Venice Film Festival: Seven Work-in-Progress Films Selected for Final Cut Lineup

Seven films have been selected for the 11th edition of Final Cut in Venice, the works-in-progress section of the 80th Venice Film Festival.

Final Cut in Venice, which runs Sept. 3-5, provides support for the completion of films from Africa and five Middle Eastern countries: Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. It is one of the programs run by the festival’s industry section, Venice Production Bridge.

Over three days, the working copies of the selected films will be presented to producers, buyers, distributors, post-production companies and film festival programmers. The first two days are devoted to screenings, and then one-to-one meetings between the producers of the projects and the professionals attending the Venice Production Bridge will take place on the third day. The program will conclude with the awarding of prizes in kind or in cash, the purpose of which is to provide support for the films’ post-production.

Within the framework of the festival’s Focus on Germany, one additional film has been selected.

“Allah Is Not Obliged” (Allah n’est pas obligé) by Zaven Najjar (France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Canada, U.S., Slovakia) Animation. Birahima, a 10-year-old Guinean orphan, tells how he becomes a child soldier when he tries to join his aunt in Liberia.
“Carissa” by Jason Jacobs and Devon Delmar (South Africa). A young woman discovers a machine in an attic that she believes is a supernatural communication device between her and her Khoekhoe ancestors.
“Happy Holidays” by Scandar Copti (Palestine, Germany, France, Qatar, Italy) Focus on Germany. A student’s involvement in a minor accident sets off a chain of events that lead to the exposure of her double life, as well as the double lives of some of her relatives.
“Life Is a Railroad” (La vie est un chemin de fer) by Kevin Mavakala, Manassé Kashala, Tousmy Kilo, Isaac Sahani (Democratic Rep. of Congo, France, Germany) Christine is the head of finance at the maternity hospital. Remy is the CEO of a mining company whose attraction to women will tarnish his relationship with his family. Mukanya is a taxi driver who dream of going to Europe. Viya, who just lost her father, crosses paths with each of them.

“Sudan, When Poems Fall Apart” (Soudan retiens les chants qui s’effondrent) by Hind Meddeb (France, Tunisia). The film documents the transition from military dictatorship to civilian government in Sudan, amid fierce repression and early political victories.
“She Was Not Alone” by Hussein Al-Asadi (Iraq, Saudi Arabia). Fatima, 50, lives alone in the Iraqi swamplands. She describes her lonely and often hard life.
“Zion Music” by Rama Thiaw (Senegal, Ivory Coast, Germany). A film about the history of African reggae over 30 years from the director of “The Revolution Won’t Be Televised,” which won the Fipresci Prize at Berlin.

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