Bahrain Set to Host First of Its Kind Film Festival in the Region

Short films will be screened at a first of its kind festival in Bahrain. Short movies and documentaries from over 50 countries, highlighting the plight of people with disabilities, will be showcased at the Voices Film Festival 2015, an initiative spearheaded by Naqsh Films and the Bahrain Deaf Society.

Organizers have received a total of 229 submissions from 52 countries for the three-day festival, which will kick off on September 10 at Dana Mall cinemas. Fifty productions will be shortlisted for the festival and proceeds from the sale of tickets will go towards the Bahrain Deaf Society, said the festival’s artistic director Mohammed Maskati.

“This is the first time such a festival is taking place in the region that will feature film projects about the deaf community and attract creative cinema projects from Bahrain,” said Maskati. The subject and story-line of every film that will be selected by a panel of judges is centered around the achievements, challenges and lives of deaf people and those with other disabilities. Bahrain will join rest of the world in celebrating the emerging ‘Deaf Cinema’ through films and documentaries through this festival.

Organizers will use interpreters, sign language and subtitles to help deaf people attending the festival. All films that will be screened will have subtitles or there will be sign language interpreters to help the audience members. .

The festival will be held under the patronage of the Social Development Ministry, with a BD1,000 cash award to be presented to the best short film or documentary and a BD500 award for the runner-up. All the proceeds collected from the ticket sales will go towards the Bahrain Deaf Society.

While the process of selecting films for the festival is still ongoing, Bahraini film Zainab, directed by Mohammed Ebrahim Mohammed, has already been shortlisted for the festival and revolves around the struggle of a blind girl.

Maskati added that they are highlighting the lives and struggles of the deaf and people with special needs to their audience in Bahrain and he believes it will help them understand disability issues.

For more information about the festival, visit www.naqshfilms.com.

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