It was in an emotional atmosphere that the first session of the Tunisian Cinema Festival was inaugurated on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Tunisian Cinematheque in the presence of Mr. Mohamed Zinelabidine Minister of Cultural Affairs and a large number of filmmakers, Producers and film lovers who came to attend this feast of the Tunisian Cinema held in this new jewel of Tunisia which is the City of Culture. Organized by the Association of Tunisian Film Directors with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and a partnership with the National Center for Cinema and Image and the Tunisian Cinematheque, this first session of the Tunisian Cinema Festival, which will last until May 05, 2018 at the City of Culture, was an occasion to honor the director Mounir Baâziz and the actor Habib Chaâri, two emblematic figures of the Tunisian cinema who marked by their passion for the 7th  art a whole generation of filmmakers and technicians.

When taking the floor at the opening of this new national film event, Mr Mohamed Zinelabidine thanked all the efforts that helped in the creation of such an initiative, a fruit of combined efforts of professional filmmakers from civil society, the authority of guardianship and all film lovers. This event, he stressed, is likely to stimulate cinematographic creation in a context of healthy emulation that can only promote creation and improve the quality of production. The Minister recalled on this occasion the great achievements that were made in the City of Culture which offers the most modern infrastructures in terms of production and dissemination of culture citing in particular, the recent inauguration of the Ballet and Choreographic Arts Pole as well as the activities of the Arab Festival of Radio and Television. Mr. Mohamed Zinelabidine urged the filmmakers to go further towards the regions in a dynamic of production and in a cultural participative diffusion with a spirit of diversification.

Mokhtar Laajimi, President of the first session of this festival, expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and all its partners for their support and partnership, while stating that this initiative was not easy for all stakeholders. He said that this festival is a continuation of the efforts of his predecessors, efforts that he has enriched by the introduction of prizes of a total amount of 150 thousand dinars. Mokhtar Laajimi then presented the jury for the feature film competition namely: Moussa Touré (President), Françoise Gallo, Ivan Lavoine, Souad Hussein, Ahmed Boughaba, Tarak Ben Abdallah and Farouk Abdelkhalak (Members) then the jury of the competition for documentary films: Hichem Ben Ammar (President) Nada Mezni Hfaiedh, Laurent Doré (members).

Then, Brahim Ltaief took the floor and gave a speech in honor to the director Mounir Baaziz before awarding him a trophy in consideration of his immense knowledge and his great passion for cinema. Then it was to the actor and director Habib Chaâri to receive a trophy from Habib Mestiri in honor to his long and rich career in the cinema.

Then, came the time for the projection of a digitized copy of Hamouda Ben Halima's feature film "Khalifa the scabby", the work that has marked all generations of Tunisian filmmakers.

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