2019 FESTIVAL

Friday, October 18, 2019

Wajd: Song of Separation

Friday, October 18, 2019

Time: 7:00 pm
Country: Syria/Canada
Length: 87 mins
Genre: Documentary | History | Music
Language: English | Arabic | Turkish
Website: www.wajdfilm.com

Inspired by the traditional sacred music of Syria, filmmaker Amar Chebib travelled to Damascus and Aleppo in 2010. Six months later the revolution began, escalating into a bloody civil war and the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. Touched by the harrowing experiences of the friends he made, Wajd transformed into the stories of three musicians turned refugees.

Over five years, we witness the struggles of Ibrahim, Abdulwahed, and Mohamed as they face their traumatic past. Forced to rebuild their lives in exile, they turn to their love of music to help them find meaning in the aftermath of destruction and atrocity. Intimate footage of their daily lives weaves together with bittersweet musical performances, extremely rare Sufi ceremonies, and poetic imagery of a pre-war Syria that no longer exists. What unfolds is a cinematic meditation on loss, yearning, and faith.

“Chebib crafts a constellation of experience where narrative time oscillates between the sweeping, rare footage of pre-war Syria’s cultural majesty and into present-day formations of refugee life.” - Arab Film & Media Institute

Wajd - Songs of Separation | Official Trailer from Amar Chebib on Vimeo.

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Friday, October 18, 2019

Heaven Without People

Friday, October 18, 2019

Time: 9:30 pm
Country: Lebanon
Length: 91 mins
Genre: Drama
Language: Arabic (subtitles)

Josephine, the matriarch of a sprawling family, is delighted to gather everyone for Easter lunch for the first time in two years. While they all share a joyful meal, an incident ignites underlying tensions between the family members and leads them gradually into chaos.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Ten Days Before the Wedding

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Time: 4:00 pm
Country: Yemen
Length: 120 mins
Genre: Comedy | Drama | Musical | Romance
Language: Arabic (english subtitles)

Yemen's 2019 Academy Awards submission in the Foreign Language category.

A number of obstacles stand in the way of a young couple's wedding, with only 10 days left until the scheduled nuptials. Each obstacle is in one way or another caused by the aftermath of the 2015 war in Yemen.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Au Pays de Merveilles

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Time: 7:00 pm
Country: Morocco
Length: 95 mins
Genre: Comedy
Language: Arabic, French (English subtitles)

Leila Laabidi lives in luxury in Casablanca, in the shadow of her rich husband. After his sudden death in a remote village, she sets out on a mission to bring his remains home. Her driver Boukal, who transports the dead in his free time and has dreams of joining the police force, accompanies her on the journey. He brings with him two members of his family: Aicha, a singer, and Hassan, a violinist who suffers from a tic. With some difficulties, the group makes their way to the Atlas mountains, where Leila is confronted with a way of life much different than she is used to.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Egyptian Short Films

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Time: 9:30 pm
Country: Egypt
Length: 97 mins
Genre: Drama/Documentary

Calgary Arab Film Nights presents a collection of four Egyptian short films.

The Journey of Geckos
Directed By: Nadia Fares (in attendance)

Nouran Salah founded the Cairo Cycling Geckos with lofty goals in mind - helping the needy, changing the perception of cycling in Cairo, and empowering women. Since humble beginnings, the Geckos now deliver hot meals to neglected areas around Cairo, all by bicycle - changing strongly held convictions and creating new traditions along the way.

Fork & Knife
Starring : Menna Shalaby,Eyad Nassar, Asser Yassin.
Directed By : Adam Abd ElGhaffar
Written By : Adam Abd ElGhaffar

An unusual dinner date between a man and a woman reveals their past, and changes their future, through a conversation that leaves them with unexpected choices.

Eyebrows
Starring : Asmaa Aboul Yazeed, Mariam El Khosht, Ali Eltayeb
Directed By: Tamer Ashry
Written By : Haitham Dabbour

“What is the one thing you wish was not forbidden?”

Aiesha posts the controversial question in a close Facebook group for her burqa wearing peers.

Aiesha, who is nicknamed among her peers as the fair eyed haori, meets her friend Sally at the mall shortly after the post. Under her burka, she hides more than her body and face, and during the seemingly ordinary shopping trip, she discovers that what she hates most about her life lays right over her eyes.

Intense Practice to Improve Performance
Starring : Ali Al Tayeb, Sarah Al Wakil
Directed By: Yasser Shafiey
Written By : Yasser Shafiey

In the presence of a new employee, workers in an office practice to improve their performance. When a special guest arrives, the newbie is tested.

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Dachra

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Time: 11:30 pm
Country: Tunisia
Length: 113 mins
Genre: Horror
Language: Arabic/French (subtitles)

Yasmin, a journalism student, and her two classmates set out on a university assignment to solve the cold case of Mongia, a woman found mutilated 20 years ago who is now imprisoned in an asylum. As they pursue their investigation, the three friends stumble into the ominous world of Dachra, an isolated and mysterious countryside compound. They are welcomed to stay overnight by the jovial yet menacing cult leader, but when Yasmin discovers Dachra's secrets, she must escape before she gets hurt.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Khartoum Offside

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Time: 5:00 pm
Country: Sudan
Length: 75 mins
Genre: Documentary
Language: Arabic (English subtitles)

A group of exceptional young ladies in Khartoum are determined to play football professionally. They are prepared to defy the ban imposed by Sudan’s Islamic Military government and they will not take no for an answer.

Their battle to get officially recognized as Sudan’s National Woman’s team is fearless, courageous and often laughable. But their struggle is unwavering.

Through the intimate portrait of these women over a number of years we follow their moments of hope and deception. Despite the National Football Federation getting FIFA funds earmarked for the women’s teams, this team continues to be marginalized. However, there is a new spark of hope when the elections within the federation could mean real change of the entire system.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Wall

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Time: 7:00 pm
Country: Palestine/Canada
Length: 80 mins
Genre: Documentary
Language: English/Arabic

Preeminent UK playwright and screenwriter David Hare—whom The Washington Post referred to as “the premiere political dramatist writing in English”—writes and stars in this innovative animated feature that explores the reality of the wall separating Israel and Palestine as no film has before. Rich with rhythmic, raw imagery, the film is framed by Hare’s journey, as both his heart and mind are shaken by the incongruities and contradictions of life in the shadow of the wall.

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Fires

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Time: 9:00 pm
Country: Syria
Length: 90 mins
Genre: Drama
Language: Arabic (English subtitles)

This film explores the daily reality of life in Syria, through the stories of four young women who are forced to navigate the traditions, complexities, values, and material conditions of a country at war.

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