Almotamar Net -
The Yemeni film “A New Day in Old Sana’a” won the first prize, worth 100 thousand Egyptian pounds, at the Cairo Film Festival on Thursday, Dec 8, 2005. The festival that ended on Friday Dec 9, 2005, included films from different countries around the world such as China – guest of honor-, Greece and France. The film was screened three times at “Grand Hayat Hotel” in the Egyptian city of Cairo. The organizing committee selected the Yemeni film from a collection of 150 movies from all around the world to participate in the formal competition of the festival along with other 14 films, two of them are Arab-made.
“A New Day in Old Sana’a” was co-produced by the Yemen Media Center in Sana’a and London-based Felix Films. It marks Yemenis’ ability and creativity in the film industry and the possibility of getting a thriving film making sector. The film was directed by Yemeni international film maker Badr Al-Hirsi and involved some 20 cinematography experts and technicians as well as 70 actors working over 60 days. The 90-minute film is set in the alleys of the magical old city of Sana’a. Produced late 2003 and early 2004, the Yemen’s film follows the lives of a number of persons during a day that soon becomes a local legend. The region waits keenly for the wedding of the year, not knowing the inner psychic disturbance of the groom who realizes that the woman he loves is not the wealthy girl he is to marry today but actually a low-class orphaned lass. Passions such as love and envy interplay leading to changes in the lives of the people concerned. Finally, the groom has gets compelled to choose between marriage and tradition on one hand or love and whatever it entails on the other.
Depicting aspects that are diametrically opposed to what most outsiders think of Yemen, the film provides a true and honest portrait of life in Yemen. It is interesting to know that the leading actor Nabil Saber of Old Sana’a, and his co-star actress Julia Towns of London found real-life romance and exchanged wedding vows last year in London, after which they eventually married. Earlier, Bader Al-Hirsi categorized his film to be some sort of a “romantic drama, showing a severe conflict between modern values and old, [but] is respectful of the strong morals of Yemen’s Islamic society.”
Before this event, this film was selected to participate at France-based Cannes Film Festival in 2004. The Film was accepted as part of the Cannes Film Festival during May 11-22, 2005. Although the film did not compete for the Palm d’Or (Golden Palm), because of its unfinished status caused by insufficient funding, it was introduced as part of the Marche du Filme (Film Market). It is worth noting that it was the first Yemeni film ever featured at Cannes. The film was also promoted at the 2005 European Film Festival that started on Dec 4, 2005, in the city of Aden along side with many other European films.
The film is planned to be screened at Dubai International Film Festival this month and at Muscat Film Festival this January. It is also expected to be featured at some 80 film festivals across Europe, America and Asia over the next years. The film was produced as part of the celebratory functions of the Sana’a as the Arab Culture Capital for 2004. It is noteworthy that the total cost of “A New Day in Old Sana’a” was to the tune of $750 thousand.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has appealed member states and civil society organizations (CSOs) to provide humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, especially medical supplies to cope with the big number of injured as a result of the military aggression.
The Secretary General of the OIC Iyad Madani said, in a statement issued Monday, that the OIC is holding consultations with several civil society organizations that have consultative status in the organization to provide food and medical and humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday reminded all sides to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that attacks resulting in civilian casualties are promptly investigated and that international human rights and international humanitarian law are scrupulously respected during the conduct of hostilities in the country.
In addition to hundreds of fighters, at least 364 civilians are reported to have lost their lives since March 26, including at least 84 children and 25 women. Another 681 civilians – possibly more – have been injured. Dozens of public buildings, including hospitals, schools, airports and mosques have been destroyed in airstrikes, through shelling and other attacks.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has renewed his country's desire to resolve Yemen's crisis in Yemen through talks, revealing that his government urges Iran to play a role in bringing various Yemeni parties to the dialogue.
In his statement issued Monday, Sharif said that his country wants to resolve Yemen crisis through talks.
He added that Islamabad urged Tehran to play a role to bring conflicting parties in Yemen to the dialogue table, the official news agency of Pakistan quoted the Prime Minister as saying in a statement.
Professor Feaqa al-Saeed Ba'alawy, Assistant Secretary-General of the GPC, chaired a meeting of the civil society.
The meeting discussed a number of issues and challenges facing the country, particularly the Saudi brutal aggression on the country.
The UN secretary-general has said that two weeks of Saudi-led air strikes against Yemen, “have turned an internal political crisis into a violent conflict that risks deep and long-lasting regional repercussions”.
Ban Ki-moon on Thursday told reporters that he was urging all countries in the region to go beyond national priorities and help the Yemeni people, saying “the last thing the region and our world need is more of the chaos and crimes we have seen in Libya and Syria”.
Two planeloads of medical aid landed in Sana'a on Friday.
The planes were sent by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The UNICEF plane contained almost 37 tons of medical aid, which "will be delivered to the Ministry of Public Health and Population, to distribute them to hospitals in the needed areas," said Mohammed al-Asadi, the communication officer at UNICEF.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) demanded on Thursday to hold neutral investigations with all members in the Arab coalition forces attacking Yemen led by Saudi Arabia to find out if there are violations of war laws and to take the necessary procedures.
In its press release, the HRW expressed its deep concerns over war laws violations, noting that the airstrikes led to the killing of at least 29 civilians and injured 41 others, including 14 children and 11 women in Al-Mazraq refugees camp in Hajjah governorate in addition to medical facilities, a local market and a bridge.
Iraq and Iran confirmed on Thursday the importance of halting military operations on Yemen, expressing their concern on the consequences of the Saudi aggression on Yemen.
The statement was made during a meeting by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Morteza Sarmadi with the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim al-Jabouri in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, according to Fars news agency.
The European Union (EU) has called the conflicting parties in Yemen to avoid targeting civilians and infrastructure in the country.
In joint statements made by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, they condemned targeting hospitals and destruction of homes, schools and basic infrastructure, saying such acts are unacceptable