News 06 MAY 2019

Two Belgian documentaries awarded at Geneva

The International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva delivered Saturday May 4 the awards of its 14th edition. Two Belgian documentaries have been awarded : When Arabs danced by Jawad Rhalib and Still Alive by Pauline Beugnies.

Already awarded several times, When Arabs danced directed by Jawad Rhalib has received the Golden FIFOG.

A fundamentalist hates life. For him, it presents temptation, a moving away from God and a loss of time before the celestial paradise with its rivers flowing with milk of eternal taste, its streams of wine, its delights and its virgins. Life is the product of disobedience and this disobedience is the work of the ARTIST. The fundamentalist resents the artist, who gives life to matter and leads pure souls away from paradise with sick ideas, a devilish drawing, a bewitching song or an evil dance… The artist is, therefor, the devil and in order to be able to kill him, the fundamentalist labels him the enemy of Allah. Formerly carefree, the Arab-Muslim world has...

Documentary produced by R&R Productions, the film has been directed in co-production with Zonderling, RTBF Télévision belge, CANVAS, Wallonie Image production, Free Son Production.

With the support of the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel of Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF), Belgian Development Cooperation – DGD, OIF - of the International Organization of the Francophonie, Cirtef, the Hassan II Foundation, the AJP, the Fund for  journalism, the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government. With the collaboration of RTS (Radio Television of Switzerland), TV5 Monde and GAD Distribution.

Second Belgian documentary awarded during the 14th edition of Geneva Festival, Still Alive directed by Pauline Beugnies and produced by Rayuela Productions, which has received the Silver FIFOG.

Still Alive tells the story of four young Egyptians – Eman, Soleyfa, Ammar and Kirilos – from the revolution of January 2011 until the 5th anniversary of the uprising, in January 2016. Over those five years, their lives have been deeply turned upside down. They have evolved, been through crises, and had to face decisive choices, not necessarily in line with their original ideals. The four of them take a look at their own past, their own image, and share their feelings about their current situation.
Still Alive is a movie about the passing of time and scattering ideals, in a context of violent repression and nationalist propaganda. What life could be like, in Marshal Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s military regime, after this unprecedented momentum of freedom? What does existence mean, amid such economic turmoil? What legacy – or burden – to carry on for this youth who was at the forefront of the revolt?

Placed under the sign of "the praise of difference", this 14th edition of the International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva (FIFOG) sought to highlight this new cinema that results from the recognition of the other denied for a very long time, with a deep will to put together films that advocate for the right to be different and promote diversity.