Damascus, SANA – The Syrian short documentary “Jasmin” by director Almohannad Kalthom is participating in the official documentary contest at the Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival, competing against 20 other documentaries from 14 Arab and European countries.
The 26th iteration of the festival will be held in Tetouan, Morrocco between the 26th of March and the 2nd of April.
The jury for the documentary contest at the festival is chaired by Belgian cinematographer Karine de Villers, and its members are Moroccan actor Malek Khamiss, Greek writer Ersi Sotiropoulos, and Sergio Cobo from Spain.
The 2016 session of the festival seeks to focus on movies that deal with the tragedies taking place in the Mediterranean area, with the participation of academics and critics who will seek to shed light on the complex and tragic situations in this part of the world.
Jasmin is a docudrama that sheds light on the children in Syria under the circumstances of war, and the difficult and harsh conditions they have to endure both in Syria and abroad, with Kalthom shedding light on how the war has affected their dreams, thinking, and outlook towards the war raging on in their land, homes, and schools.
Speaking to SANA, Kalthom said that Jasmin seeks to embody the perennial, ageless child of Syria, using a mix of children’s laughter, their tears, and their proud spirit to paint an optimistic view of a better tomorrow, adding that the stars of the movies are Syrian children who were displaced from their homes, some of whom are residing in temporary housing centers.
The director said the documentary is a humanitarian message to the world about the violation of human rights and childhood in Syria carried out by armed terrorists, and that it constitutes a cinematic attempt to defend their future.
He stressed the need for Syrian cinema to depict facts, confront reality, and act as a mirror reflecting the truth for everyone, adding “the voices of those children must reach outside Syria, because many of them have been deprived of the most basic rights due to the crimes committed by terrorism.
Almohannad Kalthom has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in TV and cinematic direction from Ukraine’s Kharkov Academy for Culture and Arts. He directed a number of short films in Ukraine, starting with “Why” in 2004, “Hope, Faith, Love” in 2006, and “Enough” in 2010, his most important film which tackled the issue of racism, in addition to the award-winning “High Voltage.”