The London MENA Film Festival 2012 - Opening Night


The London MENA Film Festival kicked off on the 26th October at the Tricycle theater,  with the screening of ‘How Big is Your Love’, directed by the very talented Fatma Zohra Zamoum. It is a touching tale about a young boy, Adel who is sent to stay with his grandparents Rachid and Kadidja- played by Nordine Alane and Nadjia Debahi- Laraaf- as his parents contemplate their marriage. Adel’s life becomes very much a part of his grandparents and together they explore the simple pleasure in life that is unconditional love.

Adel is played by the exceptionally gifted young actor, Racim Zennadi, whom Zamoum couldn’t give enough praise to at the Q&A that followed the screening. His raw innocence gave the film a certain depth and allowed for the audience to connect with the plight of his situation.  

The film is set in contemporary Lounès, Algeria and is adamant on representing an image of North Africa that is far from the popular images that are currently coming out from the region. Bold colours, rustic foods, familiar images of cigars and coffee, and images of a lit up Lounes from a balcony view, together create a sense of normality and home. Fatma commented that she was tired of the war and terrorism represented in Algerian cinema and wanted to create something more wholesome. She was determined to cater for an important part of society that has usually been ignored in Algerian cinema.‘I made this film because children and the aged are absent in North African Cinema’ she commented with an interview with

Preceding the film were three short films ‘Granny Flag’, ‘The Secret Room’ and ‘Here’, which all had clear revolutionary themes, displaying the angst felt about the Arab Spring amongst so many. They each provide an individual angle and provide much impact in their 4 minutes.

All in all the London MENA Film Festival picked a great line-up to start of their week -long festival, which most definitely warmed the chill of the autumn evening.

By Kiran Sahib : Writer/Editor for CAF