7th annual Boston Palestine Film Festival. October 18-27 2013. Best movies and filmmakers, a great event!
The Boston Palestine Film Festival (BPFF), co-presented with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, returns for its seventh year this fall running from October 18 – 27, 2013. Apart from showcasing a diverse selection of 30 international films from Palestine and films relating to Palestine, the festival also features conversations with guest directors and others.
Opening Film – When I Saw You: A film about the story of people affected by the times around them and in search of something more in their lives. It is 1967 in Jordan and the world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music, and infectious hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees pour across the border in the wake of the 1967 war. (Screens October 18, 7 pm and October 20, 3 pm. Director in virtual conversation after the October 18 screening.).
“One of the best works to come out of the current explosion in filmmaking in the Middle East!” – Indiewire.
“One of the most distinctive films from the Arab world in recent years.” – The Toronto Star.
“When I Saw You is cinematic poetry, the perfect blend of stunning cinematography, humanly portrayed characters and a story that hits you with an immediate gut reaction, yet colors your dreams and inhabits your thoughts for days to come. Beautiful, groundbreaking and deeply, deeply moving.” – The Huffington Post.
* NETPAC Award Best Asian Film, Berlin International Film Festival, Germany (2013).
* Best Film from the Arab World, Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, United Arab Emirates (2012).
* Special Jury Prize, Oran Festival of Arab Cinema, Algeria (2012).
Closing Film – A World Not Ours: This film is an intimate, humorous, portrait of three generations of exile in the refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh in Lebanon, a place hastily built in 1948 that now houses 70,000 refugees in one square kilometer. Based on a wealth of personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage, the film is a sensitive and illuminating study of belonging, friendship, and family. (Screens October 27, 3:30 pm).
“A World Not Ours is a dazzling act of first person filmmaking that hits notes on a far-ranging emotional scale from tears to laughter. Director Mahdi Fleifel makes us feel for his family, friends and home as strongly as if they were our own. His themes are universal, yet they are also rooted in a specific place that you’ve probably never seen in a movie before: the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Helweh in Lebanon…. Maybe you’ve never heard of Ain el-Helweh before, but after this film, you’ll never forget it.” – Thom Powers – Toronto International Film Festival Programmer.
* NETPAC Award, Abu Dhabi International Film Festival, UAE (2012).
* Black Pearl Award (Best Documentary), Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (2012).
* FIPRESCI Award, Abu Dhabi International Film Festival (2012).
* Peace Film Prize, Berlin International Film Festival (2013).
* Best International Film, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, (2013).
* Objectif D’Or (top festival prize), Millenium International Documentary Film Festival, Brussels, Belgium, (2013).
Featured Film – Inheritance: This drama is the directorial feature film debut of renowned Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass. Inheritance is about a Palestinian family living in the north of Galilee that gathers to celebrate the wedding of one of their daughters, as war rages between Israel and Lebanon. Internal conflicts explode; secrets are revealed, and lies are unmasked. (Screens October 25, 7 pm).
“…a deeply felt portrait of a Palestinian community struggling with identity and modernity issues.” ~Hollywood Reporter.
Featured Film – Infiltrators: Infiltrators is a visceral and haunting “road movie” that chronicles the daily travails of Palestinians as they seek routes through, under, around, and over a bewildering matrix of barriers erected by Israel in the West Bank/Jerusalem area, including the 7-meter-high wall. Filmmaker Jarrar follows this high stakes “game” of cat and mouse with a handheld video camera. This raw debut documentary was a standout success at the 2012 Dubai International Film Festival. (Screens October 26, 6 pm. Director in virtual conversation after screening.).
* Muhr Arab Documentary Prize, Dubai International Film Festival.
* Special Jury Prize, Dubai International Film Festival.
* Best Director, FIPRESCI Documentary, International Critics’ Prize, Dubai International Film Festival.
Formats and Themes |This year’s festival features films in styles ranging from shorts and documentaries to dramas. These films also cover several narrative themes such as Identity and Homeland from within and Afar, Documenting Palestine (from the Field and the Archive), Cultural Heritage, and Childhood and Coming of Age in Palestine.
Distinguished Guests include:
Annemarie Jacir: Director of When I Saw You, Jacir is screenwriter and filmmaker living in Jordan. She has been working in independent cinema since 1994 and has written, directed, and produced over 14 films. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema and part of the ‘Arab New Wave.’ Two of her films have premiered as Official Selections at the Cannes Film Festival, one in Venice and one in Berlin. (In virtual conversation following her film screening on October 18.)
Omar Robert Hamilton: Director of Though I Know the River is Dry is an independent filmmaker, co-founder and producer of the Palestine Festival of Literature, and a founding member of the Mosireen Collective in Cairo. Since 2011, he has made dozens of short documentaries on the Egyptian Revolution, helping to make Mosireen the most watched non-profit YouTube channel in Egypt of all time. His third fiction short, Though I Know the River is Dry, premiered in competition at Rotterdam, where it won the Prix UIP, and is currently nominated for Best Short Film at the 2013 European Film Awards. His films have appeared on the BBC, al Jazeera, and ONTV; his articles in The Guardian, The BBC, and The Big Issue; and his photographs in The Guardian, The Economist, al Shorouq and The Daily Beast. (Attends screenings of his film October 19 at 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm, and participates in a discussion panel on Palestinian narratives.)
Susan Abulhawa: Author of My Voice Sought the Wind <http://justworldbooks.com/my-voice-sought-the-wind/> , Abulhawa is from Jerusalem. Her first novel, Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury 2010) was an international bestseller translated into 32 languages. She is a contributor to several anthologies, including Searching Jenin (Cune Press 2003), and Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home (Interlink 2013). (Reads from her novel and poetry and participates in a roundtable on Palestinian narratives on October 19.)
Mohammed al-Azza: Mohammad Al-Azza, 23, is the director of the Arts & Media Unit of Lajee Center <http://www.lajee.org/> in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem in the West Bank. He is a refugee from the village of Beit Jibreen who was born and lives in Aida Refugee Camp. In addition to his own video and photographic chronicling of events in his home community, he helps youth to produce photography and video projects. A previous documentary, Everyday Nakba (2011), mobilized an international movement to improve access to clean water in Aida Refugee Camp and other Palestinian communities. In the spring of this year, his photojournalism resulted in his being shot directly in the face with a rubber coated steel bullet by Israeli soldiers in his office at the Lajee Center and subsequently being arrested in a night raid on his home. (Attends screening of his film Just a Child on October 24.)
Khaled Jarrar: Director of Infiltrators, Jarrar was born in Jenin, completed his studies in interior design at the Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996, and then entered the field of photography in 2004. In 2011, he graduated as a visual artist from the International Academy of Art, Palestine. His first exhibition took place in public space at the checkpoints of Huwarra and Qalandya in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Guy Bartschi, Geneva (2013); the NEWTOPIA: The State of Human Rights Contemporary Arts in Mechelen and Brussels (2012); Galerie Polaris, Paris (2012). Recent group exhibitions include at the 7th Berlin Biennale (2012) and 52nd October Salon, Belgrade (2011). (In virtual conversation following his film screening October 26.)
The full program is available at www.bostonpalestinefilmfest.org
About BPFF| Since 2007, the Boston Palestine Film Festival has been bringing Palestine-related cinema, narratives, and culture to New England audiences. The festival has featured hundreds of compelling and thought-provoking, films, including documentaries, dramatic features, animated films, rare early works, video art pieces, and new films by emerging artists and youth. These works from directors around the world have offered refreshingly honest, self-described, and independent views of Palestine and its history, culture, and geographically dispersed society. The Executive Committee works year-round on a volunteer basis to sustain the festival.
Tickets may be purchased at www.mfa.org/film, by calling the MFA Ticketing Line at 800.440.6975, or in person at any MFA ticket desk.
The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is funded by the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation.
Film at the MFA is sponsored by Bank of America.
Also made possible with endowment support from the Katharine Stone White Film Fund, the Museum Film Program Endowment Fund, the Dean W. Freed Fund, the Marilyn and Selwyn Kudisch Endowed Fund for the Benefit of the Film Program, the MFA Associates and MFA Senior Associates Fund for Film and Video, and the Margaret L. Hargrove Fund. A gift from an anonymous Friend of Film makes program notes for select events possible. Visits by film and video artists are made possible by the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation Fund and by The Lowell Institute.