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Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation celebrates 3 decades of cinema experience

By Maria Weldali - Jan 20,2021 - Last updated at Jan 21,2021

AMMAN — The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF) on Tuesday held an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its cinema, representing a “vibrant centre and an artistic milieu” for cinematic culture.

“Cinema is life. It enables us to experience the roles and lives of others, visit different countries and get familiar with their versions of challenges, hardships and joy,” AHSF’s CEO Valentina Kassisieh said at the event.

Kassisieh added that the foundation has gradually started returning to its activities and film screenings while adhering to safety and physical distancing measures.

Film critic and head of the foundation’s cinema department Adnan Madanat, said that the screening of films started back in November of 1989, with the first being a Yugoslavian movie.

“With our hands on our hearts, we were surprised to see our hall bustling with eager attendees,” Madanat added.

“Through injecting a scent of adventure, we started AHSF’s film screenings,” he said, noting that at the time they did not have a designated hall in which to screen the films, so they held the screenings at a multipurpose hall.

Over the past 30 years, considerable experience has been forged in criticism and the manner of conducting discussions, he noted.

In an interview with The Jordan Times, Kassisieh said that the AHSF is a cultural foundation that was established in 1978, with the aim of promoting and spreading culture, education and scientific research.

“Cinema is a major part of culture, therefore the screenings are of great significance, but what is most important is the post-film discussion,” Kassisieh said, adding that discussions stimulate the public’s creativity, develop critical thinking and promote the cinematic culture.

“When people come to the AHSF, they can read a book, watch a movie, listen to music and develop an innovative project,” she said.

The pandemic has affected the “unique properties” of attending face-to-face meetings, but through their social media platforms they were able to reach people from outside the Kingdom, she noted.

“We always choose films from various regions of the world, because we want to introduce the public to the global culture of cinema,” Madanat told The Jordan Times.

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation began to promote the culture of cinema and showcase “outstanding Arabic and international films” in late 1989, gearing towards diversifying its cultural and artistic activities, according to AHSF website.

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