The Silk Road International Film Festival (10-14th March) screened over a hundred films for the fourth time across the city of Dublin. This year featured an array of Asian, Arab, Persian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean and European cinema showcasing a rich diversity of features, documentaries, animations, short and student films.
At this year’s edition there was a documentary panel discussion supported by Screen Training Ireland after the Irish premiere screening of The Tainted Veil which discusses the veil in history and the many meanings behind it. The panel included Rachel Lysaght, , Aoife Kelleher, and the The Tainted Veil director, Ovidio Salazar.
The discussion panel was chaired by documentary director Paula Kehoe. In addition, there was a seminar on “Film Business in the Arab World” presented by Alaa Karkouti of the Arab Cinema Center. Karkouti discussed opportunities between Ireland and the Arab world, with a special focus on co-production and distribution. Supported by Trinity College Dublin, Arab Cinema Center, the Arab Irish Chamber of Commerce and Cardel Entertainment.
In the line-up of films for the 4th Edition of Silk Road Film Festival the festival celebrated many Irish premieres, which included the Turkish Film Sivas, directed by Kaan Müjdeci, which was selected as the Turkish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards and won the Special Jury Prize at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. Moroccan film Starve Your Dog, directed by Hicham Lasri, was nominated for the Muhr Award “Best Fiction Feature” at the Dubai International Film Festival 2015. Golden Kingdom, directed by Brian Perkins, is a Buddhists coming of age film which fuses docu-style observation with moving spiritualism. Utopia is an Afghan drama film directed by Hassan Nazer and was the official entry of Afghanistan for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards 2016.
Documentaries included Leonardo Cinieri Lombroso´s Southeast Asian Cinema – When the Rooster Crows, a voice of diversity reaching for change in the cinematic world of the smaller nations of Asia. Palestinian documentary Roshima, an elderly Palestinian couple has a final standoff against Israeli authorities to maintain their natural lifestyle in Roshima; the last natural valley in Haifa.
A highlight of the short films was Waves ‘98, directed by Ely Dagher, a Lebanese animation, which was awarded Palme D’or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Besides creating a platform for international filmmakers to network and promote their work, the Festival’s directors aspire to give student filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work on an international scale and have thus established a student filmmaking competition as part of Film Festivals Cinergy. This is a union of film festivals around the world, aiming to promote talents in filmmaking and to foster cross-cultural collaboration. Each year Irish student filmmakers have an opportunity to win a prize to travel to Notre Dame University International Film Festival, Lebanon to screen their films in competition. This year Joe Carroll of the National Film School of Ireland, IADT won for his film Cavemans and Sean Donnellan of Dublin Institute of Technology School of Media, Ireland. Both students will travel to Notre Dame University International Film Festival in Lebanon to participate in international competition at the festival.
Winners of the 4th Silk Road International Film Festival 2016, Dublin
Best Documentary: The Tainted Veil (Dir. Ovidio Salazar, Mazen Al Khayrat, Nahla Al Fahad, UAE)
Best Feature Film: Golden Kingdom (Dir. Brian Perkins, USA – Myanmar)
Best Short Film: Jaws (Dir. Almas Ferdowsi, Iran)
Best Actor: Allen Dizon (Deliver Us, Philippines)
Best Female Actress: Malalai Zikira (UTOPIA, Afghanistan)
Jury Special Recognition: Two (Dir. Soheila Golestani, Iran)
Best Children’s Film: Ranna’s Silence (Dir. Behzad Rafi’ee, Iran)
International Student Category
Best Live Action Student: Fade Out (Dir. Nathalie Moussa, NDU-Lebanon)
Best Short Documentary Student: Europe Endless (Dir. Gunther Blauensteiner, Austria)
Best Student Animation: Taking The Plunge (Thaddaeus Andreades, Nicholas Manfredi, Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, Marie Raoult The School of Visual Arts, USA)
Cavemans (Dir. Joe Carroll,National Film School of Ireland, IADT)
The Hiding (Dir. Sean Donnellan, DIT School of Media, Ireland)
For detailed information on participating countries, film selection and events throughout the Festival visit http://silkroadfilmfestival.com/