Manama: Eight Bahraini films highlighting the struggles of people with disabilities will be screened this weekend during a first-of-its-kind festival.Short films and documentaries from over 50 countries will be showcased at the Voices Film Festival 2015, which will open tonight at Dana Mall cinemas.The three-day festival, an initiative spearheaded by Naqsh Films and the Bahrain Deaf Society, is being held under the patronage of Social Development Minister Faeqa Al Saleh.The minister along with personalities from the film industry, dignitaries and representatives from deaf societies across the GCC are expected to attend the red carpet opening ceremony at 7pm.
“Voices 2015 is all about people with special needs as films about their plights will be screened,” said the festival’s artistic director Mohammed Maskati.“The objective is to encourage the film industry in the region to produce films for a wide section of the audience to understand the world from the perspective of a disabled person.”A total of 229 entries were received of which 50 were shortlisted that will be screened during the festival.
A BD1,000 cash award will be presented to the best short film or documentary and a BD500 award for the runner-up.Awards will also be given in different categories including best director, best actor, best screenplay and best videography.The panel of judges include Saudi director Abdulla Al Ayyaf, Bahraini director and actor Mohammed Al Saffar, Bahraini director Ali Al Ali, writer and author Hussain Al Mahdi and Bahrain Deaf Society member Jaffer Yassin.
One of the Bahraini films that will be screened is On Shore directed by Hussain Al Jamri, which revolves around the life of a deaf person and the problems he faces at work.Other films directed by Bahrainis are Sadaqa, Zainab, Sorry is Unavailing, and The Unnoticeableamong others.Productions from Syria, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, UK and Egypt that have received accolades in international film festivals will also be screened.
Organisers will use interpreters, sign language and subtitles to help deaf people attending the festival.The films will be screened between 10am and midnight starting tomorrow and Saturday, and entry is free. For more information about the festival, visit www.naqshfilms.com.