Special Report: Arab Film Festival Report, 9th - The Cinemayaat

By Joan K. Widdifield, Psy.D
Movie Magazine International
The 9th Arab Film Festival - the Cinemayaat, opens this Friday, September 23 and runs to Sunday October 2 with screenings in San Francisco, San Jose and Berkeley. The festival boasts 40 films, including features, documentaries and shorts and special events like a Women Studies Program, a Director/Filmmaker panel discussion in collaboration with Film Arts Foundation and eight director appearances. The Cinemayaat offers the chance to get a glimpse of the films from some of the 23 Arab countries, including its first film from Chad. The offerings represent richly diverse cultures in the Arab world, and thousands of years of history and the opportunity to get beyond the stereotypes seen in our media.

Three powerful documentaries from Iraq that fill us in about what it’s really like in there are, the award-winning "Liberace of Baghdad," "Minders," and "The Dreams of Sparrows." Documentaries from Palestine take us into a world most of us wouldn’t otherwise get to experience: "Secret Hebron: The School Run" is about the challenges children face in a refugee camp. "The Concrete Curtain," is about families being split apart by Israel’s separation border; the moving "Waiting for Quds," chronicles the marriage between a Jewish human rights attorney from Long Island and Palestinian refugee who has spent most of his life in an Israeli prison -- with no charges. "Stone’s Throw Away" shows us the Israeli occupation from the point of view of three teenage boys living in the Dehishe Refugee Camp. And local filmmakers’ "Occupied Minds" takes us to their birth land, Jerusalem, and explores questions about the occupation and their vision of a workable solution to the vexing conflict there.

For more information see the website at: aff.org

See you at the Arab Film Festival! For Movie Magazine, this is Joan Widdifield in San Francisco.
More Information:
Arab Film Festival Report, 9th - The Cinemayaat
2005, Second Report