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‘Zenith has overseen an impressive array of cultural events all over the UK – a symposium on contemporary Arab art in 2004, a major retrospective on Arab cinema from the 1990s at the NFT, with subsequent festivals at BAFTA and BFI focusing on recent releases, and periodic Mazaj experimental music festivals’ Variety Arabia
 
‘People that have seen these films, including myself, will want to see more. BAFTA is ultimately interested in excellence’
Kevin Price, CEO, British Academy
 
‘…In our collaboration over this prestigious event, we will showcase some of the best recent releases from filmmakers who defy simple categorisation. A continuation of Arab film weekends previously held at BAFTA in partnership with the Zenith Foundation, it recognises Arab cinema’s viable contribution to the industry and embodies the Academy’s ongoing commitment to quality world cinema.’ David Parfitt, Chairman of the British Academy
 
‘Members of the public who turned up to the event were universally impressed… Ellie Bates, a student, said, “There are not many Arabic films that are on general release and that is what is great about this weekend.’ The National
 
‘A new generation of Arab film-makers are creating work that challenges audiences both at home and abroad.’ The Guardian
 
‘Vanishing Spaces…a series of six shorts from Syria and Palestine… present a vital addition to intellectual thought and artistic production’ Little White Lies
 
‘Prepare for your expectations to be confounded. Though Iranian cinema has lorded over spotlights on Middle Eastern cinema for two decades, the Arabs are hitting back with an eclectic line up that defies easy classification.’ Time Out
 
‘The Yacoubian Building screened at BAFTA Arab Cinema Weekend demonstrates the predicament of a culture that dissects itself with sophistication – but is denied the political space to act. It provides a front-line analysis we ought to be listening to, one we ought to have consulted long before now.’ New Statesman
 
‘Arab Films have been nominated for awards across the world in the past 12 months, but mainstream cinema in London and New York have not been showing them. Now BAFTA has backed [Zenith Foundation’s] Arab cinema weekend in London.’ Aljazeera
 
‘The 3rd Arab Cinema Season, organised by Zenith Foundation and hosted by BAFTA, brings a new perspective on Arabs and their concerns that is different from their media portrayal…It was also an occasion for Arab Diaspora to catch up with their cultures of origin. This is thanks to Zenith Foundation which was founded a few years ago to dedicate itself to Arab cultures from cinema to other art forms, giving them a platform in Britain.’ Al Hayat Newspaper
 

‘What made the weekend significant was the fact that Arab cinema is virtually unknown in the UK, despite a considerable British-Arab population of around 500,000′ Aljazeera
 

‘Given how bleak the subject matter could theoretically be, this event is significant for the fact that it is presenting a line up of feature films which cover a wide range of emotional registers’ International Herald Tribune/Daily Star
 
‘Filmgoers in London are getting the chance to see what a new generation of Arab film-makers have to say.’ BBC News
 
‘An Arab Cinema Season reveals works that are mordant, moving and darkly humorous’ The Times
 
‘…It is a powerful and unsettling moment in a film that, like many in the season, demands to be seen’ The Times
 
‘While many of the films do not address politics directly, the basic facts of living in a society under extreme pressure are inescapable’ The Times
 
‘The National Film Theatre is to be applauded for putting on an Arab programme.’ The Guardian
 
‘A dazzlingly eclectic range of films has been produced during the recent years of war and conflict in countries across the Arab world.’ Sight & Sound
 
‘The Arab Cinema Season is a salutary reminder that Middle Eastern filmmakers…have been busy in the past 15 years.’ Time Out
 
‘Films from the Middle East have only occasionally been afforded a release in this country. The National Film Theatre’s Arab Cinema Season aims to show the range and commitment of directors who invariably manage to tell movingly human stories while also exploring the social, religious and political issues that make the region so potentially combustible’ BBC Website
 
‘This August’s Arab season of films at the NFT sets out to undermine the broad-brushstroke kind of portrayal that blanket media coverage has given the British public, and it does a fantastic job of filling in the blanks. Thanks to the Zenith Foundation – a London based group dedicated to extending the reach of contemporary Arab arts, who are behind the month’s 16 films – you can swap catching up on the latest from gloomy foreign correspondents with a trip to the NFT to see a much more uplifting slice of life in an Arab country.’ Musical Bear

 
 

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