The short film directed by Riad Makdessi and released last year, 8 Billion, has been selected to feature in the 7th Oran Arab Film Festival. The film was produced by Studio.ADabisc, and will screen at the festival from September 23 to 30, 2013.
Apart from the Oran Arab Film Festival this year, 8 Billion was shown in many other prestigious global film festivals – Doha Tribeca Film Festival in 2012 where it was the Official Selection for the Made in Qatar section; the Arab Film Festival Rotterdam where it was officially selected for the Short Film Category; the 6th Gulf Film Festival in 2013, where it was also the Official Selection for the Made in Qatar section; and the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival in April 2013, where it has been selected for the Best Short Film category.
The Oran Arab Film Festival takes place annually in Oran, El Bahia, and the second largest city in Algeria on the Mediterranean coast. It is a cultural capital where the folk music style of Rai finds its origins. This annual festival aims to create a platform for Arab filmmakers to showcase their work and to inspire their contemporaries to create quality cinema.
Commenting on the inclusion of the film in the programme director Riad Makdessi said, “Such a festival is an ideal platform for the screening of a Qatari production like 8 Billion. Qatar is such a diverse country thanks to the significant expatriate population that calls it home, albeit temporarily. The film contains multiple elements that are a reflection of the expatriate condition in the country in many ways. It is a film that confronts very serious issues, from the global issue of overpopulation, to the more personal issues of denial, unmet expectations, and loss,” added Makdessi.
8 billion is written by Toby Hart and Makdessi and was filmed entirely on location in Qatar. Makdessi’s previous film, Flu was also a Qatari production that screened at a number of film festivals around the world and has been awarded Best Arab Short Film at the 6th Jordanian Short Film Festival.