2015-2016 Program

A Constant Departure

Roya Eshraghi / Iran

The director sets out on a journey in the footsteps of a fading memory. Her journey takes her to her homeland Iran, which she left 15 years ago and leads her to a quest during which she shares her fears and hopes with the audience and discovers the hidden layers beneath a complex reality.


Becoming Omer Khairy

Alyaa Musa, Mohamed Elsadig Elhag / Sudan

The extraordinary art and remarkable lives of the Sudanese visionary artist, Omer Khairy and his alter ego George Edward (1939-1999), remain treasured yet a mystery even for those who surrounded his timid presence and his audacious artwork. Two Sudanese filmmakers embark on a wondrous journey to recover and uncover Khairy/Edwards great work and remarkable life stories.


El Medestansi

Hamza Ouni / Tunisia

Could access to culture and encouragement to express creativity protect a young marginalized Tunisian from the dangers of extremism?


 


Escape to the Country

Cem Hakverdi / Turkey

City life is tough. City dwellers all around the world dream of escaping to the country. Istanbul's Merve and Haluk do more than just dream. We follow them for 18 months as they experience many surprises as they transition from city to country life.


Head to Tail

Aylin Kuryel, Firat Yucel / Turkey

'A Tail of Hair' chronicles the journey of a cluster of hair from a small, rural town in Uzbekistan, Central Asia, traveling through the Middle East, Turkey, and finding its new home in the ‘Holy Land’, Israel. In three locations and acts, we witness the travel of hair from the head of a Muslim woman to the head of a Jewish woman, its transformation from an organic part of a woman’s body in Tashkent to a commodity to buy and bargain for in İzmir and finally to a precious wig which belongs to another woman, an Orthodox Jewish woman, in Tel Aviv.


La Rockeuse du Desert

Laura Bustillos, Sara Nacer / Algeria

In a breathtaking Sahara desert landscape lies the mining town of Bechar in western Algeria, here, an illiterate, and singularly talented, sexagenarian, Hasna El Becharia, leads and rocks with Algerian women of all ages to redefine their role and to challenge cultural norms one musical performance at a time.


Mr. Gay Syria

Ayse Toprak, Ekin Çalışır / Turkey

Set in Istanbul and Berlin, Mr. Gay Syria follows two Syrian gay refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives after having been forced to leave their country. Husein is a 24-year-old barber in Istanbul. He is married with a kid and lives a double life - one as a father in the outskirts of Istanbul, the other as a gay man in the city center. Mahmoud is the founder of Syria’s LGBTI movement. He lives in Berlin as a refugee and works part time at an NGO, helping recent arrivals with their paperwork. What brings them together is a crazy dream: To join the international beauty contest, Mr. Gay World. For Husein, this is a way to first come to terms with his identity, then make his family understand. For Mahmoud, this is THE place to launch a campaign for visibility for Syrian gay refugees.


In her Footsteps

Rana Abu Fraiha / Israel

 In the dead of night, my parents left the house my father had built in the Bedouin village, Tal-a-Sabeh, and moved, perhaps "fled," to Omer, a Jewish town, very bourgeois, located only 5 km away. For 10 years of dealing with breast cancer, my mother's only wish was to be buried in Omer. The town never dealt with this issue, of where to bury its Muslim residents.

The film documents an entire family torn between fulfilling the mother's last wish and social codes that cannot be ignored. During the process of separation from the mother, the film reveals the family intimacy, secrets and dilemmas, raises serious questions about women's identity, nationality and the meaning of home.


Rose

Sara Harakat, Michelle Medina / Morocco & Lebanon  

A personal identity quest leads Sara, a young Moroccan-Lebanese woman with her own fragmented history, through the lives of two Armenian sisters that have survived the Turkish genocide and have lived in exile in Beirut for 60 years.


Rowan, a Girl from Babylon

Khaled Al-Ghanmi / Iraq

Rowan Salem Hussein is a fourteen-year-old poet, musician and a political activist from Babylon. Just like her home of Iraq, which got burned, after the American invasion in 2003 Rowan and her family are fragmented, pided and conflicted. The film captures the hope for the new generation after the war.


Shahre No, The Red Light District of Tehran

Vahid Zarezadeh, Maryam Ebrahimi / Iran

 'Shahre No, the New City', is the story of the only ever red light district of Iran, told by the last generation of prostitutes, pimps and entertainers who worked there before it was burned down during the Islamic Revolution in 1979.


The Silhouettes

Afsaneh Salari / Iran

After having lived in Iran his entire life, Taghi decides to leave and find his fate in the still war-torn Afghanistan. He belongs to a family of Afghan refugees who fled to Iran in 1980. Taghi is about to finish the university, his family has extended to three generations and built a secure home in Tehran. While Taghi’s parents are simply happy to have escaped war, Taghi has come of an age when he needs to find purpose in the native land he has never known. As new wars continue to rage in Afghanistan, what future awaits him? 


The Unrecognized

Anna Oliker / Israel

 The conflicts of Israel’s Bedouin minority are brought to light through the story of Bir Hadaj, a notorious tribal village where 13,000 residents live in semi-permanent dwellings without running water, electricity or sewage. When the government extends a compelling offer to the residents, they must decide whether to become a modern town.  


Through the Barricades

Esther Hertog, Paul King / Israel

Bittersweet stories of children coming of age in the cage like old city of Hebron. Though soldiers & settlers disrupt their daily lives, they play, chase modest dreams, and grow up inside their barricaded city.



Women for Sale

Feras Kadour / Syria  

Two women struggle to change their lives for the better after they had been sold by the people closest to them. Rather than punish the persecutors their community punished the victims.