The projects were selected among 123 applications submitted to Close-Up from all across Southwest Asia and North Africa, including: Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey & United Arab Emirates.
We would like to thank all the filmmakers that apply, they all faced tremendous competition! Wishing all the filmmakers best of luck!
An Iraqi mother living in the UK returns to Iraq to discover why her father sacrificed himself 40 years ago attempting to assassinate Saddam Hussein, abandoning her as a 6-year-old. Will this perilous journey finally heal her open wounds?
After serving 30 years in prison for being a “terrorist”, 67 years old Turkish Marxist socialist woman, Güneş embarks on a challenging journey to complete her mission; making a revolution, from where she left off. Güneş holds on to her mission, but the challenges of the new world will push her to question her endurance and her relevancy.
In Egypt, Cinderella is trying to adjust to the new biological expression of her gender as a woman, while searching for her missing trans friend, Mariam. In order to survive, Mariam, who identifies as a woman, continues to live as a man. She ends up growing a beard and becomes an imam. Cinderella‘s quest to find her offers a unique perspective on Mariam’s complex character. The narrative reveals the underrepresented trans struggle in the only Arab country that legalized medical transition.
After a young girl from the mountains of central Afghanistan mysteriously commits suicide inside Kabul University, her family’s calm rural life enters into a painful event and exhausting process. Parents are now looking for justice in one of the most corrupt judicial systems in the world; while Freshta -their younger daughter- attempts to gain admission to the same university, to complete what her sister had started.
An eighty-year-old woman is sentenced to three years of house arrest by Turkish courts for sending clothes to her son, a Kurdish guerrilla, whom she has not seen for twenty-five years.
The film is a coming of age story of young Palestinians from Jabalia refugee camp, who are now successfully settled in Europe. Built on unique visual material filmed throughout 20 years, the film explores the personal transition and change of its protagonists from youth to adulthood. It spiced with humor and brutal honesty and focused on a deeply intimate dialogue and emotional responses of this generation, the film reflects upon universal questions of personal growth and change.
As part of a circular immigration program, Saloua, a Moroccan widow with five children, goes four months a year to harvest strawberries in Andalusia to provide for her family. Rotten Strawberry provides an intimate view into the female experience of seasonal work…
Six weddings and a baby tells the story of how the birth of my little girl confuses my feminine identity, forcing me, as a new mother, to go back to my childhood memories. On both sides of the Mediterranean, from the Moroccan Rif to Brussels, I go on a journey through the history of the women of my family.
From the myth of the patron saint of the acrobats, Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa, to the myth of my family, and my grandfather. Mbark born in Morocco in 1900, who at 12-years-old joined the circus and moved to Germany, later he married the German Acrobat, Anna, together, they returned to Morocco and Mbark married Mm’i, a young Moroccan woman who was my grandmother. The Acrobat will go beyond the legend and forgotten to discover and reveal my family’s hidden and sometimes mysterious past.
Driven by their passion for change, two filmmakers encounter death to document the 2019 Sudanese revolution. A year later during the covid19 lockdown, they re-examine their personal intentions and political drives as they explore the story of the revolution and their growing friendship.
This film is a personal quest, triggered by the oriental jewish artist Salim Halali’s music, that makes me question my identity and belonging. The film takes us in an extraordinary journey into his life and his music and brings me to the source of my origins, exploring the most intimate impact of art.
An exclusive look inside “Conversion Therapy”. Lev and Ben attend conversion therapy in order to battle their same sex attractions and marry a woman. While Lev struggles to make it work, Ben has doubts that are about to change his life.