The honorable guests of the JCC shone on the red carpet for a colorful opening ceremony, orchestrated by the brilliant, Nejib Belkadhi.
Following the welcome addressed to the festival guests, present in large numbers, Ridha Behi, the director of the JCC, invited the guests to enjoy the festival but also to all persons constituting the heartbeat of the JCC, namely, the faithful public of this cinematographic meeting, the professionals of this industry, the journalists and all the players taking part in the influence of the festival. Defying all obstacles, the JCC organizers promise a week marked by vitality, wealth and dreams.
According to Ridha Behi, this festival is an opportunity to bury, at least for a few days, the hatchet, to go of resentments and hostilities to fully appreciate fascinating works and get back to basics: cinema.
Some of these films will be judged by the Jury première œuvre of Tahar Cheriaa prize, which will be launched. This jury is composed of Sékou Traoré, from Burkina Faso, Basma from Egypt, and Ramses Mahfoudh, from Tunisia.
The jury for feature and short documentaries is composed of Chloé Aicha Boro from Burkina Faso, Nujoom Al-Ghanem from the United Arab Emirates, Sophie Salbot and Michelle de la Rochefoucauld from France, Hamza Ouni from Tunisia and Necati Sonmez, from Turkey.
Hayet Guettat Guermazi, Minister of Cultural Affairs, also intervened on stage to underline the importance of the JCC in revitalizing the Tunisian, Arab and African cultural life.
The Minister reaffirmed the full support of culture ministry for Tunisian cinema. “The festival remains a pillar of cultural activity in Tunisia and in all the southern countries”, as she emphasized.
She also insisted on the need to strengthen cooperation between the southern countries and the southern countries with the northern ones, as well as the role of cinema in protecting society and contributing to its progress.
Later followed tributes paid to figures who have honored Tunisian, Arab and African cinema through their exceptional career: the Egyptian actress Nelly Karim, the film critic Baba Diop, the producer Anoir Sadek Sabah and the film critic and journalist Khameis Khayati.
A vibrant tribute was also paid to the Tunisian director Moufida Tlatli who sadly passed away on February 27, 2021.
The director of “The Silences of the Palace” was able to pass on her passion for cinema, inspiring a new generation of filmmakers. The JCC dedicated to them the section "Ciné promesse".
The jury is composed of Lina Chaabane from Tunisia, Fatou Kiné Séné from Senegal and Nicole Kamato from Lebanon.
To support culture and free speech, the JCC launched the Lina Ben Mhenni Prize. The jury is composed of Bochra Bel Haj Hmia and Hechmi Ben Fraj from Tunisia and Sarah Berthou from France.
Special tributes will also be paid to makeup artist Hajer Bouhawala, head-machinist Hsan Tebbi, actor Bahri Rahali and actress Chekra Rammah.
The jury of “Fiction feature and short films” composed of Hoji Fortuna from Angola, Tarek El Shennawi from Egypt, Gessica Fabiota Geneus from Haiti, Daoud Aoulad-Syad from Morocco, Ahmed Bahrami from Iran, Sofiane Ben Farhat from Tunisia and presided by the Italian producer Enzo Porcelli went on stage, reflective of the diversity promoted by the festival.
The opening ceremony ended on a high note with the presentation, by its own director, Mahamet-Salah Haroun, of the opening film “Lingui, The Sacred Bonds”.
At the end, the guests had the opportunity to discover this gripping film.