The Valley by Ghassan Salhab and Even Donkeys Have Remorse by Shirin Abou Shaqra will be part of the Dubai Film Connection at the 9th Dubai International Film Festival.
The Dubai Film Connection awards include a EUR 6,000 prize from ARTE France, a USD 10,000 Film Clinic award for a debut feature film, three DIFF awards of USD 25,000, a EUR 5,000 award to a project that is from a member country of the Organistaion Internationale de la Francophonie and five accreditations for producers from the Arab world to the prestigious Producers Network at Cannes 2013.
The Valley synopsis:
Following a car accident on a lone mountain road, a middle-aged man loses his memory. Drenched in blood, he continues to walk along the deserted path. Further down the road, he encounters people with engine trouble and helps them get their car running again. They are reluctant to leave him stranded, so they take him home to their large estate in the Bekaa valley, a place where production is not only agricultural, and a place he may never leave again....
Even Donkeys Have Remorse synopsis:
Omar, a 75-year old novelist struggles in his attempts to write a novel based on the life of Ahmad Faris Al-Shidyaq, an Arab writer from the 19th century. Shidyaq was a linguist, a translator, a newspaper journalist and editor, a sharp social critic, a cynical chronicler of his time, an amateur musician and at one time a traveling salesman. From his old house, the novelist struggles with his writer's block and in his quest to come to grips with the complex character of Al-Shidyaq. Omar is aided by his housekeeper, a young woman who tries to remain invisible, and a puppet that has developed a life of his own.