Film Festivals and the Middle East

Publisher: St Andrews Film Studies Date of Publication: 2014 Editor: Iordanova, Dina & Van de Peer, Stephanie

Review

In this exciting and densely informative study, a transnational array of scholars provides an accessible overview of Middle East-related film festivals, lucidly pinpointing their role as barometers of social change and harbingers of cinematic trends. –Robert Stam, New York University at Abu DhabiThis book is chock full of original research that will fascinate media scholars interested in the Middle East as well as scholars, programmers, and critics of film festivals in and outside of the region. With 29 different contributions, equal attention is paid to top-down governmental initiatives, NGO-supported events, and bottom-up grassroots festivals. The contributors highlight the importance of parallel institutions such as galleries, movie theatres, cine-clubs, cultural clubs, and universities. Comprehensive and eclectic, Film Festivals and the Middle East provides an indispensable introduction to a long-overlooked region. It charts the rise of new festivals in the Gulf states in the context of established festivals in the Middle East, provides much-needed overviews of festivals in myriad countries, and re-introduces little known prior festivals. A treasure trove, the book combines historical overviews with detailed case studies and first-person accounts of individual festivals. The volume richly interweaves the voices of film critics, academics and festival programmers, a critical conversation that represents the best of current film studies. –Jeffrey Ruoff, Dartmouth College

Ranging from Turkey to the Maghreb, Film Festivals and the Middle East provides a wealth of information from the early festivals that arose in Iran and Tunisia to those established in three Gulf emirates since 2004. In their wide-ranging introduction the editors promote interaction among local and foreign producers, directors, and critics. They showcase cultural achievements and aspirations to the world at large, while locally fostering a cinema culture along with an appreciation of indigenous productions. –Josef Gugler, University of Connecticut, author of Film in the Middle East and North Africa