Mahdi Fleifel’s short fiction, A Drowning Man, will be competing for the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 70th Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28, 2017). The AFAC-supported 15-minute short is 1 of 9 films selected for the 2017 Short Films Competition out of 4,843 short films submitted. The Short Films Jury will be headed by Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu. Written and directed by Fleifel (Palestine), A Drowning Man is about “Fatah” who makes his way through the streets of modern day Athens trying to find enough money to get by. On his travels he encounters the wisdom and desperation that permeates this place and defines his existence. The Film is the director’s follow up to his short documentary A Man Returned (winner of Berlinale’s Silver Bear for Best Short in 2016) and to his feature-length award-winning documentary A World Not Ours.
The Cannes Short Films Competition was won in 2015 by the AFAC-supported short animated film Waves ’98 by Ely Dagher.
Karim Moussaoui’s debut feature film Until the Birds Return will be competing for one of the prizes in this year’s festival section “Un Certain Regard” along with Beauty and the Dogs by former AFAC Grantee Kaouther Ben Hania. Until the Birds Return received an AFAC Cinema grant in 2015. The film is built around three main characters Mourad, Aisha and Dahman. Mourad is a businessman who rose to success in Algeria in the 2000s. Now he's a new man who wants to stay away from trouble. Aisha is done with the past. She's about to start a new life as a married woman. Dahman is a doctor; he wants to marry his cousin. Each one of those characters will all have to accept the consequences of his/her choice.
Another AFAC-supported project, The Flag by Firas Khoury, was also selected to participate in the 13th edition of Cinefondation’s Atelier, which is the official film market of Cannes Film Festival.