Jordan’s first international film festival that showcases Arab and international movies is long overdue. The Jordanian small, but vibrant, local film industry has begun to show what it can do, with talented directors winning international acclaim with features such as “Captain Abu Raed”, “Theeb”, “The Last Friday”, “When Monaliza Smiled”, “3000 Nights” and “Blessed Benefit”.
On the other hand, Jordan is already firmly on the map as a filming location for foreign filmmakers, who choose to film in the Kingdom for its diverse landscapes, ancient heritage, urban mix, easy procedures and government support. Movie-goers have been watching scenes filmed in Jordan at least since “Lawrence of Arabia“ hit the big screen in 1962. In more recent years, the country has provided compelling locations for numerous international award-winning movies including “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade“, “Star Wars: Episode IX“, “Aladdin“, “The Martian ” and “The Hurt Locker“.
What it has arguably lacked is an exciting showcase for emerging Arab and Jordanian talent whose work is engaging a growing local and international audience. Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film – initially developed with MAD Solutions and due to start on 23 August 2020 in Abdali district – comes as a major step towards filling that gap. It is organised under the umbrella of the Royal Film Commission -Jordan.
The aim, according to its president HRH Princess Rym Ali, is “Developing and promoting an Arab cinema that reflects the creativity of the region and tackles the issues that are prevalent today.”
The distinctive edge of this Festival lies in the recognition of various talents involved in the making of a film: direction, scriptwriting, editing, photography and acting. The competitive section is reserved to Arab filmmakers and includes feature-length narratives and documentaries, as well as shorts. A non-competitive international section will showcase debut films from all over the world.
In addition to screenings, a programme of film industry events including master classes, seminars, pitching sessions and discussions with directors and film-stars will stimulate aspiring filmmakers in Jordan and the region.
Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film aims to foster a creative buzz among directors, celebrities and film enthusiasts of all kinds, by offering high-quality films, regardless of their box-office performance. Whether you are a budding Arab filmmaker or an international veteran, an actor or a critic, an industry insider or an enthusiastic consumer, Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film welcomes you!
Venue of the Festival
Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film will be held in The Abdali Boulevard district of Amman; it hosts amazing facilities, shops, a massive shopping mall, luxurious hotels, a pedestrian area and several restaurants and cafés. The Abdali Boulevard, which offers a new modern face of Jordan, is in the city centre with easy access to the rest of the capital.