In the shadow of the grand AFM and AFI events currently taking place this weekend in Los Angeles, another festival with similar initials, AFF, is kicking off. The Arab Film Festival from October 31st through November 4th is happening in Los Angeles this weekend at the WRITERS GUILD THEATER. This is a festival that, while smaller in scope and reach than the monster festival, may have more global importance than any other film gathering in town this week. I know, it’s a bold statement, but hey, I’m a bold girl.
Good stuff in the line-up. All L.A. Premieres.
Centerpiece Screening of FALAFEL epitomizes the notion that, maybe they’re not so different than us? Hot girls, parties, yummy food in Beirut – and a good storyline to boot!
Also, there are a couple of great docs, both interesting and really important.
USA VS AL-ARIAN – Sami Al-Arian was a Florida State professor and a Palestinian activist who was charged with terrorism by the US Government after 9/11. Held in jail for 2 years, when he finally went to trial he was acquitted on every count. Yet, even then, he was still unable to go free. Wherever you may fall on the question of Israel/Palestine, this movie is a chilling portrait of the current state of the American justice system and freedom of speech.
I LOVE HIP HOP IN MOROCCO – The name basically speaks for itself, but it’s an incredibly fun doc that also manages to show how kids in Morocco are using hip hop as an avenue to fight for their rights.
SALATA BALADI – The antidote to the idea of ‘us against them,” this Egyptian doc follows one family as they explore the their diverse ethnic and religious background made up of Italians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Israelis, Russians, Turks, Christians, Jews and Muslims. The name, which translates as both “Egyptian Salad” and “Mixed Salad” captures the tone perfectly.
Oh yeah, and the filmmakers are going to be at all of these screenings.
Tickets and details: Arab Film Festival