(MENAFN - Arab News) The 8th european film festival kicked off on saturday at the cultural and commercial section of the italian consulate in jeddah with the opening of the italian movie 'la grande belleze" (the great beauty).
simon petroni italian consul general welcomed the guests and explained that it's been the tradition to launch the festival with the screening of an italian film. he indicated that this year nine different films would be displayed at various consulates. he also said that palestine is participating for the first time in the festival as an honorary guest with the drama 'palestine stereo."
la grande belleze has won several awards including an oscar a golden globe a bafta a capri visionary movie award and the european film award.
the film tells the story of the italian economic boom of 60s told through the narrative of senior journalist jep gambardella and his lavish nightlife escapades in rome.
the main character gambardella played by toni serviollo has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and social circles since the success of his one and only novel. when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries and looking past the extravagant nightlife to find rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd exquisite beauty.
the second film to be screened on april 28 is 'palestine stereo" a tale of two brothers samy and milad who plan to immigrate to canada after an israeli air force bomb shatters their lives.
milad used to be a wedding singer but when his wife dies in the attack he becomes disillusioned with his life in palestine. the bombing also leaves samy mute and deaf. the two set about earning money for their travel by buying a secondhand sound system that they rent out for events in ramallah.
the other films that are going to displayed are: 'the artist" a musical film from france; 'the double" a british drama; 'sancitity" a 35-minute award winning saudi drama; 'fetih 1453" an action and historical drama from turkey; 'once" a musical drama from the ireland; 'this ain't california" a historical documentary and sports film from germany; and 'god loves caviar" a story of ioannis varvakis's journey from a humble greek pirate to an international caviar millionaire.
the european film festival will continue till may 5 and all movies will be screened in their original language with english subtitles.