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Mauritania: A glimpse on Nouakchott's 7th Short Film Festival

On the 23rd of October, 2012, Nouakchott's 7th short film festival kicked off. Organized by the House of Mauritanian Filmmakers, the festival's opening was marked by the screening of “Twilight Flowers” [ar], a Mauritanian, Saudi and Tunisian co-production directed by Tunisian Nassim al-Korbi and performed by Mauritanian actor Salem Dando.

This one-week event showcased hundreds of screenings, in addition to three workshops in directing, photography, editing and screenwriting techniques in both Arabic and French. Among the other activities that were penciled as well was an activity entitled “White Card,” which focused on Feature Films.

An international film contest and a local one were also held in this 7th edition of the festival, which featured entries from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Egypt and France, along with Mauritania. The festival hosted a number of well renowned movie and documentary makers and experts from all over the world.

The festival's poster published by the organizers on the event's Facebook page

Those who attended the shows commented on what they have seen:

Egyptian TV presenter and filmmaker Mohammed Said Mahfouz, who is also the festival jury president, expressed his admiration for the opening movie and wrote:

@Dr_M_S_Mahfouz  أجمل ما في مهرجان نواكشوط للفيلم القصير الليلة كان فيلم الافتتاح الرقيق (أزهار التيوليت) إخراج التونسي وسيم قربي وبطولة الموريتاني سالم دندو

The best thing in Nouakchott's short film festival was “Twilight Flowers”, the opening movie by Tunisian director Nassim al-Korbi, which starred Mauritanian actor Salem Dando.

He also notes that the president assassination attempt didn't affect the Mauritanians':

@Dr_M_S_Mahfouz  محاولة اغتيال الرئيس الموريتاني لم تؤثر على هدوء الحياة في موريتانيا على الإطلاق.. الوضع (بلا حسد) آمن تماماً..

The assassination attempt of the Mauritanian President didn't affect at all, the calmness of life in Mauritania… The situation (without envy) is completely safe.

Moustapha Ould Elbou also voiced his admiration for the opening movie:

@elboutapha  سالم دندو ممثل رائع ..تحبه الكاميرا و يحبها لكنه لم يجد من يضعه في قالبه المناسب له ..!!

Salem Dandou is a great actor. The camera loves him and he loves it but he didn't find the one (director) who puts him in the right framework.

He adds:

@elboutapha أعجبني تصوير و مونتاج فيلم ” زهرة تيويليت ” لكن يبدو أن مخرجه متأثر بالراحل يوسف شاهين الذي مات و ترك وراءه إرثا ضبابيا…!!

I liked the shooting and editing of the “Twilight Flowers” but it seems that his director is influenced by late Youssef Chahine who died leaving behind him a foggy heritage.

Mauritanian journalist @ebyzeidane praised the opening movie director:

@ebyzeidane المخرج التونسي وسيم قربي كان-عن جدارة- نجم الليلة الافتتاحية لمهرجان أنواكشوط للفيلم القصير#تونس #موريتانيا

Tunisian Director, Nassim al-Korbi was truly the star of the festival's opening,

He points out to some of the incidents that marked the festival:

@ebyzeidane في ساحة فضاء التنوع الثقافي دخل احدهم ملتحيا، وطلب من المنظمين استبدال موسيقى تصويرية بالقران الكريم. المسؤول اندهش ولم يعرف بماذا يجيب!!!

In the “Cultural Diversity Sphere” plaza, a bearded guy entered and asked the organizers to replace music with the Koran. The person was surprised and didn't know what to answer.

Mauritanian director Selma Cheikh Elweli comments:

 @oummariem1 ذهب بعضي من المهرجان قبل نهاية العرض وبقي بعضي الآخر …

A part of me left before the end of the screening while the other part stayed.

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