About the Festival
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 through features such as “Captain Abu Raed” (2007), “When Monaliza Smiled (2012)”, “Theeb” (2014), and “Blessed Benefit” (2016), and more recently, “The Alleys” (2021), “Farha” (2021) and “Daughters of Abdulrahman” (2021).
On the other hand, Jordan is already firmly on the map as a filming location for international 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“ (1989), “The Hurt Locker“ (2009), “The Martian” (2015), “Aladdin“ (2019), “Star Wars: Episode IX“ (2019), “Dune” (2021).
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 – comes as a major step towards filling that gap. It is organised under the umbrella of the Royal Film Commission – Jordan. The third edition of the Festival will take place between 20 and 27 July, 2022.
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 is its focus on first-timers. International juries select the Best Arab Feature-Length Narrative, Best Arab Feature-Length Documentary and Best Arab Short Film. Whereas the audiences choose their favourite international début film. All winning films receive cash awards as well as the Black Iris for their categories.
Moreover, the jurors may decide to grant a Special Mention to: first-time Lead Actor/Actress and/or first-time Scriptwriter in the Arab Feature-Length Narrative Competition; first-time Editor in the Arab Feature-Length Documentary Competition.
In addition to screenings, a programme of film industry events including master classes, seminars, pitching sessions and discussions with directors and film-stars is organised to 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, 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.