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33rd Carthage Film Festival kicks off in Tunisia

72 countries will be represented at the Film Festival ending on November 5.   -  
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Cleared / AFP -

Tunisia

The 33rd edition of the Carthage Film Festival kicked off in Tunisia’s capital and will end on November 5.

Guests from all parts of the African continent attended the ceremony Sunday. As the festival celebrated its 60th anniversary, its openness on the Mediterranean and mostly its Arab and African roots were honored.

"This event links the north and the south of Africa, and at the same time the Arab world", Senegalese film critic Baba Diop, journalist and film critic says.

"The Sahara has always been considered a border in Africa, separating North Africa and "sub-Saharan" Africa, but today, with this festival, we know that Africa is one, through its creations, its directors, its actors..."

Over 40 movies will compete in the main 4 categories: short and feature-length fiction movies as well as short and feature-length documentaries.

Women taking the helm of Tunisia’s movie industry

Women are more and more represented among directors. 92-minute feature 'Under The Figs' is one of those. It was directed by French-Tunisian Erige Sehiri.

"We are very happy to be at the festival tonight because in two days we will be premiering "Under the Figs"", the director rejoices. 

"It will be the first time we will be showing it in Tunisia after having shown it at other festivals abroad, notably at the Cannes Festival".

This evolution was hailed by Tunisia multi-awarded filmmaker Ferid Boughedir.

"What a joy to have all these women directors in fiction and feature films!", the 78-year-old exclaimed Sunday. 

"This is one of the miracles of Carthage, as well as the first and most important miracle, the creation of an audience that is passionate about films that are unknown.... Carthage must always focus on its primary objective, which is to defend quality Arab and African cinema, not commercial films."

One of Africa's oldest film festival is renowned for screening pieces where the moral and political commitment of their filmmakers is evident.

This year's guest of honor is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Carthage Film Festival is supported by the Tunisian ministry of Culture and the CNCI, the national center for Cinema.

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