11th Twin Cities Arab Film Fest
September 29 to October 2, 2016
In partnership with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul
Save the date and plan to spend your weekend with indie Arab films!
Full schedule here
In the lead up to the U.S. presidential election, when fear-mongering about immigrants, Arabs, and Muslims is politically expedient, Mizna proudly presents the 11th Twin Cities Arab Film Festival , September 29 to October 2--a chance to see films from the Arabic speaking world and the Arab American film community. Established in 2003, the Arab Film Festival has featured local debuts of independent narrative and documentary features and short films from more than fifteen countries. This year, the Arab Film Fest will screen more than twenty films from Palestine, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq, as well as those from local Arab filmmakers at St. Anthony Main Theater. For the second year, we will be awarding juried prizes for films in the categories of Best Narrative, Best Documentary, and Best Short, and will continue the Best Audience Award based on majority opinion.
The festival launches on Thursday, September 29 with As I Open My Eyes, an award-winning
narrative feature from young Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid, followed by a launch party at Pracna. The film is a coming of age tale set in the summer of 2010, on the eve of the Arab Spring. Farah (Baya Medhaffer) is a rebellious young Tunisian musician, whose creative and political life are positioned in contrast to conventional gender roles and family expectations. Her struggle with love, friendship, family, and community is set against the backdrop of a country on the brink of social change. A beautiful film with an excellent soundtrack that is not to be missed!
The Arab Film Fest closes on Sunday, October 2 with the Egyptian film Before the Summer Crowds from legendary Egyptian director Mohamed Khan, who passed away in July. Khan is known for creating narrative features with strong female leads that challenge social norms and class hierarchies, and this film is no exception. Set in a vacation spot near Alexandria, Hala (Hana Shiha) arrives "before the summer crowds" to enjoy the beach and a potential rendezvous with her elusive lover. Her only companions in the charming rentals along the ocean are the lecherous Dr. Yehia Elkady (Maged El Kedwany), his beyond irritated wife Magda (Lana Mushtaq), and the enamoured houseboy Gom'aa (Ahmed Dawood). The film's cast gives superb performances and offers a lighthearted critique of economic disparity and privilege in Egypt.
The festival is presented by Mizna, in partnership with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul.
Minnesota state support is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Mizna is a Twin Cities non-profit arts organization that promotes contemporary expressions of Arab American culture. We publish the literary journal Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America, produce the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, and offer varied other readings, performances, art projects, and community events involving an exceptionally talented and diverse range of local, national, and international Arab American artists.
Cinema Arabiata an Arab film blog by Mohannad Ghawanmeh.
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