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 International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is seriously concerned about an increase in fighting in the city of Taiz.
In a press release issued on Friday, the ICRC said that there has been indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, and essential infrastructure is being destroyed.
"We call on the parties on the ground in Taiz to allow the safe passage of ambulances, medical workers and aid workers so that lives can be saved and the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance can be made possible," said the head of the ICRC in Taiz, Olivier Chassot.
The ICRC indicated that the health situation in the governorate is particularly dire. The handful of hospitals still functioning are having to deal with large numbers of wounded people as well as severe shortage of supplies. The ICRC has had serious difficulties in delivering lifesaving medical and surgical supplies to a number of hospitals in Taiz.
The European Union (EU) has affirmed that the recent airstrikes on Hodeida port imposed an immediate hindrance to imports food, fuel, medicines and other supplies.
A joint Statement by the Spokespersons of the High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on the bombings in Yemen of port facilities in Hodeida said:
“The current conflict in Yemen is having a dramatic impact on the civilian population whose needs have reached alarming proportions. Access for the delivery of humanitarian aid and essential supplies, including fuel, food and basic commodities to ordinary Yemenis remains extremely difficult.
The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has described the humanitarian situation in Yemen as catastrophic.
"The humanitarian situation is nothing short of catastrophic. Every family in Yemen has been affected by this conflict. The people are facing immense hardship. And it is getting worse by the day. The world needs to wake up to what is going on," said Peter Maurer, who just ended a three-day visit to Yemen on Tuesday.
"The compounded effects of intense fighting and import restrictions are having a dramatic impact on health care," Maurer said. "Health facilities have been massively attacked as well as suffering collateral damage."
President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer has said that the ICRC will expand its activities in Yemen.
In a press conference in Sana’a on Sunday, Maurer affirmed that his visit will achieve positive and prompt results with regards to the humanitarian response in Yemen.
He said that he is optimistic that the visit will result in doubling the ICRC efforts to face this “disastrous” situation as what the ICRC and its partners currently provide cannot cover all the humanitarian aspects, specially that the country is under siege.
The Saudi aggression continued on Sunday to launch airstrikes on several governorates in the country.
A security source said Saudi war jets launched a number of raids on different parts of Hajjah governorate, destroying the building of the Roads and Bridges Authority in Haradh town in addition to many air raids carried out by drones in the town.
The Saudi warplanes also launched many raids on al-Hamara area of Lahj governorate, which led to numerous fatalities, including women and children. More than 16 sorties were carried out against areas of Muthalath al-Anad, al-Anad Air Base, Abain and Karesh, the source said.
In Dhamar governorate, the Saudi warplanes launched an airstrike targeted the Yemeni Economic Corporation building in Ma'abar city.
The United Nations has announced that the number of Yemeni internally displaced persons (IDPs) due the military aggression had doubled in less than two weeks.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the number of Yemeni IDPs had increased twice in 19 governorates since 17 April 2015 when 150 thousand Yemeni IDPs were registered.
It warned of the gravity of situations in Yemen because of the aggression.
The statement pointed out that the big number of IDPs are from the northern Hajjah governorate, in addition to southern Al-Dhalea and Abyan governorates.
Amnesty International has called for investigating the killing of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, by the Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes across Yemen.
"The month-long campaign of air strikes carried out by Saudi Arabia and its allies has transformed many parts of Yemen into a dangerous place for civilians," said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.
"Millions of people have been forced to live in a state of utter terror, afraid of being killed at home. Many feel they are left with no choice but to move away from their destroyed villages to an uncertain future."
The UN has stated that more than 550 civilians have been killed including more than 100 children since the military campaign began on 25 March.
Amnesty International said it has documented eight strikes in five densely populated areas, which are Sa'ada, Sana'a, Hodeida, Hajjah and Ibb, noting that several of these strikes raised concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law.
According its research, Amnesty International said at least 139 people, including at least 97 civilians, 33 of whom were children were killed during the strikes, and 460 individuals were injured, at least 157 whom are civilians.