After two years together, the first big crisis in Alaa and Mai’s relationship is captured in this charming encounter in a Cairo café.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Arabic with subtitles, 12 min
With four feature films to his name, Joseph Cedar has become one of Israel’s most celebrated filmmakers: his films have won an astonishing 24 Israeli Academy Awards, have twice been nominated for Best Foreign Language Oscars®, and have won prestigious prizes at the Berlin and Cannes film festivals. Join us for a discussion with Cedar about his films, followed by a screening of last year’s Footnote, a charming satire called “genius” by the New York Times.
In the deserts of Petra, Jordan, Mfadi struggles to decide whether to stay in his humble home or move his family to the city in a carefully observed study of a people and their changing way of life.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Arabic with subtitles, 16 min
Footnote is the tale of a great rivalry between a father and son. Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are both eccentric professors, who have dedicated their lives to their work in Talmudic Studies. The father, Eliezer, is a stubborn purist who fears the establishment and has never been recognized for his work. Meanwhile his son, Uriel, is an up-and-coming star in the field, who appears to feed on accolades, endlessly seeking recognition.Then one day, the tables turn. When Eliezer learns that he is to be awarded the Israel Prize, the most valuable honor for scholarship in the country, his vanity and desperate need for validation are exposed. His son, Uriel, is thrilled to see his father’s achievements finally recognized but, in a darkly funny twist, is forced to choose between the advancement of his own career and his father’s. Will he sabotage his father’s glory?Part of: A Conversation With Joseph Cedar
Hebrew with subtitles, 107 min
Belgium / Iraq
Sahim Omar Kalifa
Iraq,1988. In a land devastated by war, Dileer and his sister just want to watch cartoons on television, but that seems to be more difficult than expected in this multi-award winning short.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Arabic/ Kurdish with subtitles, 19 min
Jordan / UAE
Yahya Al Abdallah
A slow-burning absurdist comedy, The Last Friday follows Youssef, a down-on-his-luck taxi driver whose lonely life changes suddenly when he learns he must have a testicular operation immediately. His son, meanwhile, must be sent to a private school. The money for both tuition and the operation is due by Friday. Youssef finds himself reaching out to estranged family members and friends, both for the money and to salvage what’s left of his life.
Arabic with subtitles, 88 min
Featuring a brilliant performance from A Separation star Leila Hatami, Meeting Leila follows a young woman who demands that her chain-smoking fiancé quits smoking before their marriage. This poses a problem for this advertising agency idea man for whom smoking is an integral part of his creative process in this gently comic, insightful look at the compromises and negotiations required in any relationship.
Farsi with subtitles, 88 min
Tasked with giving away huge sums of money by whatever means possible, Kaveh and Layla drive through the remote, war-torn mountains of Iran with a trunkful of cash. What begins as a seemingly harmless game soon reveals itself to be a twisted bout of charity as the power, humiliation, and shame inherent in their act plays out between the privileged couple and the impoverished villagers.Modest Reception is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit www.globalfilm.org.
Farsi with subtitles, 100 min
Dana Doron and Uriel Sinai
An estimated 400,000 people were tattooed with serial numbers at Auschwitz, of whom only a few thousand survive today. This intimate and visually rapturous documentary details the current lives of some of these survivors, their memories of the camps, and their relationships with the numbers. Numbered is an emotionally affecting portrait of memory and history, and their enduring presence in individual lives.
Hebrew with subtitles, 60 min
In this bittersweet family comedy, shy teenager Libby moves back to Israel to live with her hapless father Shaul, unexpectedly finding herself without a home as war breaks out around them. Shaul devises a creative solution: posing as refugees, they are taken in by a wealthy family in Jerusalem. Finally in a “normal” household, Shaul and Libby begin to build their father-daughter relationship, but their false identities can’t last forever.
Hebrew with subtitles, 86 min
Israel / Palestine / USA
Nimer, a Palestinian student, dreams of a better life abroad. One fateful night he meets Roy, an Israeli lawyer. As their relationship deepens into love, Nimer is confronted with the harsh realities of a Palestinian society that refuses to accept him for his sexual identity, and an Israeli society that rejects him for his nationality. Nimer soon must choose between love and the life he thought he wanted.
Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, 96 min
Join Festival filmmakers for a discussion about the intersection of art and politics in Middle Eastern cinema. How do the political situations in different Middle Eastern countries affect a filmmaker’s access to funding and resources? Do filmmakers in the Middle East feel a responsibility to challenge the prevailing ideologies of their leaders, and what are the repercussions when they do? In the politically charged climate of many Middle Eastern countries, can art exist without politics?
After a psychotic breakdown, Shay must readjust to life with his family. A moving, profound study of a troubled young man attempting to rebuild his life.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Hebrew with subtitles, 19 min
Iraqi Kurdistan / Turkey
Based on a true story, Rhino Season follows Sahel, a poet who was unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution (and a friend of director Ghobadi). After being released into a world that is, three decades later, greatly changed, Sahel searches for the wife and children he left behind. Rhino Season is, at base, a tragic romance, strikingly told with an impressionistic, dreamlike blending of past and present.
Farsi, 103 min
When he develops a crush on the lovely young Kaltham, 16-year-old Mansoor finds himself unequipped for wooing her - an especially tricky problem in a society that regulates interaction between boys and girls. His best friend concocts the seemingly perfect solution of declaring his love with a gift, but that brings its own complications and deceits. Sea Shadow’s touching coming-of-age story brings out a tender, personal side of its Dubai setting.
Arabic with subtitles, 98 min
Kamel, a shy, good-natured security guard, is torn between two worlds: the Israeli society that treats him and his fellow Bedouins with suspicion and his own family, who are struggling to maintain their ever-threatened way of life. When the shacks where he and his family live on their ancestral lands are threatened with demolition, Kamel goes to extreme lengths to save his family home, in this starkly beautiful portrait of life on the margins.
Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles, 82 min
A gorgeous and compelling selection of narrative, documentary and experimental shorts from across the Middle East. TSTL/ KING LOST HIS TOOTH (Lebanon) is an experimental diptych that plays with haphazard assemblage of words and phrases cut from a given paragraph. In a café in Cairo, a relationship goes through its first big test in CAFÉ REGULAR, CAIRO (Egypt). Two young filmmakers struggle to raise the budget for their next film in WAITING FOR P.O. BOX (Syria). A soldiers’ tale begins when a female garment appears in the barracks in UNDER THE COLORS (Iran). A couple are on a mission to send the perfect photograph to their son in THIS IS LONDON (Bahrain/UAE). A father struggles to decide whether to stay in his humble home in the deserts of Petra or move to the city in FACES (Jordan). After a psychotic breakdown, Shay must readjust to life with his family in RETURN (Israel). Set in 1988, the conflict between Iraq and Iran is reaching its final stage in LAND OF THE HEROES (Belgium/Iraq).
Bahrain / UAE
Mohammed Rashed BuAli
A rodent gets in the way of a couple's mission to send the perfect photograph to their son in London in this entertaining comedy.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Arabic with English subtitles, 17 min
One of the most revered actresses in Middle Eastern cinema, Soad Hosni was a staple of the Egyptian screen in the 1960s and 1970s. This unconventional, lovingly crafted tribute recreates Hosni’s life story exclusively through her fictional performances, mined from VHS tapes that preserve this rich period of Egyptian film history.
Arabic with subtitles, 70 min
An experimental diptych which pays subversive homage to the 'cut-up' method - consisting of haphazard assemblage of words and phrases cut from a given paragraph. New meanings emerge through random or intentional syntax formations.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
English, 5 min
When a mysterious female garment is found in a soldier’s garrison, dealing with the situation proves trickier than expected. A meaningful social commentary cloaked in a deceptively simple story.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Persian with English subtitles, 20 min
Two young filmmakers, Mustafa and Ayoub, are about to make their new film. On the night before their meeting with potential funders, they have some very interesting dreams. The story of an orange that grew … without a tree.Part of: Shorts 5: Spotlight Middle East
Arabic with subtitles, 15 min
Set in the midst of the Tahrir Square demonstrations that, in early 2011, changed Egypt forever, Winter of Discontent explores the uncertainty, anxiety, and euphoria that filled the days and nights leading up to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. As seen through the eyes of activist Amr, journalist Farah, and State Security officer Adel, momentous, world-changing events unfold on the ground in urgent, intimate detail.
Arabic with subtitles, 94 min
The World Is Funny follows the wanderings of a loose network of characters. Told with meticulous precision, the connections between the characters and the profound implications of their stories grow in richness and complexity as the film progresses. A sharp, ironic sense of humor enriches a melancholy yet inspiring film that has been a gigantic hit in Israel, earning a record-setting 15 Ophir nominations (the Israeli Academy Awards®).
Hebrew with subtitles, 122 min
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