biografilmfest.

Under the Figs (1h32) by Erige Sehiri is programmed among a selection of preview films. Under the Fig Trees, title in English, is the candidate film which will represent Tunisia at the 95th Academy Awards, in the International Feature Film category.

This film is an international co-production (2022) between Tunisia, Switzerland, France and Qatar, which was presented at the 54th Directors’ Fortnight, the non-competitive independent section of the Cannes Film Festival scheduled from May 17 to 28, 2022. He won the Ecoprod jury prize launched at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.

Co-scripted by Erige Sehiri and Peggy Hamann, this co-production by Henia Production and Maneki Films was rewarded “for its eco-production approach during the filming of the film”. The Franco-Tunisian, Erige Sehiri, is on her second feature film, after her documentary “La Voie Normale” (2018) and a short film “My Father’s Facebook” (2012).

Under the fig Trees takes place in the middle of fig trees, in the Tunisian North-West, during the summer harvest. Ecoprod reports on the many initiatives implemented on the set of this film, made with a small team. The actions carried out concern management, decoration, energy, transport and waste.

“Cinemed, in its 44th edition, is delighted to welcome the Franco-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche, a gifted artist with an exceptional career. In 7 feature films, he has built a masterful body of work in which his gift for directing actors reveals a new generation of actors. His cinema captures with intensity the problems of our societies, youth, immigration, clandestinity, the suburbs”, we read in the Catalog.

Kechiche is the author of fiction all produced in France, including Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno (2h55′, 2017), La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2 (2013, 2h57′), Vénus noire (2h42′, 2010), La Seed and the Mule (2007, 2h31′), L’Esquive (2004, 1h57′) and La Faute à Voltaire (2000, 2h13′). The latter is the director’s first feature film, winner of the Golden Lion for First Work in Venice.

L’Esquive won five César awards in 2005, including Best Film and Best Director. The year of its release, 2007, The Seed and the Mule won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and actress Hafsia Herzi won the Marcello Mastroianni Prize.

The director who won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, for La Vie d’Adèle, was awarded, together with his two actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, a first in the history of the festival. His film Mektoub My Love: Intermezzo, selected at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, was never released in theaters.

At his beginnings, he was an actor, in 1978, in an adaptation of Garcia Lorca, Untitled, directed by Muriel Channey. He then plays in A balcony on the Andes of E. Manet directed by JL Thamin at the Théâtre national de l’Odeon. He made his debut on the big screen in 1984 in Le Thé à la minthe by Adelkrim Bahloul.

Kechiche will also give a masterclass which will take place on Friday October 28th.

The Spaniard Icíar Bollaín and the Franco-Moroccan Simon Bitton are also in the spotlight at this 44th edition of Cinemed, which is an unmissable annual event for Mediterranean cinema.


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CINEMD 2022: Three Tunisian films on the program