Arab Film Festival: MY FAVORITE FABRIC
October 13 only
Screened at Cannes 2018! (Un Certain Regard)
Damascus, March 2011. The city is on edge with the military police and demonstrators facing off in the streets as the revolution begins to quake. Amidst this backdrop, the story of Nahla emerges. She’s 25 and lives with her mother and two younger sisters, wallflower college student Myriam and tomboy Line. She’s defiant, irreverent, and bored out of her mind, working at a fashion boutique with her quirky co-worker, spending the nights looking out into the street smoking cigarettes and dreaming of her “perfect man” like a proper hopeless romantic. She doesn’t quite know what direction she’s heading, but is certain of one thing: freedom. Her mother has arranged a suitor, Samir, a Syrian expatriate living in the US to meet Nahla in hopes of getting her married and for the family to leave the country for safer pastures abroad. But when Samir chooses Myriam instead, Nahla’s world is turned upside down, and befriends the enigmatic Ms. Jiji who recently moved into a massive flat two floors up in their apartment building where she runs her… business. Suffocating at home with no nowhere to hide wanting to escape as the country falls apart at the seams, Nahla finds refuge at Ms. Jiji’s and slowly enters a gritty underworld she did not expect, or was craving all along.
Drawing a parallel between a young woman’s sexual awakening and the budding of the Syrian conflict, Gaya Jiji’s sensual boudoir drama My Favorite Fabric (Mon Tissu Préféré), and debut feature, relays the story of a young person going through normal young person things, but in the midst of the beginnings of one of the most devastating crises of contemporary times. Using tight interiors and a master class employment of framing, Jiji draws forth a sense of the claustrophobic uncertainty that abounded in the early days of the conflict situated atop the plight of a young woman who so urgently wants to break free. Premiered in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes 2018.
Gaya Jiji is a Syrian filmmaker born in Damascus living and working in Paris. She attended the University of Paris receiving a Master’s Degree in Audiovisual and Film Studies where she was awarded with first class honors and has had her short films screened at festivals around the world, including FIFAK Fest in Tunisia, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, and Rotterdam. Her first feature My Favorite Fabric was awarded with the “Aide aux cinemas du monde” fund by the CNC in July 2015, and received a development grant from Amiens Film Festival in 2013. It was likewise part of La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde at Cannes 2014, and screened at the Dubai Film Connexion. The completed version of the film screened in the Un Certain Regard selection at Cannes 2018
For more information, please visit the Arab Film Festival website.
Directed by Gaya Jiji. 95 min. DCP. Syria. 2018.
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