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Decade after: FiSahara achieved international status, confirms Saharawi Culture Minister

Chahid Al Hafed (refugee camps), Oct 7, 2013 (SPS) - The Minister of Culture Ms. Khadija Hamdi said, in a press conference held Monday morning at the Ministry’s headquarters, that the International Film Festival in Western Sahara (FiSahara) “has achieved global status” in terms of the number and quality of participants, as well as the media influence it created internationally.

The Minister, in this respect, indicated that foreign actors, filmmakers and photographers annually choose the Saharawi refugee camps to be “screens for showing solidarity and conveying the suffering of Saharawi people”, emphasizing that the holding of the 10th edition of this festival is a sign of “the constancy of this cultural event of national and international dimension.”

Ms. Hamdi noted that this festival has contributed to opening bridges of contact with other cultures and could expand the network of relationships to include prestigious festivals in Europe and Latin America, adding that it has become “an opportunity” for young Saharawis to take advantage of training in the field of the seventh art, whose most remarkable manifestations is the Saharawi Film School.

She went on saying that the new in this edition is the participation of Saharawi film productions, including “Divided Country” made by the Saharawi Film School, and the film “Smooth Killing” produced by a group of Saharawi human rights activists from the occupied territories.

Concerning foreign participation, the Minister revealed that FiSahara 2013 will receive delegations of around 20 countries of the world, including that Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, Palestine, Morocco, Zimbabwe, and others, in addition to official delegations representing the ministry of culture in both Algeria and South Africa.

U.S. will take part at the event as a guest of honour.

Another delegation of the International Organization for Women and Media, composed of representatives of high-ranking mass media including Washington Post, CNN, Aljazeera International, BBC, Le Monde diplomatique and others will also be present.

The festival will be organized on October 8-13 in the Wilaya of Dakhla, Saharawi refugee camps, under the theme “10 years to serve solidarity and defend human rights.”

It will see the opening of several workshops on audiovisual, as well as the topic of human rights and Arab Spring.

A wide range of short and long films made by Saharawi and foreign filmmakers will be screened at the week-long festival.

The Wilaya of Dakhla will, on the sidelines of FiSahara, host a set of festivities to celebrate the 38th anniversary of the National Unity Day and the Local Festival of Culture and Folk Arts. (SPS)

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