Ahmad Joudeh – Agenda 2019.02.11 Berlin, Germany
11 February 2019
Books at Berlinale
Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin’s House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus)
Ahmad Joudeh’s book “Danza o Muori” (Dance or Die) was among the twelve books selected out of over 160 submissions from more than 30 countries.
Ahmad Joudeh presented his book to film producers at the pitch event.
Publishing Perspectives (15 February 2019)
At this year’s Books at Berlinale event, filmmakers were introduced to a dozen publishers’ titles curated for potential screen development.
One of the most touching moments was the presentation of the Syrian novel Dance or Die, (DeA Planeta Libri, 2018) the true story of Ahmad Joudeh, who stood up against war and fundamentalists by relying on his greatest passion: dance. For years he practiced alone and in secret.
“In Islamic culture, classical dance is regarded as a female activity, not suitable at all for man”, said Annachiara Tassan, a representative of the Italian publisher DeA Planeta Libri. “There’s no Arabic word for male dancers.”
The dancer-author himself turned out to be in the Books at Berlinale audience. Asked how he managed to held on to his dreams despite the war in Syria and threats from extremists, he said, “I wanted to exist as a dancer not as a refugee.”
From Press Release (21 January 2019)
Press Release (21 January 2019)
On February 11, in the scope of “Books at Berlinale”, a co-operation with the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the Berlinale Co-Production Market will present twelve new and notable literary works that lend themselves perfectly to adaptation for the screen.
The over 160 submissions received from more than 30 countries this year represent a new record number of applications, topping all previous editions of the event.
“Dance or Die”, the moving true story of Ahmad Joudeh, who held onto his dream of dancing against all odds, faced with the war in Syria and the threat of extremists, is an impressive testament to the power of peaceful resistance through art.