Safar Schedule

The Arab British Centre in association with the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Dubai International Film Festival present:

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SAFAR: THE FESTIVAL OF POPULAR ARAB CINEMA

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whosegaze

Exhibition: 2 September – 5 October 2014

Films: 19 – 25 September 2014

Whose Gaze Is It Anyway? is an exhibition that looks at the history of Arab pop culture through printed matter – posters, notebooks, diaries and book covers, as well as through film and video. The inspiration behind this display began with the archive of Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh – a prolific collector whose underground treasure trove located in Beirut holds one of the vastest collections of Arab film memorabilia, from rare Arab film posters to cultural magazines published from the 1930s to the present day.

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Safar chronicles the re-mapping of the future of Arab cinema, and allows a unique glimpse of what it might look like tomorrow.

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FILMS

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factorygirl

FRIDAY 19 SEPTEMBER, 20:30 – OPENING GALA SCREENING

Factory Girl/ Fatat Al Masnaa (2013) + Director Q&A

From the legendary director Mohamed Khan comes this award-winning drama. Hiyam, a young factory worker, lives in a lower-middle-class neighbourhood, along with her co-workers. She is clearly under the spell of Salah, the factory’s new supervisor. Believing that love can transcend their class differences, Hiyam relentlessly pursues a dream of the pair being together.

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aroundthepinkhouse

SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER, 18:00

Around the Pink House/ Autour de la maison rose (1999) + Director Q&A

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One of the most popular Lebanese films of the late 1990s, Around the Pink House is a story that explores the changing urban landscape of Beirut after the Civil War. La maison rose (the pink house) is an old mansion in Beirut where the Nawfal family found shelter during the Civil War. Unfortunately for them, their immediate environment is rapidly changing, as many of the old shell-ridden buildings are being torn down and replaced by new construction projects.

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chaosdisorder

SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER, 20:50

Chaos, Disorder/ Harag W’ Marag (2012) + Director Q&A

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Part of a new generation of inspiring filmmakers is Nadine Khan whose evocative debut film Chaos, Disorder captures the spirit of an ever-evolving Egypt. Set in a poor Cairo neighbourhood, Manal, Zaki, and Mounir, all in their twenties, live in a chaos-filled community next to a garbage dump where their basic needs are barely met. The film was the winner of the Muhr Arab Feature Competition at Dubai International Film Festival.

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thesparrow

SUNDAY 21 SEPTEMBER, 13:30

The Sparrow/ Al Asfour (1972) + Intro by Dr Malek Khouri

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From the great auteur of Arab cinema comes this sumptuous digitally re-mastered 35mm print of a cinematic gem. Set shortly before and during the Six Day War in June of 1967, The Sparrow follows a young police officer stationed in a small village in Upper Egypt whose inhabitants suffer from the harassment of a corrupt businessman. The officer crosses paths with a journalist who is investigating what appears to be a scandal involving the theft of weapons and machinery by high ranking officials.

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kitkat

SUNDAY 21 SEPTEMBER, 15:50

Kit Kat (1991) + Intro by Mounira Al Solh

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Voted one of the ten best Arab films of all time, Daoud Abdel Sayed’s Kit Kat is an Egyptian comedy from one of the most unique voices in global cinema. Sheikh Hosny is a blind man who lives with his old mother and his frustrated son in the Kit Kat neighbourhood. Sheikh Hosny refuses to admit his handicap and dreams of riding a motorcycle, he also spends his nights smoking marijuana with the locals in order to forget his miseries after the loss of his wife and the selling of his father’s house.

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traitors

SUNDAY 21 SEPTEMBER, 18:30

Traitors (2013) + Director Q&A

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Award-winning actor turned director Sean Gullette presents this stunning genre-film set in Morocco. Malika is the leader of an all-female punk rock band called Traitors. She has a strong vision of the world, her hometown of Tangier and her place in it. When she needs money to save her family from eviction and to realise her ambition for the band, Malika agrees to a fast cash proposition: a smuggling run over the mountains with Amal, a burnt-out young drug mule.

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salvationarmy

TUESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER, 18:30

Salvation Army/ L’armée du salut (2013) + Intro by Omar Kholeif

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The rapturous debut feature from Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia offers a charged, semi-autobiographical tale about a young graduate who must navigate the sexual, racial and political intrigue surrounding his arrival in Geneva. Inspired by his own autobiographical novel, of the same title Taia’s coming-of-age story folds and unfolds with love, pain, desire and violence.

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ilovecinema

TUESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER, 20:40

I Love Cinema/Baheb el cima (2004) + Intro by Marle Hammond

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Cairo, 1966, and seven year old Naeem lives for the Cinema, dreaming of becoming a director. Naem’s strict, traditional Christian father, Adly, regards the silver screen as sinful although his mother, who once abandoned a career in art, stands up for her son. Narrated by the 40-year-old Naeem, Oussama Fawzi’s compelling, atmospheric film looks back on childhood in Cairo’s Shubra district, and how a boy managed to create his own breathing space amid a stifling family environment. I Love Cinema was released in Egypt amidst a wave of controversy with its view of Christianity prompting a lawsuit from Coptic clerics. However, Egyptian audiences judged the film on its artistic merits, and packed into cinemas, making the film an overnight popular success.

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eveingofshorts

WEDNESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER, 18:30

An Evening of Short Films + Intro with Roy Dib & Omar Kholeif

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Mondial 2010 (2014)

In Mondial 2010 Lebanese artist Roy Dib presents an impossible love story between two men. His is a road movie that explores the institutional borders of the modern day Middle East. The film won the Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

The Disquiet (2013)

Ali Cherri’s short film, The Disquiet investigates Lebanon’s seismic history through the personal lens of the artist. Is a catastrophe in the making? The Disquiet won Cherri the Best Short Film Director Award at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Blessed Blessed Oblivion (2010)

Inspired by Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963), Blessed Blessed Oblivion weaves together a portrait of male thug culture in East Jerusalem, manifested in barbershops and autoshops.

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westbeirut

WEDNESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER, 20:10

West Beirut/ West Beyrouth (1998)

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Set in Lebanon during the Civil War of 1975, West Beirut is the gripping and heart-warming story of two young boys, Tarek and Omar, whose world is fuelled by political violence. At first the war is an opportunity for adventure, which the boys document on their Super 8 camera. But soon, religious and patriarchal tensions arise – their personal war leading from inexorable adventure to tragedy. Based on the award-winning writer and director’s boyhood memories, the film underscores the terrors children suffer during wartime.

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rockthecasbah

THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER, 20:45 – CLOSING GALA SCREENING

Rock the Casbah (2013) + Lead Actress Q&A

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Set in an opulent villa in Tangier, the film unfolds over the three days of the rites of mourning dictated by Muslim custom, following the death of a prominent magnate and family patriarch, Moulay Hassan (Omar Sharif). The solemnity of the occasion is disrupted by the unexpected return of Sofia, the rebellious youngest daughter who left Morocco, against her father’s wishes, seeking an acting career in the US. Her sisters, Kenza and Miriam (Nadine Labaki), rattled by her unsettling antics, come to reconsider their life choices in moments of emotional reckoning. As their father’s remains are prepared for burial, the three siblings find themselves unearthing some dramatic family secrets.

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EVENTS

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saturdayforum

The Forum: Saturday 20 September, 13:00-16:00

SATURDAY FORUM

**** BOOK TICKETS ****

Session 1: The notion of the popular: looking at genre

Speakers:

Dr Malek Khouri, Professor of Film Studies at The American University in Cairo and author of The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahine’s Cinema (2010)

In conversation with Dr Zahera Harb, Journalist, Senior Lecturer in International Journalism at City University, London and author of Channels of Resistance: Liberation, Propaganda, Hezbollah and the Media (I. B. Tauris: 2011)

Session 2: Revolutionary & revolution in cinema: reflecting on Arab cinematic histories

Speakers:

Dr Viola Shafik, Freelance Filmmaker, Curator and the Author of Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity (AUC: 2007) and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class, and Nation (AUC: 2007)

Sara Ishaq, Writer and Director of The Mulberry House and the Oscar-nominated Karama Has No Walls

Chaired by Nesrine Malik, Writer, Commentator and regular Contributor to The Guardian’s Comment Is Free section

Session 3: The space of cinema: cinema & its possibilities

Speakers:

Mohamed Khan, Director of Factory Girl (2013) and author of Introduction to the Egyptian Cinema(Informatics: 1969)

Nadine Khan, Writer and Director of the award-winning feature Chaos, Disorder (2012)

Khalil Joreige, multi award-winning artist and filmmaker, works include The Lebanese Rocket Society (2012) and Around the Pink House (1999)

Chaired by Brian Whitaker, Author, Journalist and former Middle East Editor of The Guardian.

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whosegaze

EXHIBITION

Whose Gaze Is It Anyway?

Fox Reading Room, The ICA
2 September – 5 October 2014
Curated by Omar Kholeif

Contributors:

Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh
Sophia Al-Maria with Sam Ashby
Mounira Al-Solh
Maha Maamoun
Raed Yassin

Whose Gaze Is It Anyway? is an exhibition that looks at the history of Arab pop culture through printed matter – posters, notebooks, diaries and book covers, as well as through film and video. The inspiration behind this display began with the archive of Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh – a prolific collector whose underground treasure trove located in Beirut holds one of the vastest collections of Arab film memorabilia, from rare Arab film posters to cultural magazines published from the 1930s to the present day.

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logos

CULTURE NOW

Sophia Al-Maria & Omar Kholeif

FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER, 13:00

Artist, filmmaker and writer Sophia Al-Maria discusses her latest body of work, Virgin with a Memory, with Omar Kholeif, curator of Fox Reading Room exhibition Whose Gaze is it Anyway? which is part of Safar: The Festival of Popular Arab Cinema.

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For further press information, images and interview requests, please contact Ruba Asfahani on 020 7832 1317 or ruba@arabbritishcentre.org.uk

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Festival booking Information:

Book online: www.ica.org.uk | Box Office: 020 7930 3647

All events held at: Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Film Tickets £11 | Students £8 | ICA Members £7 | Saturday Forum £5

Multi-buy offer: Book tickets for 3 or more individual films and get them for £9 each

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