Tunisia: Carthage Film Festival Kicks Off Amid Tight Security

Tunis/Tunisia — The 29th edition of the Carthage Film Festival (French: JCC) kicked off on Saturday evening at the Opera House in the Culture City of Tunis, amid tight security.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Speaker of the House of People's Representatives (HPR) Mohamed Ennaceur, Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohammed Zine El Abidine, as well as several ministers, MPs and heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Tunis and ministers of culture of guest countries in this edition, namely Senegal and Iraq attended the opening ceremony.

Under the spotlight, stars on the big screen came to celebrate the cinema in all its splendor and exuberance and for the first time in the heart of the City of Culture adorned with all its beauty to welcome guests from all sides.

For this year, the opening ceremony, which was held amid tight security, following the October 29 suicide attack downtown Tunis, was reserved for the guests and accredited visitors only.

In his opening remarks, director general of the JCC 2018 Néjib Ayed welcomed the support of various foreign guests to Tunisia who have not hesitated to come despite the suicide attack perpetrated a few days before the start of this event, which is celebrating its 52nd anniversary this year.

He noted that "the organising committee has recorded no cancellation of the 500 foreign guests".

While recalling the crucial role of culture in general and cinema in particular as an essential bulwark against extremist thought and obscurantism, Nejib Ayed emphasised the African and Arab specificity of the JCC.

After the presentation of the films in official competition in the various sections and juries, the public attended the screening of the opening film "Apartide" directed by Moroccan Narjiss Nejjar.

The JCC 2018 (November 3-10, 2018) will see the screening of 200 films selected from 47 countries including 44 films in official competition.

Among the selected films, 54 Arab films and 15 films will be screened in world premiere at the African and Arab levels.

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