Contemporary Arab Cinema 2019

Sep. 18–25, 2019

Bombarded as we are by news and opinions of varying levels of urgency and truth, I wonder if there has ever been a more important time to pause and take a look behind the noise and headlines. This series offers us all a rare and timely opportunity to journey to worlds we think we understand but really can’t claim to know. I’m excited to see you all in September for the eighth edition of Contemporary Arab Cinema—another week of award-winning movies, drinks, friendship, and more.

—Lina Matta, curator

Lina Matta will host every screening.

A Lebanese-American based in Dubai, Lina Matta is the director of MBC Group’s channels 2, 4, Max, and Variety. She has programmed this series for the JBFC since 2012.

Yomeddine Sep. 18 Opening Night Q&A with filmmaker A.B. Shawky via Skype followed by RECEPTION Yomeddine’s main character, Beshay, has lived in an Egyptian leper colony since childhood and now—cured of the disease and recently…
Fatwa Sep. 19 This intense drama focuses on Brahim Nadhour, a Tunisian who has been living in France for several years and returns…
Rashid & Rajab Sep. 19 Q&A filmmaker Mohammed Saeed Harib After a freak accident causes a wealthy Emirati executive and an Egyptian fast-food deliveryman (who inhabits a very different place…
When Arabs Danced Sep. 20 Writer/director/journalist Jawad Rhalib has created a stirring testament to the power of art especially as it exists in the Muslim…
For Sama Sep. 20 For Sama is the story of filmmaker Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years in Aleppo, Syria, as she falls in…
10 Days Before the Wedding Sep. 21 Rasha and Ma’moon, a young couple from Yemen’s port city of Aden, were supposed to get married in 2015, but…
EXT. Night Sep. 21 Q&A filmmaker Ahmad Abdallah Moe, an aspiring director, is in the midst of an existential crisis. His film is underfinanced, his friends are being…
Of Fathers and Sons Sep. 22 Syrian-born filmmaker Talal Derki (Return to Homs) travels to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist…
aKasha Sep. 22 The first Sudanese film in this series! In this quirky comedy, Adnan, a Sudanese rebel and war hero is in…
Capernaum Sep. 23 Capernaum tells the story of clever, gutsy 12-year-old Zain, who is forced to fend for himself on the streets of…
The Swing Sep. 23 Q&A filmmaker Cyril Aris via Skype In this “low-budget but high-impact documentary” (Holllywood Reporter), Lebanese documentary filmmaker Cyril Aris chronicles an upsetting story from his own…
Tel Aviv on Fire Sep. 25 Q&A filmmaker Sameh Zoabi In this comedic take on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Salam, an inexperienced and charming young Palestinian man, works on a popular…

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