2008 Program

Camera/Woman

Karima Zoubir / Morocco

Camera/Woman tells the story of two wedding videographers in Casablanca and their struggle in contemporary Morocco against oppression. Khadija, a recent divorcée, moves back home with her 11-year-old-son as she pursues a career filming weddings. Despite being the primary breadwinner for her parents and siblings, Khadija shames her family by choosing her career over the traditional gendered family value systems. The film additionally explores the paradoxical stigma that Khadija faces, given that Moroccan families now prefer women to film their daughters in the traditionally male-dominated wedding videographer profession, yet Khadija is condemned for staying out late at night to film the wedding parties. Despite the numerous challenges that confront Khadija as a working class Muslin woman, she embraces the camera as a liberating catalyst to profound change.


Ryad Shaheen & Sahera Dirbas

Palestine & Israel

The story of a Palestinian family living in a congested refugee camp in the Hamas governed Gaza Strip. The two eldest sons' diseases add more hardship to the daily struggle against poverty, illness, suppression and occupation. Will there be any hope to them and to the rest of the family?

   


Zain's Wedding

Ramzi Bejaoui, Tarek Ibrahim & Khaled Mechkene / Tunisia

Zain, a young black Tunisian who works in the fashionable tourist resort of Djerbba is coming home to get married. Home is a remote village in the South of Tunisia where his black ancestors settled as a slave community – Abid Ghbonton - hundreds of years ago with a special trait: performing and singing their praises to their white masters at their weddings. His family expects that in accordance to tradition, a troupe of Ghbonton musicians will perform at his wedding. Zain is very reluctant to follow a tradition that he feels keeps his people degraded. But if he does not, he will not only confront his family and villagers, but also help catalyze the disappearance of a unique culture.

 


Making Happiness

Yousef Deek & Ahmad Kawarik / Palestine

Through remote villages on the winding paths of the West Bank, a mobile cinema is traveling. The aim of this enterprise is to bring the magic and comfort of the movies to people who never before went to watch films in cinemas. The protagonists of this film, the team behind the initiative are hoping to have a direct and positive effect on the well being of the people. 


Duma

Abeer Zeibak Haddad / Palestine & Israel

Duma (dolls in Arabic) is based on stories of sexual abuse in Arab society in Israel. Abeer, the creator of a puppet theater show which deals with the subject of sexual abuse during childhood, decides to take her camera and journey from the north to the south of the country and document women who have experienced sexual violence. In her journey she meets four women who dare to reveal the sexual abuse they endured in their close circle of family and friends. They all look for a way to express their pain and to break the silence that was imposed on them by their relatives and by society.

 


Tulay German

Didem Pekun / Turkey

Tülay German: Years of Fire and Cinders focuses on the legacy of influential singer Tülay German in a time of social unrest in which her music became the launch pad of political activism. A vigorous and committed woman, German defied family and social expectations with her professional, political, and love choices (her partner was the left thinker Erdem Buri. Didem Pekün gives her personal and sympathetic view of the Turkish artist as she explores the connections between art, politics, and identity –a key issue in the context of the current social and economic crisis.


Pop Islam

Ismail Elmokadem / Egypt

4 Shbabis the first Islamist musical channel ever launched in the Arab world. 4Shbab's story takes place in Cairo, Egypt. The two main characters are the channel’s boss Abu Haiba and veiled model Yasmine Osman as they try to achieve their dreams. Both reflect the melting pot of cultural contradictions that is the Middle East today: how to be modern, fond of music and Muslim? They want the same things anyone else does in the 21st century, fame, glory, and success. But they want it the Islamic way, without compromising their values. Young Egyptian film maker Ismail Elmokadem offers us a unique way of discovering the inner dynamics of Islam in today’s troubled Arab societies.


7 Days of the Mountain Bird

Daoud Aoulad Syad / Morocco

Once a year, the members of the Gnawa tribe of Marrakech along with a she-camel for sacrifice, start their pilgrimage to the a remote mountain.
It is a gathering of the brotherhood of the Gnawas where the sacred act of exorcism is being performed.
"7 Days of the Mountain Bird" is a vivid and colorful ethnographic journey into belief and human fear while overcoming it in an overwhelming environment.


In 10 Years What Happened

Fadel Soliman / Palestine

Ten years after a short film that depicts Palestinian kids in the Intifada, the director returns to his protagonists, now grownups.


A Borrowed Village

Shirli Michalevicz / Israel

KFAR SHAUL was on

ce the Palestinian village of DEIR YASSIN. In 1948, Jewish Militia forces entered the village and massacred over a hundred villagers. The village houses remained intact and the place was turned into a mental health "village". Within the borderline of this unique mental health center, Palestinian and Jewish mentally ill patients are treated side by side.
Producer Claudia Levin has joined Shirli Michalevicz in the production of the film.
They have signed a production agreement with the Studio on Hudson, a New York based production company. Studio on Hudson specializes in development, production and financing of independent feature films and documentaries.


Voice of My Father

Zeynel Dogan & Orhan Eskiköy / Turkey

Basê waits for her older son Hasan to come home after years of not seeing him. The reasons for Hasan leaving are the same as those that drove her husband Mustafa to work far from home. Although Mustafa can't touch the lives of his children through his voice recordings, he continues to haunt Basê. When Mehmet, Basê's younger son, learns that he's to be a father, he reflects that he never knew his own father and starts hunting down the tapes.