Qatar to host Turkish film festival

May 24, 2010
By

A Turkish film festival will be held next week in Qatar in a new indication of the growing interest of the Arab world in drama from its non-Arabic speaking Muslim neighbour.

The films to be screened at the First Doha Turkish Film Festival on June 6-9 will feature actors and actresses popular in the Arab world, organizers said.

Film directors, programmers and producers will also attend the festival and the public will have the opportunity to meet them.

The festival, held with the support of the Turkish government, includes 15 films that include My Father and My Son, The White Angel, Waiting for Heaven, Listen From the Nay: Separations, Ice Cream I Scream, The Bandit, Lovelorn, I Saw The Sun, Commissar Shakespeare, Mr Muhsin, Takva, Distant, Three Monkeys and Vision Tele.

Panel discussions by experts and commentators will be held on the sideline.

Turkish drama has since 2008 become an unprecedented sensation in the Arab world, due mainly to the use of colloquial Arabic instead of the stilted classical Arabic voice-overs that had been customarily used when Spanish-language soap operas were shown on Arab television. The names of all the characters were also changed into Arabic, giving the viewers a sense of proximity that they lacked with Latino names.

The stunning scenery of the drama settings and the remarkable looks of the actors and actresses also helped attract viewers across the Arab countries. Many viewers said that they could identify with the themes that were closer to the ones prevailing in Arab societies.

According to Turkish tourism authorities, the number of Arabs visiting Turkey and seeking to see the places shown in the dramas had increased impressively.

However, the extraordinary popularity of the dramas has prompted several religious figures, mainly in Saudi Arabia, to ask for a ban on the soap operas, claiming that they were “replete with wickedness, evil, moral collapse and war on virtues.”

 

 

         

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Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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