14th ARAB FILM FESTIVAL EXAMINES HOME, COMMUNITY, DIASPORA
Cannes, Sundance festival winners among the lineup
Detroit teen in the cast of film making Michigan premiere
Dearborn, Mich. (May 23, 2019) – Films earning acclaim on the international festival circuit are among those featured at the Arab American National Museum’s (AANM) 14th Arab Film Festival (AFF), June 7-16, 2019, with screenings at the Dearborn museum, in Detroit and in Ann Arbor.
Among the festival’s leading titles are:
Capernaum, winner, Jury Prize and nominee, Palme d’Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival and nominee, Best Foreign Film, 2019 Academy Awards.
Yomeddine, winner, Francois Chalais Award and nominee for both Camera d’Or and Palme d’Or, all at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Sofia, winner, Un Certain Regard Screenplay Prize, 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and a Michigan premiere.
Dunya’s Day, winner, Short Film Jury Award for International Fiction and nominee, Best Short Film Grand Jury Prize, both at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and a Michigan premiere.
This year’s AFF features more than 15 films making their Michigan premieres, including Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf, directed by Susan Youssef. It’s the story of a 17-year-old outsider in Arkansas dealing with high-school tension and her jailed father, taking solace in writing poetry, fancying a boy and riding a motorcycle.
Among the cast of Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is Detroit resident Maram Aljahmi, 14, a 9th grader at Voyageur College Preparatory High School in Detroit, who earned the role during a 2014 casting call held at AANM. She plays Jinane, the title character’s younger sister.
The AFF brings the perspective of marginalized voices to the fore. This year’s curated selection of films explores stories related to home, community and diaspora. Among the four programs of short films is a new offering designed especially for children and families, including post-screening theater-style games and crafts.
“The common denominator in all this year’s films is their depiction of reality, of daily life in the Arab world or in Arab American communities,” says festival curator Dave Serio.
“This festival presents the Arab and Arab American experience in its truest, purest form, without sensationalizing. These communities are not monolithic – they are multi-dimensional and ever changing,” Serio says.
All AFF films are subtitled in English. See film descriptions, schedule and ticket information below and at the festival’s new website,www.aanmfilmfest.org, for complete information.
AFF screenings take place at three venues: most at the Aliya Hassan Auditorium at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; with additional screenings at the Detroit Film Theatre at Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; and State Theatre, 233 S. State St., Ann Arbor.
The 14th Arab Film Festival is made possible in part by Saudi Aramco, Ford, and Michigan Council for Art and Cultural Affairs.
AANM is grateful for the support of these partners: Cinema Lamont; Michigan Theater; Arab American Heritage Council; Detroit Film Theatre at Detroit Institute of Arts; ACCESS’ Campaign to Take on Hate; Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Dearborn Centennial Library; Palestinian Youth Movement; Dearborn Community Fund; and Stories Never Told.
Tickets are available online at www.aanmfilmfest.org and at the door.
AANM Members Students/Seniors General public
Single ticket = $9 Single ticket = $10 Single ticket = $12
4-pack tickets = $30 4-pack tickets = $35 4-pack tickets = $40
Festival pass = $80 Festival pass = $90 Festival pass = $100
SPECIAL PRICING FOR FILMS + FUN: A FAMILY-FRIENDLY PROGRAM, which includes crafts and theater-style games: $5 children (recommended for kids up to age 15), FREE for adult Museum Members and FREE for adult general public.
14th annual Arab Film Festival TITLES
Dir: Nadine Labaki
2018/Lebanon, USA/131 min./R
A gutsy, streetwise child flees his negligent parents, survives through his wits on the streets and takes care of an Ethiopian refugee and her baby son. Made with a cast of non-professionals whose lives closely parallel their roles.
Winner, Jury Prize, and nominee, Palme d’Or, 2018 Cannes Film Festival; nominee, Best Foreign Film, 2019 Academy Awards.
“Capernaum is not just a film, but a rallying cry…”
–The New York Times
FILMS + FUN: A FAMILY-FRIENDLY PROGRAM
Followed by crafts and theater-style games for kids
Recommended for children up to age 15 with parents/guardians
Dir: Mohamed Maged
2018/Kuwait, USA/3 min./G
Dir: Aisha Al-Jadaih
Dir: Kholood Al Ali
SHORT DOC BLOCK
The Battle of Jerash U.S. PREMIERE
Dir: Carlos Cabrera (in attendance)
Colors of Resistance MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Areeb Zuaiter (in attendance)
2019/Palestine, USA/30 min./PG
Yemen: The Silent War MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Sufian Abulohom
Followed by director talkback with Carlos Cabrera and Areeb Zuaiter
ARAB WORLD SHORTS: VOICES FROM THE HOMELAND
Black Mamba MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Amel Guellaty
The Dance of Amal MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Rami Al Rabih
2018/Lebanon, Czech Republic/8 min./PG
Departure MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Ibi Ibrahim
2017/Yemen, Jordan/9 min./PG-13
Mosul 980 MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Ali Mohammed Saeed
2019/Iraq, USA/10 min./PG-13
Aziza MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Soudade Kaadan
2019/Syria, Lebanon/13 min./PG-13
Nadia’s Visa MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Hanadi Elyan
2018/Jordan, USA//18 min./PG-13
Dunya’s Day MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Raed Alsemari
2018/Saudi Arabia/14 min./PG-13
Dir: A.B. Shawky
Following the death of his wife, a man cured of leprosy leaves the Egyptian desert colony where he has lived since childhood in search of his roots, joined by a Nubian orphan.
Winner, Francois Chalais Award, Cannes FF; nominee, Caméra d’Or + Palme d’Or, 2018 Cannes Film Festiva
“One of the more remarkable characters in recent cinema.”
ARAB AMERICAN SHORTS: DIASPORIC NARRATIVES
Salam MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Claire Fowler
2018/USA, United Kingdom//13 min./PG-13
Dir: Sohib Boundaoui (in attendance)
Dir: Mojdeh Ghanbri
Same, Old MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Haya Alghanim
2018/USA/7 min./PG 13
Brothers MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Mike Mosallam
Producer Alex Lampsos in attendance
Dir: Nora Hawari
Bodega MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Rebecca Halfon
Sofia MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Meryem Benm’Barek-Aloisi
2018/Morocco, France, Qatar/80 min./PG-13
A young woman in Casablanca breaks the law by giving birth to a baby out of wedlock and is given 24 hours to identify the father before the hospital informs the authorities.
Winner – Un Certain Regard Screenplay Prize, 2018 Cannes Film Festival
“Benm’barek’s lean, nuanced script clearly picks apart class hypocrisy within Moroccan society…”
Mafak (Screwdriver) MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Bassam Jarbawi
2018/Palestine, USA, Qatar/108 min./R
A young man whose basketball teammate is killed in crossfire is captured by Israeli forces, tortured and released years later. Paraded as a hero, he feels like a fraud, unable to distinguish reality from hallucination.
Winner, Best Feature Film + Best Film at 2018 Bosphorus Film Festival
“…at its best when focusing on Ziad’s problems integrating back into the life of the community.”
Weldi (Dear Son) MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Mohamed Ben Attia
2018/Tunisia, Belgium, France, Qatar/100 min./PG-13
A Tunisian couple’s beloved only son, preparing for his high school exams, suffers repeated migraine attacks but just as his condition improves, he disappears without a trace.
“…moves beyond tragedy and becomes a quietly absorbing tribute to the power of human resilience.”
Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir. Iara Lee
2015/Western Sahara/61 min./PG-13
Most people think that colonialism in Africa has ended. But in Western Sahara, the end of European rule gave way to a new occupation, by Morocco. More than four decades later, the Sahrawi people face arrests, torture and disappearances for demanding their independence.
Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf MICHIGAN PREMIERE
Dir: Susan Youssef
2019/Lebanon, Canada, Netherlands, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, USA/84 min./R
A 17-year-old outsider in Arkansas dealing with high school tension and her jailed father takes solace in writing poetry, fancying a boy and riding a motorcycle.
Among the cast is Detroit resident Maram Aljahmi, 14, a 9th grader at Voyageur College Preparatory High School in Detroit, who earned the role during a 2014 casting call held at AANM. She plays Jinane, the title character’s younger sister.
+ short: Beyond the Veil (at AANM screening only)
Dir: Sandy Ismail (in attendance for talkback)
14th annual Arab Film Festival SCHEDULE
Schedule subject to change; visit www.aanmfilmfest.org for the latest information.
Friday, June 7
7:30 p.m. Capernaum @ AANM
Saturday, June 8
11 a.m. Films + Fun! Family-friendly program @ AANM
1 p.m. SHORT DOC BLOCK @ AANM
3 p.m. SECRET SCREENING TBA @ AANM
7 p.m. ARAB AMERICAN SHORTS: DIASPORIC NARRATIVES @ AANM
9 p.m. Festival Opening Reception @ AANM
Sunday, June 9
11 a.m. Yommedine @ AANM
1:30 p.m. Sofia @ AANM
3:30 p.m. Mafak (Screwdriver) @ AANM
7 p.m. Weldi (Dear Son) @ State Theatre, Ann Arbor
Tuesday, June 11
7 p.m. Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf @ State Theatre, Ann Arbor
Wednesday, June 12
6 p.m. ARAB WORLD SHORTS: VOICES FROM THE HOMELAND @ Detroit Film Theatre, Detroit
Institute of Arts
8 p.m. Weldi (Dear Son) @ AANM
Thursday, June 13
6 p.m. Sofia @ Detroit Film Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts
8 p.m. Yommedine @ AANM
Friday, June 14
3 p.m. Mafak (Screwdriver) @ AANM
8:30 p.m. ARAB WORLD SHORTS: VOICES FROM THE HOMELAND @ AANM
Saturday, June 15
11 a.m. Weldi (Dear Son) @ AANM
3 p.m. Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara @ AANM
7:30 p.m. Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf + short: Beyond the Veil @ AANM
10 p.m. Sofia @ AANM
Sunday, June 16
11 a.m. FILMS + FUN: A FAMILY-FRIENDLY PROGRAM @ AANM
3 p.m. ARAB AMERICAN SHORTS: DIASPORIC NARRATIVES @ AANM
Schedule subject to change; visit www.aanmfilmfest.org for the latest information.
Midwest Federation of American Syrian & Lebanese Clubs convention 2019
The conference will be held in Chicago at the Swissôtel Chicago, 323 E Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, Illinois 60601 from July 4 through July 7, 2019. This would be the Federation’s 83rd Annual Convention.
The Midwest Federation of American Syrian & Lebanese Clubs are a nonprofit organization. We are a non-political, social and fraternal organization which was organized to promote and preserve the ethnic heritage of its members, to advance the scholarship of its youth, and to support humanitarian causes.
Click here to visit their Facebook page for more information. Midwest Federation of American Syrian Lebanese Clubs, Inc.
Annual Bethlehem Association Convention
The Bethlehem Association will host its annual convention July 25 through July 28, 2019 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, 111 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90802.
Adult registration is $299 and registration for children is $199.
The dinner Friday night features singer Jamal Kassab, and the Saturday night banquet features singer Farah Ibrahim.
Here’s the preliminary conference schedule: