IFFR KINO #2: Hedi
The second edition of IFFR KINO is almost here, kicking off on Wednesday, 2 November at 19:30 hours with the advance premiere of Hedi, the compelling debut film by Tunisian director Mohamed Ben Attia. The film, about passive car salesman Hedi, took the best debut award at the film festival in Berlin. Lead actor Majd Mastoura also picked up an award: the Silver Bear for Best Actor.
The film follows a Tunisian car salesman, Hedi, who lacks ambition. As the Jasmine Revolution throws up exciting new possibilities for his country, this has hardly any impact at all on Hedi’s life. For him, there are no developments; he is pretty much at a standstill. His work gives him no satisfaction and he leaves all the big decisions to his domineering mother – including those concerning his impending marriage. Khedija, who will be his bride in just a few days’ time, has been chosen for him. Never one to show his feelings, Hedi submits passively to this. Until his work takes him to the resort of Mahdia, where he meets liberated entertainer Rim. Hedi is blown away by this woman and her lust for life, and for the first time takes a long, hard look at himself. What does it take to take control of your life?
Hedi was co-produced by the Dardenne brothers and supported by IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund. The HBF has been helping talent from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe realise their film dreams since 1988, working in areas where freedom of expression in film is by no means always a given. One of the Fund's core qualities is the discovery of talent at an early stage. Mohamed Ben Attia's Hedi is an excellent example of this. The film is released by Imagine Film Distribution and will receive a theatrical release from 3 November.
IFFR KINO is a monthly film evening programmed by International Film Festival Rotterdam in the brand new cinema on Rotterdam's Gouvernestraat – the very place where IFFR was born in 1972. The programme presents a cross-section of what the festival is all about, featuring distinctive, innovative, urgent cinema as well as films from IFFR's huge archives. Each evening will also feature special guests, speakers, Q&A sessions and more: or as we call it, 'Kinotes'.