International: Middle East

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New York 2020 Review: NOTTURNO, Legacy of Colonialism in the Middle East

Directed by Gianfranco Rosi ('Sacro GRA,' 'Fire at Sea'), the documentary is biting and enormously affecting.

Friday One Sheet: 3 Posters By Midia Kiasat

Muted colour palettes, silent subject focus, and angled, alienating architecture -- I thought this would be a good week to highlight the work of Iranian designer, VFX artist, director and occasional didgeridoo player, Midia Kiasat. Below are three of his...

Venice 2020 Review: Enigmatic CARELESS CRIME Pushes Boundaries of Form and Structure

Iranian director Shahram Mokri, known for his single-shot films and his decided penchant for time-loops, achieves formalistic excellence in his latest effort.

Toronto 2020 Review: LIMBO, The Refugee Experience As A Dazzling, Deadpan Fantasia

We are in a small grocery store on an isolated island off the northwest coast of Scotland. The camera smoothly glides along, past the canned goods and hardware, to the ‘spice’ section. Here it stops to reveal only salt, pepper,...

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Upgrades Kiarostami's TASTE OF CHERRY

Filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami returns to the roads of Iran on an exploratory quest about death and life.

Now Streaming: JERUZALEM, Highway to Hell

Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, and Danielle Jadelyn star in the horror film, directed by Doran Paz and Yoaz Paz, and now streaming on Shudder.

Now Streaming: SYNONYMS, Hilarious, Poignant, Filled With Manic Energy

Tom Mercier, Quentin Dolmaire, and Louise Chevillotte star in director Nadav Lapid's film, now streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Now Streaming: MASAMEER THE MOVIE, Merrily Mocking Superheroes

Directed by Malik Nejer, the animated film hails from Saudia Arabia and is now on Netflix.

Rotterdam 2020 Review: Saeed Roustayi's JUST 6.5 Scores An 8.8

Iran. As a country, we often see it in the news as "the other", a large territory in the Middle East which is, if not outright antagonistic, at the very least totally alien. It's quite an eye-opener when all those...

Berlinale 2020 Review: THERE IS NO EVIL, Country Eating Its Children

Banned filmmaker "spreads propaganda against the Islamic government" portraying the mechanism of the complicity run by an authoritarian and oppressive regime.

Rotterdam 2020 Review: In THE END WILL BE SPECTACULAR, Filmmaking Meets Journalism

The under-reported resistance during the 2016 siege of Sur receives an insider's treatment, while emphasizing female empowerment in the usually male-dominated area of military conflict.

Pretty Packaging: Criterion's THE KOKER TRILOGY Is An Iranian Russian Doll

If we look at the Blu-ray distributing landscape, I think nobody will contest that Criterion is the most prestigious company in existence there. From 1984 onward the company has focused on quality, and, quoting Wikipedia: "Criterion is noted for helping...

SYNONYMS Interview: Nadav Lapid on Israeli Identity, Art of Persuasion, and Actor Tom Mercier

Synonyms, Nadav Lapid's semi-autobiographical film about a young Israeli man struggling with his country's identity, won him many accolades this year, including the Golden Bear at the Berlinale. The film is greatly aided by its fearless star Tom Mercier. I...

Now Streaming: THE SPY Who Came In From Hollywood

Sacha Baron Cohen, Hadar Ratzon Rotem and Noah Emmerich star in a new dramatic series from Israeli powerhouse Gideon Raff ('The Red Sea Diving Resort').

Fantasia 2019 Review: AMERICAN FIGHTER Puts a Different Face to The 80s Style Fighting Genre

The year is 1981. Ali is a student from Iran attending university on a foreign scholarship. The war between Iran and Iraq is early into their years long conflict and Ali's parents are try to flee Iran and get his...

Frontières@Fantasia 2019: Five Standouts From Official Selection Pitch Session

The Fantasia organized Frontières Market is the premiere event for filmmakers looking to take the next step in making their ideas into reality. For years Frontières has helped connect creative talent with the resources needed to translate great concepts into actual films....

Review: MADAM YANKELOVA'S FINE LITERATURE CLUB, Very Strange Dark Comedy

Guilhad Emilio Schenker's debut feature is a strange, beguiling affair.

Notes on Streaming: JINN, Battling Spirits, Courting Controversy in Jordan

What constitutes 'immoral scenes' where you live?

Frontières 2019: Market Projects Announced

As the Fantasia Film Festival draws near we have been waiting to hear from our friends at the Frontieres co-production market. From its humble beginnings sequestered to a tiny classroom above the Hall Auditorium to now filling that very place...