Lattakia Hosts 4th Short Film Festival

Dar al-Assad for Culture Theater in Latakia recently hosted the 4th International Short Film Festival "Steps".

The films that participated in the 5-day event represented a number of Arab and foreign countries including Latvia, Belgium, Canada, Algeria, Brazil, Bahrain, Georgia, Russia, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Palestine and Syria.

In a statement to the Syria Times, Mrs. Sarah Saleemeh, director of the Syrian film "the Veil", stressed her  pride to participate in this event as it is the only one in her city, Lattakia, which means that her family and friends will be able to watch her first work.

 She went on to say that the festival is but a milestone in the history of cinema in Lattakia, as well as  an opportunity for young people to attend various global movies on a big screen.

She pointed out that the festival is also a chance to watch short films that are not normally broadcasted on television and cannot be obtained in the stores that sell "DVD". It is also a chance identify the levels achieved by the other countries in this area, She said, indicating that the evolution of the technical devices used in producing the foreign films appeared clearly in these works while the Syrian young artists are working with a low production budget and modest potential .

Mrs. Saleemeh showed great desire to complete her way in the world of short films and 7th Art, stressing her quest to refine her talent in the future and to deepen her experience in this area .

On his part, actor Zine El Abidine Mareshah, the Syrian hero of the "alienation of time," film which is directed by Fadi Rahmon stressed that the festival is an important step for the young generation, especially for those who are interested in cinema in Lattakia province.

Mareshah, who has already acted in the movie "the path of Heaven," directed by Joud Sa'eed, considered that the development of the festival depends on those who support it, producers and artists from the Syrian youth and the special support of the critics for this event as a cultural and artistic festival being held in Syria. He noted the festival's importance in providing participants with new culture, visions and perspectives in this field.

The festival, according to member of the Artists Union Bashar Abdal, is but an opportunity to learn about others' experiences and their directorial and acting ideas stressing that after watching a number of participating films, we can realize that some of them can be classified as movies, the others are presenting beautiful ideas whereas some of them are mere attempts.

Observers have made many opinions about  the festival, but all of them focused on a basic idea which is the lack of theaters in Latakia. This is what was said by Hammam Zrieqah, who confirmed that Lattakia is rich with young talented artists who are able to present the ideas and the images in a beautiful way.  

Zrieqah felt that the Syrian participating films are not significantly different from the foreign films in terms of image, despite the lack of the necessary capabilities compared to what is available for the participants from outside Syria.

Amal Farhat -Lattakia