Birds Eye View 2013: celebrating Arab women filmmakers (plus COMPETITION!)

BEV2013-Ident.jpgAfter a one year sabbatical due to funding cuts last year, Birds Eye View Film Festival returns in 2013 to celebrate Arab women filmmakers.

Two preview events took place already during March International Women’s Week: a special pre-release screening of Wadjda by Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s pioneering first female feature director, and a screening of 1926 The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the world’s first feature-length animation by German director Lotte Reiniger, with brilliant new live score by a rising star composer Bushra El-Turk.

Running from 3 to 10 April, the BEV Film Festival will screen features, eye-opening documentaries, groundbreaking short films, insightful events, panel discussions and ten exclusive director Q&As. Screenings and events will take place at BFI Southbank, Southbank Centre, Barbican, ICA and Hackney Picturehouse. You can find full programme and booking information on the BEV’s website.

The Festival kicks off on 3 April with Annmarie Jacir’s award-winning feature

When I Saw You which will receive its UK premiere, followed by a Q&A with Jacir at the BFI Southbank. Other features include the UK premieres of hotly tipped Arab auteur Hala Lofty’s Coming Forth By Day, Leila Kilani’s Sur La Planche and Djamila Sahraoui’s Greek tragedy Yema. The Festival’s Closing Night Film is Palestinian director Susan Youssef’s Habibi – a contemporary romance likened to Romeo & Juliet.

The documentary strand presents strong and powerful documentaries, many of which are set against the backdrop of the huge political and social changes currently taking place in the Arab world. One of them is Hanan Abdalla’s In The Shadow of a Man (below), a courageous, intimate and politically explosive documentary exploring the Egyptian revolution seen through the eyes of its women.In_The_Shadow_of_a_Man_-_image_1.jpg


For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the screening of In The Shadow of a Man, followed by a discussion with director Hanan Abdalla hosted in association with Womankind, on Friday 5 April at 6:30, BFI Southbank, answer the following question:

What’s the name of the first women director in Saudi Arabia film history?

I will be waiting for your answers until Wednesday 3 April, ania.ostrowska[at]

Happy Easter and see you at the Festival!