18th September - 18th December, Thessaloniki
Mahmoud Kaabour is a multi award-winning filmmaker, writer, and lecturer of Lebanese origin. He graduated with distinction from the Mel Oppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, after which he pursued a documentary focus at the National Film Board of Canada and the newsroom at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His film Being Osama, the documentary on the lives and times of six men sharing bin Laden’s first name in the post 9/11 world, received four international awards to date and was aired on twelve international channels. It also made him the youngest commissioned filmmaker in the history of Canadian television. Mahmoud’s second feature-length film, Teta, Alf Marra, scooped the Audience Award for Best Documentary at its world premiere at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, where Mahmoud also received the special jury mention for Best Arab Filmmaker. It was chosen to open Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Arts in Doha. The film also won the Audience Award at Dox Box Film Festival in Syria and became the first ever Arab Film to win the Best Film Award at the London International Documentary Festival. Having grown up in the UAE, Mahmoud brings a directing style that strikes a unique balance between sophisticated documentary approaches and an understanding of this region’s unique norms, sensibilities, and future aspirations. Mahmoud is the founder and managing director of Veritas Films, a UAE based company that specializes in the creation and production of non-fiction content including corporate films, short and feature length documentaries and TV programming. Eva Sayre, Business Director of Veritas Films, is the executive producer of “Teta, Alf Marra” as well as other documentary projects. She oversees the strategic and financial affairs of Veritas Films.
From the award-winning director of Being Osama comes a poetic documentary that puts his feisty Beiruti grandmother at the center of brave film exercises designed to commemorate her many worlds before they are erased by the passage of time and her eventual death.
Teta Fatima is the 83-year old matriarch of the Kaabour family and the sharp-witted queen bee of an old Beiruti quarter. With great intimacy, the film documents her larger-than-life character as she struggles to cope with the silence of her once-buzzing house and imagines what awaits her beyond death. Meanwhile, her beloved violinist husband (deceased 20 years ago) is both an essential absence and presence. His features manifest through the face of their filmmaker grandson while his previously unpublished violin improvisations weave through her world and that of the film.
Teta, Alf Marra brings together grandfather, grandmother, and grandson in a playful magic-realist documentary that aims to defy a past death and a future one.
From the press kit of the film