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26th Annual Carthage Film Festival opens in Tunis

The Carthage Film Festival has attracted more than 500 Arab and African movies to be screened in the capital and around the country. The eight-day event has been deemed an "antidote to violence."

Amid heavy security, filmmakers from Africa and the Arab world, movie stars, and politicians walked down the red carpet on Saturday to the Bonbonniere theater in Tunis to open the 26th Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia.

The film "Lamb," from Ethiopian director Yared Zeleke, opened the eight-day film festival.

Security was extremely tight, as would be expected in a country that was rocked earlier this year by deadly attacks. One attack at a museum in March killed 21 people, another at a popular Mediterranean resort in June that killed 38 foreign tourists.

A state of emergency had been in force in the North African country until early October.

Film director's chair

Festival director Ibrahim Letaief said the festival, opening just a week after attacks in Paris left 130 people dead, is an "antidote to violence," as film "tears away the veil of darkness and is the guarantor of the greatest victory over terrorism."

Culture Minister Latifa Lakhdar echoed that sentiment, saying: "Creativity is the greatest way to mark our attachment to life and our battle against those people who would destroy even the most elementary principles of life."

The official competition at the festival, which will end next Saturday, includes 17 feature-length films, 13 shorts and 16 documentaries.

av/jm (AFP, CFF Website)

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