Return to Homs_Talal Derki

The 2014 edition of the festival featureed a full program of 52 films and a total of 45 Italian and European premieres; feature films, documentaries, animation and short films, for a full immersion that touches many of the countries that today are more and more at the center of the attention of the international medias. The most recent productions from Iran, Iraq , Kurdistan, Lebanon , Israel, Palestine , Egypt, Jordan , the UAE, Afghanistan , Syria, Algeria and Morocco.

Among the highlights of the film festival program, the first retrospective ever on Hany Abu-Assad, one of the most talented and acclaimed Palestinian directors who will bring to Florence the Oscar-nominated film “Paradise Now” and his latest film “Omar” – Italian premiere at the festival – the thriller “Grand Jury Prize ” at the Cannes Film Festival and nominated for an Oscar in 2014 for Best Foreign Language Film – and the screening of some of his most famous works (The 14th Chicks , Rana ‘s Wedding , Paradise Now , and the documentaries Nazareth 2000  and Ford Transit). Hany Abu-Assad will be in Florence for the duration of the festival, with in-depth conversations about his works.


The documentary “Returns to Homs” won the “Middle East Now Audience Award 2014”. A special mention to the Moroccan feature film “Rock the Casbah” by Laila Marrakchi, and “Condom Lead” awarded as “best short film” by the students of New York University Florence

During the closing night of the festival, on Monday April 14,  it was awarded the winner of the “Middle East Now Award”, the prize given by the public: the highest number of votes went to the Syrian documentary “Return to Homs” by Talal Derki. From 2011 to 2013, the director has followed the path of two friends, whose lives have been disrupted by the war in Syria. Basset, 19 years old, goalkeeper and star of the Syrian national football team; and Ossama, 24 years old, a media activist and pacifist.

Special Mention was given to the Moroccan feature film “Rock the Casbah” by Laila Marrakchi, the comedy with the amazing cast that includes Hiam Abbas, Nadine Labaki and Omar Sharif, which has received a great reception from the Florentine audience.

The jury of students from the New York University Florence awarded “Condom Lead” by Ahmad and Mohammed Abunasser (aka Tarzan and Arab) as “Best Short Film by NYU Florence”.

And last but not least, two additional special mentions: for the focus “Window on Qatar” to the short film “Eye & Mermaid” by Shahad Ameen; and a special mention to the short “Children of God” by Ahmed Yassin for the section “Iraq Now”.


The Festival Awards are:
“Middle East Now Award” to the best film assigned given by the audience;
“Best Short Film by NYU Florence”, voted by a student jury from New York University Florence.

SPECIAL EVENT: the first retrospective of the Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad

Omar by Hany Abu-Assad
(Palestine, 2013, 93’)
Italian Premiere

Nazareth 2000 by Hany Abu-Assad
(Palestine, 2000, 55’)

Ford Transit by Hany Abu-Assad
(The Netherlands, Palestine, 2002, 80’)
Italian Premiere

Paradise Now by Hany Abu-Assad
(Germany, France, Palestine, 2005, 90’)

Rana’s Wedding by Hany Abu-Assad
(Palestine, The Netherlands, UAE, 2003, 90’)
Italian Premiere

The 14th Cheeks di Hany Abu-Assad
(The Netherlands, 1998, 88’)
Italian Premiere

“Middle East Now Audience Award”

Ana, Ana by Corinne Van Egeraat e Petr Lom
(The Netherlands, Egypt, 2013, 75’)
Italian Premiere

Before the Revolution by Dan Shadur & Barak Heymann
(Israel, 2013, 60’)
Italian Premiere

Bloody Beans by Narimane Mari
(Algeria, France, 2013, 77’)

Camera / Woman by Karima Zoubir
(Morocco, 2012, 59’)
Italian Premiere

Trapped by Parviz Shahbazi
(Iran, 2013, 92’)
Italian Premiere

E Muet by Corine Chawi
(Lebanon, 55’)
Italian Premiere

Fish & Cat by Shahram Mokri
(Iran, 2013, 134’)

Kamy’s Party by Ali Ahmadzadeh
(Iran, 2013, 80’) vo. persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Italian Premiere

Lyrics Revolt by Shannon Farhoud, Ashlene Ramadan, Melanie Fridgant, Rana Khaled Al Khatib
(Qatar, Syria, Palestine, France, Lebanon,2012, 52′)
Italian Premiere

My Sweet Pepper Land by Hiner Saleem
(Kurdistan, France, Germany, 85’)
Italian Premiere

No Burqa Behind Bars by Nima Sarvestani
(Sweden, Afghanistan 2012, 77’)
Italian Premiere

Only in New York – Peace After Marriage by Bandar Albuliwi and Ghazi Albuliwi
(France, Turkey, USA, 2013, 86’)
Italian Premiere

Rock the Casbah by Laila Marrakchi
(Morocco, France, 2013, 100’)
Italian Premiere

Rags & Tatters by Ahmad Abdalla
(Egypt, 2013, 87’)
Italian Premiere

Return to Homs by Talal Derki
(Syria, Germany, 2013, 90’)
Italian Premiere

Sepideh – Reaching for the stars by Berit Madsen
(Iran, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, 92’, 2013)
Italian Premiere

The Last Winter by Salem Salavati
(Iran, 2013, 75’)
Italian Premiere

Whispers of the Cities by Kasim Abid
(Iraq, U.A.E., 2013, 100’)
Italian Premiere

Youth by Tom Shoval
(Israel, 2013, 104’)
Italian Premiere

“NYU Florence Student Best Short Film Award”

The Deep by Haider Rashid
(Iraq, Italy, 2013, 14′)
Italian Premiere

Auschwitz on my mind by Assaf Machnes
(Israel, Poland, UK, 16’)
Italian Premiere

Abu Rami by Sabah Haider
(Lebanon, 2012, 17’)

Mondial 2010 by Roy Dib
(Lebanon, 2013, 19’)
Italian Premiere

End of Story by Ghafar Azad
(Afghanistan, 2013, 12’)
Italian Premiere

Why not to kill a Fly? by Farhad Alizadeh
(Iran, 2013, 5’) animation film
Italian Premiere

Voices by Mazen Adel
(Syria, 2013, 5’)
Italian Premiere

Condom Lead by Mohammed Abunasser e Ahmad Abunasser (Tarzan & Arab)
(Palestine, 2013, 14’)
Italian Premiere

Endorphin by Reza Gamini
(Iran, 2013, 17’)
Italian Premiere


Children of War by Medoo Ali
(Iraq, Uk, 2013, 10’) – Short film
Italian Premiere

War Canister by Yahya Al-Allaq
(Iraq, U.K., 11’)
Italian Premiere

Nesma’s Birds by Najwan Ali & Medoo Ali
(Iraq, 2013, 8’)
Italian Premiere

Children of God by Ahmed Yassin
(Iraq, Uk, 2013, 9’)
Italian Premiere

LIPSTICK by Luay Fadhil Abbas
(Iraq, Uk, 2013, 9’)
Italian Premiere


AlMuqana3 by Tarek Abu-Esber
(Qatar, 2012, 6’)
Italian Premiere

His Name by Hend Fakhroo
(Qatar, 2012, 4’)
Italian Premiere

Bader by Sara Al-Saadi, MaariaAssami, Latifa Al-Darwish
(Qatar, USA, Syria, 2012, 10’)

 by Mohammed Al Ibrahim
(Qatar, 2012, 20’)
Italian Premiere

Land of Pearls by Mohammed Al Ibrahim
(Qatar, 2010, 11’)
Italian Premiere

Eye&Mermaid by Shahad Ameen
(Qatar, 2013, 15’)
Italian Premiere

Theatre Night by Ali Ali
(Qatar, 2012, 2’)
Italian Premiere

The Racer by Sophia Al Maria
(Qatar, 2009, 1’)
Italian Premiere

Hero and the Message by Pawel Borowski
(Qatar 2012, 25′)
Italian Premiere
in collaboration with World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna

The Eloquent Peasant by Chadi Abdel Salam
(Egitto, 1970, 17’)

The Mummy (The Night of Counting the Years) di Chadi Abdel Salam
(Egitto, 1970, 103’)

Downpour by Bahram Beyza’i
(Iran, 1972, 128’)

Trances by Ahmed Al Maanouni
(Marocco, 1981, 87’)