2020 Festival

1982

During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon at a private school on the outskirts of Beirut, 11-year-old Wissam tries to tell a classmate about his crush on her, while his teachers on different sides of the political divide, try to mask their fears.

Toronto International Film Festival

Festivals & Awards
  • Ajyal Youth Film Festival (Winner – Jury Prize)
  • Asian World Film Festival (Winner – Audience Award)
  • El Gouna Film Festival (Winner – FIPRESCI International Critics Prize)
  • Hainan International Film Festival
  • Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival (Winner – Youth Audience Award)
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • Toronto International Film Festival
  • Washington DC Filmfest

Arab Rules

Selma, a psychoanalyst, deals with a cast of colourful new patients after returning home to Tunisia to open a practice.

In this sophisticated comedy, Manele Labidi opens a fascinating window into modern Tunisia at a crossroads, with a story of contrasts, contradictions and culture clashes, full of vitality and humour.

Festivals
  • Miami Film Festival
  • Odesa International Film Festival
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival
  • Stockholm Film Festival Valladolid
  • International Film Festival

Between Heaven and Earth

A gripping drama follows the troubled relationship of a married couple. As they start with the divorce procedures, a secret from the past resurfaces, changing everything.

Festivals & Awards
  • Cairo International Film Festival (Winner – Naguib Mahfouz Award)
  • Middle East Now (Winner – Audience Award)

Between Two Seas

While on a short visit to her home village, a small rural island near Cairo, Zahra’s daughter is victim to a tragic accident that tears her family apart. Following this incident, Zahra persists on getting her daughter justice and insists on not only continuing her education but also benefiting her community. The film sheds light on different societal issues faced by women, especially in rural areas.

Festivals & Awards
  • Brooklyn Film Festival (Winner – Best Screenplay, Winner – Best Narrative Feature)

Haifa Street

We are excited to introduce Calgary Arab Film Night’s first Iraqi film! Set in Baghdad in 2006, Haifa Street is one of the most dangerous places suffering from the civil war and violence that has plagued the city. When Ahmed is dropped off there by taxi on his way to his beloved Suad’s house to ask for her hand in marriage, he gets shot by Salam, an anxious young sniper who is living his own personal hell on a rooftop above. Suad desperately tries to save Ahmed, but Salam prevents anyone from approaching him under the threat of gunfire. When her daughter Nadia elicits the help of their cunning neighbor Dalal, all hell breaks loose under the ominous presence of the American occupation.

Festivals & Awards
  • Venice Film Festival
  • Carthage Film Festival
  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • Busan International Film Festival (Best Film Award)
  • Cairo International Film Festival (Best Acting Performance)
  • Laser Film Award (Takmil workshop)
  • Hakka Distribution Award (Takmil workshop)
  • Lab Award (Asia Pacific Academy Awards)
  • Market Award (Tribeca International Film Festival)
  • Development and Post-production Grant (Doha Film Institute)
  • Cinescape (Front Row Award at the Dubai Film Connection)

Heavan Sent

Contemporary Lebanon. Omar is a bodyguard in Beirut and has his first client to protect: Yasmine, who wants to start a career in politics. One evening, Omar is accidentally reunited with his older brother Samir, a former militiaman. There would be nothing strange about this if it weren’t for the fact that Samir has been presumed dead since the Lebanese civil war, over 20 years ago. After such a long time, how can the “resurrected” Samir face a country he does not recognize? How can he rebuild links with his family? A comedy-drama about how the consequences of the civil war in Lebanon, which ended in 1990, resonate in the present day (written by Cineuropa). Screened in the ACID program at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and at the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival.

Jasmine Road

Join us October 23 at 8 pm for the in-cinema screening of Jasmine Road, featuring a Q&A with director and producer Warren Sulatycky!

In the rural western Canadian cowboy town of Red River, widowed cowboy Mac Bagley opens his home to a fractured Syrian refugee family. Withstanding some opposition in the conservative town, former journalist Layla, her young magic-inspired daughter Heba, and her adult gay brother Salem gain footing in their new land.

World premiere at the Calgary International Film Festival. Jasmine Road was filmed in Calgary, Longview, and Black Diamond.

Like a Matchstick

Zai Oud El Kabreet (“Like a Matchstick”) is a comedic tale invented by the late filmmaker Hussein Al Imam to pay tribute to the super stars of the Egyptian cinema’s Golden Era. The plot combines scenes starring 21 actors from the age of black and white films with other scenes written by and starring Al Imam. The end product leads to the rediscovery of golden age actors in a whole new context.

Festivals & Awards
  • Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Egypt
  • Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), UAE
  • Arab Cinema Week in New York, USA
  • Arabian Sights Film Festival, USA
  • Backstreet Festival, Egypt
  • Samy El Salamouny Award for Innovation to late director Hussein Al Imam at the Egyptian Cinema Film Association Festival

Porto Farina

Because he thinks she is sterile, Ali leaves his French girlfriend and returns home to renew with family and marry his young cousin who was promised him. But nothing happens as expected and between falsehood and pretense, Ali discovers at his expense the tragi-comedy of Life.

The Cave

From Oscar-nominated director Feras Fayyad (“Last Men in Aleppo”) comes The Cave, a stirring portrait of courage, resilience and female solidarity. For besieged civilians in war-torn Syria, hope and safety lie underground inside the subterranean hospital known as the Cave, where paediatrician and managing physician Dr. Amani Ballour and her colleagues Samaher and Dr. Alaa have claimed their right to work as equals alongside their male counterparts, doing their jobs in a way that would be unthinkable in the oppressively patriarchal culture that exists above. Following the women as they contend with daily bombardments, chronic supply shortages and the ever-present threat of chemical attacks, The Cave delivers an unflinching look at the Syrian war and some of its most unlikely heroes

The Golden Harvest

A 6,000-year old love story in which director Alia Yunis tries to understand the profound, often troubled, relationship between olive oil and the people of Mediterranean, including her own father. Her journey of food, love and heartache takes her to unexpected places as an increasingly diverse cast of characters get involved in unraveling this tale. It is a complicated romance, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic that is constantly evolving in a region that includes some of the poorest and most conflicted areas of Europe and the Middle East. This started as a film about olive oil, it also evolved into a story about finding our place in the world with a little bit of help from the keeper of our hearts and secrets, the olive tree.

Festivals & Awards
  • Thessaloniki International Film Festival
  • Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
  • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
  • Food Film Festival
  • DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival
  • Bozcaada International Festival of Ecological Documentary
  • Palestine Cinema Days Festival
  • Virginia Film Festival
  • Silk Road International Film Festival
  • Idyllwild Film Festival
  • Chicago Palestine Film Festival
  • Art of Film Festival
  • Toronto Food Festival
  • Boston Palestine Film Festival

You Will Die at Twenty

In the province of Aljazira, Sudan – When Muzamil was born, a prophecy by the holy man of the village predicts that he will die when he is 20 years old. Muzamil’s father cannot stand the doom and travels away from home. Sakina, as a single mother, raises her son with over protection. One day, Muzamil turns 19…

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