Mahdi Fleifel to Cannes Short Films Competition

CANNES. "A Drowning Man" by Danish-Palestinian director Mahdi Fleifel is selected for the Short Films Competition at the Cannes Festival 2017, running 17-28 May. 

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CANNES COMPETITION. Mahdi Fleifel will be competing for the Short Film Palme d'Or with "A Drowning Man." Pictured is the Danish-Palestinian director in Athens during the shoot.

Life as a refugee is a recurring theme in Mahdi Fleifel's films. Now the Danish-Palestinian director is ready with "A Drowning Man," which has been selected for the Short Films Competition at the Cannes Festival kicking off 17-28 May.

Fleifels short fiction film tells the story of a lost soul in modern Athens, alone and far from home who does his best to survive and is forced to make the necessary compromises in a world where danger lurks.

"A Drowning Man" is one of nine films to compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or in the shorts competition, whose jury this year is led by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu.

Mahdi Fleifel, who graduated from the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, won Berlinale's Silver Bear for Best Short Film with "A Man Returned" (2016). The documentary takes place in the same Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon where the director spent his early childhood years, before we came to Denmark. The film was produced with support from the Film Workshop in Copenhagen.

Life in the refugee camp is also the theme of his two previous, award-winning film, "Xenos" (2014) and "A World Not Ours" (2012), both were selected for the Berlinale, the latter winning the Peace Film Award.

"A Drowning Man" is produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen for Final Cut for Real and Patrick Campbell of English production company Nakba Film Works. Michael Aaglund edited, and Vasco Viana was behind the camera. The film has received development funding from the Danish Film Institute.

The remaining festival programme will be announced over the coming weeks.

Cannes Festival 17-28 May 2017

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