1st Hope International Film Festival (HIFF) opens 10 September in Stockholm

 by Sherif Awad

Fadi EL Lawand

There are thousands of film festivals around the world that focus on culture, history, entertainment, science fiction, or something similar. However, there are very few film festivals that highlight humanitarian issues related to people with special needs or living through unusual social situations.

From its heart in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, the festival will act as a global platform for the cinematic arts, highlighting the challenges faced by people with special needs, mental disorders, congenital anomalies and other disabilities, as well as looking at the issues of refugees and the war wounded. It will also screen films on the COVID-19 pandemic and its psychological and physical impact on humanity, as well as other connected humanitarian issues.

In his statement, Fadi EL Lawand, the founder and president of the festival, said:

"Since my early years in Lebanon as an actor and writer-director of theatrical plays to my immigration to Europe where I lived between the Netherlands then Belgium and Sweden, my dream was to organize a film festival that reflects hope for humankind regardless color, gender or religion.

Finally, I was able to think out of the box when I met my wife Jehan and our young child Karim who is challenged with autism. This was the starting point of the Hope International Film Festival (HIFF) that promises to screen quality films with touching stories that should bring us together from all over the world to provide support for those with special needs or suffering from critical issues.

I want to thank all my friends and colleague worldwide who helped us in realizing this first edition here in Stokholm after it was postponed for a whole year because of COVID-19, another challenge that we are still facing as human beings. Also, I would like to thank our sponsors, partners and of course our staff.

With HIFF, we promise to be here, same time, each year for more hope, love and prosperity".

Festival Selection and Guests in addition to tributes are found hereunder:


 

 

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