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The Independent Critic

Mette Alvang, Jihad Assi, Salim Assi
Sylvia Le Fanu
Mads Lind Knudsen, Sylvia Le Fanu
25 Mins.

 "Abu Adnan" Screening as Finalist at Indy Shorts Film Fest 
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In Abu Adnan, Sayid (Salim Assi) is a man wanting to keep his status as a father and the family patriarch in a new linguistic and cultural setting while dealing with his son's (Jihad Assi) progress in assimilating into the Danish language and culture. 

Winner of multiple awards in the 2017 Ekko Shortlist Awards (Best Fiction Film, Best Actor, Best Editing for Tue Sten Eskildsen, and Best Production Design for Camilla Silvana Navarro Howalt), Abu Adnan is set to screen as a finalist in the inaugural Indy Shorts Film Festival in Indianapolis going on July 26-29, 2018 at Newfields. 

This low-budget Danish short is, indeed, a beautiful film to watch, Emil Aagaard's lensing expertly immersing you in the struggles of a man to adapt to a new culture and a new way of living. Aagaard's camera seems to love these characters, especially Sayid and Adnan, two instantly likable people whose circumstances are both something we can't imagine and yet enveloped by themes that play out as universal and familiar. 

Both lead performers are strong here, their natural connection feeling honest yet also portraying the tensions that arise in a situation that is familiar - a younger person adapting a little more easily than their elder to a brave new world. Kudos must be given for Camilla Silvana Navarro Howalt's production design, simple yet sublime and comfortable and humane. 

Director Sylvia Le Fanu refreshingly avoids the usual cliche's often found in a film such as Abu Adnan, instead presenting us with a story that feels so authentic that I actually looked it up to make sure it wasn't a short doc. 

It's not. And that's a beautiful thing.

Abu Adnan will screen twice at Indy Shorts as part of the Finalist Shorts 1 Collection:

  • Friday, July 27th, at 7pm inside DeBoest Lecture Hall
  • Saturday, July 28th at 12:45pm in The Toby

Both screenings are, of course, inside Newfields. For more information on Indy Shorts, visit the Indy Shorts website

Critic's Note: Abu Adnan picked up the prize for Best Narrative Short at Indy Shorts. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic