The Carthage Film Festival (JCC), the oldest film festival in both the African and Arab world, is kicking off its 24th session on November 16 and will continue until November 24. This year, the bi-annual festival pays tribute to the role of Tunisian youth in the revolution.
In addition to the movies, the festival will begin a project, called “the University in the Cinema,” which aims to increase contributions from young, talented students of journalism and the audiovisual arts.
The festival will also include workshops for aspiring young movie-makers.
The event will showcase 20 feature films, 16 documentaries, and 23 short films. Mohamed Mediouni, president of the managing committee of the festival, finds special significance in this year’s event as it represents the first festival since the ousting of former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
25 countries are represented in the festival including movies from Syria, Algeria, Mali, Cameroon, and Egypt.
The official competition section is dedicated to movies directed by Arab and African film makers, and all eligible selections must be produced in the 24 months prior to the event. The winner of the festival takes home the grand prize Tanit d’Or or Golden Tanit, named after the lundar goddess of ancient Carthage.
In addition to Arab and African cinema, movie-goers will be treated to several Asian films that were featured at the 2012 hostings of the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
But Mediouni stressed that the festivals ultimate goal is to promote African and Arab cinema.
The festival will include a seminar on Pan African cinema moderated by the director of Tunisian blockbuster “Asfour Stah.” Additionally, the event will present the Pan-African Fund for Cinema and Audiovisual Arts, which is to be based in Tunisia.
On the day of the event, the red carpet will lead the way from the Africa Hotel to the Theater of Colisee on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, said Hatem Bourial, JCC press attaché.
“Our festival will take place exactly like before with no trouble. It will be rich in new movies. Danny Glover will be here as well,” said Bourial.
The JCC last took place in 2010 when the red carpet was rolled out for the first time since the festival’s creation in 1966 to stress its glamorous side and break with its tradition of activism cinema.