Royal blessing for Middle East Film Festival at university

Royal blessing for Middle East Film Festival at university

The Square One cinema in the Hub which will be hosting the Middle East Film Festival's opening night

University news

Tuesday 03 March 2015

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Coventry is set to experience a flavour of Middle Eastern cinema this week as a free movie festival supported by Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali of Jordan opens at the city's university.

The Middle East Film Festival – which opens this afternoon (Tuesday 3rd March) at the Square One cinema in the Hub – has been organised jointly by the student-led Culturae Mundi and Linguae Mundi initiatives at Coventry University, and is screening a selection of Turkish and Saudi films for free.

Culturae Mundi and Linguae Mundi's inaugural Middle Eastern Film Festival is sponsored by Turkish Airlines and has received the patronage of Princess Rym Ali, who in 2013 was awarded an honorary doctorate by Coventry University in recognition of her contribution to the field of journalism and media.

Opening the festival this afternoon will be a buffet and live music event, followed by back-to-back screenings of two acclaimed Turkish dramas – Whisper if I Forget ('Unutursam Fisilda') at 2.50pm and Winter Sleep ('Kış Uykusu') at 5.15pm.

Çağan Irmak, the award-winning Turkish director of 2014's Whisper if I Forget will be in attendance to introduce and talk about his film, having travelled from Turkey especially for the festival.

Wednesday (4th March) sees the festival move across University Square to the Alan Berry Building opposite Coventry Cathedral, where Turkish film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia ('Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da') – which scooped the prestigious Grand Prix prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival – will be screened at 6pm.

Closing out the festival at 6pm on Thursday (5th March) in the Alan Berry Building will be Saudi Arabian film Wadja (2012), which was the country's first-ever foreign-language Oscar entry and tells the story of a Saudi schoolgirl who longs to purchase and ride a bicycle.