Cinema: Middle East Now back in Florence,Saudi Arabia debuts

40 film premieres, shows, events, and a Lebanese chef

11 MARCH, 11:41

(ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 11 - Middle eastern contemporary cinema and culture are returning to Florence on April 5-10 with the seventh edition of Middle East Now, an international festival of cinema, documentaries, art, photography, music, food, meetings and events entirely dedicated to this complex and fascinating area. Forty films premiering in Italy are scheduled for screening.

The movies will feature stories and current events by well-established and up-and-coming filmmakers from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and, for the first time, Saudi Arabia.

''Live & Love the Middle East'' today through its art, creativity, culture to foster hope, in spite of the bombings, the ruins, fear and flights.

Turkish filmmaker Yeim Ustalu will be a special guest, Considered as one of the most important authors of contemporary Turkish cinema, a socially-engaged artist with an eye on political issues, she is an inspiration today for young talents.

Among the films to be screened are Journey to the Sun, the first movie in Turkey on the Kurdish issue, Pandora's Box and her latest work, Araf.

Designer and illustrator of Lebanese descent Nour Flayhan, who grew up in Kuwait, will describe the colorful, ironic and surpring world of Lebanon. She was selected by the Crossway Foundation - an institution promoting creativity in the Arab world - for her unmistakable talent and style. Also from Lebanon, chef Kamal Mouzawak will be back in Italy. He is the founder of the famous Souk el-Tayev, the first organic market in Lebanon, and Tawlet, the cooperative restaurant in Beirut which hosts every week a woman chef from regions across the country.