Author: redDog

Dialogue with the Diaspora webinar series

Palestinian films and Canadian solidarity: can watching help?

Webinar at 6 pm MT, Thursday, Nov 18, 2021
Film available for viewing, November 11 to 18

In the wide selection of Palestinian films which Netflix recently began to stream, some focused on Palestinian refugees outside Occupied Palestine. The situation for these refugees usually leaves viewers with as many questions as answers. When Canadians do watch, can viewing lead to deeper awareness? Is it too hopeful to think these stories might move viewers to more active forms of support? These are some of the questions under consideration in CEPAL’s first “Dialogue with the Diaspora” webinar. For those who want to know more and go deeper, this event will introduce you to a trio of speakers with long-term and varied experience in combining film and activism:

Robert Allison, Communications Director, Hamilton Voices of Palestine Film Screenings
Dania Majid, Programmer and Media Relations, Toronto Palestine Film Festival
Thomas Morgan, Producer-director of Soufra, and other films
Henry Zaccak, Moderator, President, Canadian-Palestinian Education Exchange

To register for the webinar, click here.

Soufra

After registering, you will receive a link to view the film Soufra on-line in the week prior to the webinar (film running time: 70 minutes.)

Soufra follows a group of women entrepreneurs at Burj al Barajneh camp in south Beirut. In the face of huge obstacles, they show unrelenting belief in each other, and their small business begins to take root. But the real test comes next, when they attempt to add on a food truck service which could carry business outside of their camp. 
There is a free viewing option, thanks to the generous sponsorship of PSN Edmonton and Just Peace Advocates.

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Rough Year: COVID

Rough Year: COVID

Covid has been a big challenge to the cinema industry around the world. We at the Calgary Arab Arts & Culture Society struggle in 2020 with securing good artsy productions, enduring partnerships, limited cinema seating capacities, new online screening platforms, and of course funding.

However, we endured and persisted!

We succeeded with our 8th festival, and added an online screening component that got us new audience base outside of Calgary.

But hearing about similar struggles at the end of like-minded partners, we started thinking about changes in 2021 as we anticipated that the covid era was to endure.

Re-Structuring & Re-Focus

The ideas we had revolved around extending our partnerships with other bigger organizations to engage new audience and to learn new techniques of survival. The Calgary International Film Festival, CIFF, was at the forefront of our partners with whom we had previous community partnerships over the past years.

For this year, 2021, we were the community partner with CIFF on two very influential movies that would’ve fit in our usual offerings:

In addition, we have been in talks with other community organizations both in Calgary and surrounding cities to follow suit and have them play the following titles:

  • Feathers

  • Peace by Chocolate

In addition, we have been in talks with other community organizations both in Calgary and surrounding cities to follow suit and have them play the following titles:

  • Une Histoire D’amour Et De Desir

    Follows Ahmed, an 18-year old, French of Algerian origin, who meets Farah, a young Tunisian girl. He discovers a collection of sensual and erotic Arab literature and falls in love with Farah and he tries to resist the desire.

  • Bilal: A New Bread of Hero

    Over 1,000 years ago, a boy with dreams of being a great warrior and his sister are abducted and taken to a faraway land. Growing up in a world of greed and injustice, he finds the courage to make a change.

  • Costa Brava

    A couple decide to leave the toxic pollution of their home city of Beirut, hoping to build a utopian existence in a pristine home in the mountains.

Plan

So far, we were successful on the front of CIFF .. the films were success and CAACS was able to market them via our partner, REDFM Calgary Arabia. Our CAACS board member and radio host, Noha Mohamed, was able to direct our audience to the partnership with CIFF through which our friends can watch the offerings.

We realized the big buzz around the film, Feathers, once it was screened at the Gouna Film Festival. The politically charged atmosphere surrounding screening the award-winning film in Egypt made it clear that the controversy will continue in Calgary, especially that it won the Best Picture Award.

Earlier, the Calgary Arab Arts & Culture Society sponsored the attendance of Noha Mohamed to the Festival De Cannes. There, Noha had an exclusive interview with Omar Zoheiry, the Director of Feathers.

Execution

In less than a week, CAACS was able to secure the screening rights of Feathers and booked our partners, The Globe, on November 19.

We decided that a politically charged debate after the Award Winning film, should be complimented by a light movie, preferably a commercial comedy.

This invited a light option that was recently released in Egypt, Mama Hamel (Arabic for mom in pregnant)

Once we secured the double feature, we started advertising, and hope it can be a night to remember.

Future Projects

CAACS is currently in talks with filmmakers across the nation to produce something about Arab roots in Canada. Simultaneously, CAACS is also in talks with the national standup comedy HQ to renew cooperation with hopes of bringing Arab standup comedians to the stage of the YukYuks.

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ARAB FILM NIGHTS FESTIVAL CELEBRATING 7th YEAR

CALGARY – The Calgary Arab Art and Culture Society has pulled out all the stops in celebration of its seventh year of the Calgary Arab Film Nights Festival – October 18-20, 2019 at Globe Cinema.

“As always, we are very excited about the rapidly approaching Arab Film Nights 2019,” says Executive Director Moness Rizkalla. “The films that we selected to screen this year perfectly match the festival’s objectives and what our dedicated festival goers look for, which is to show everyday life in, and the diversity across, the Arab world.

This year’s festival includes the fifth consecutive year of ‘Canadian Eye on the Arab World’ which is a goal to at least have one movie in the festival that is Canadian made and is about the Middle East or Canadian Arabs. This year, we’re presenting Wall on October 20th, a National Film Board of Canada by Cam Christiansen”

“The weekend’s film program will have something for every taste, from documentaries like Wajd: Songs of Separation by Amar Chebib – a musical documentary of Syrian/Canadian production, and award-winning features ranging from the comedic to the very serious. Something unique to this year’s program is that we’re presenting Dachra, a Tunisian horror movie, screening on the late evening of Saturday, October 19th” adds Rizkalla. 

For tickets and more information, visit calgaryarabartssociety.ca.

For Media Inquiries:
Noha Mohamed, Director of Marketing
587-892-1477 noha@redfm.ca

Facebook – Calgary Arab Arts and Culture Society
Instagram – yyc_arabarts
Twitter – yyc_arabarts

The Calgary Arab Art & Culture Society is a not-for-profit society made up of progressive Arab-Canadian professionals, business people and friends. The Society’s goal is to share with Calgarians a fuller, more realistic, side to life in the Arab world. The Society’s activities include wide range of cultural events with a focus on different types of arts like music, comedy, poetry and more.

ARAB NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATING FIFTH YEAR

The Calgary Arab Art and Culture Society has pulled out all the stops in celebration of its fifth year of the Arab Nights Film Festival.

“As always, we are very excited about the rapidly approaching Arab Film Nights 2016,” says Executive Director Moness Rizkalla. “The films that we selected to screen this year perfectly match the festival’s objectives and what our dedicated festival goers look for, which is to show everyday life in, and the diversity across, the Arab world.

This year’s festival includes the second consecutive year of the Canadian Eye on the Arab World night May 11 featuring two National Film Board of Canada films: Edmonton director Nisreen Baker’s Things Arab Men Say and Grassroots in Drylands. ‘

“The weekend’s film program will have something for every taste, from documentaries like the sociopolitical Tickling Giants, and features ranging from the comedic to the very serious,” adds Rizkalla. 

Special guests this year include Baker, and star Zeid Hamdan of documentary Yallah Underground. Hamdan is representing two films as he was also the composer for Sunday’s closing film Barakah Meets Barakah. Tickling Giants Bassem Yousef will also be available for a video Q&A session on May 12.

For tickets and more information, visit calgaryarabartssociety.ca.

For Media Inquiries:
Kelsey Hipkin
kmhipkin@gmail.com
4
03-700-8698

Twitter – yyc_arabarts
Facebook – Calgary Arab Arts and Culture Society
Instagram – yyc_arabarts

The Calgary Arab Art & Culture Society is a not-for-profit society made up of progressive Arab-Canadian professionals, business people and friends. The Society’s goal is to share with Calgarians a fuller, more realistic, side to life in the Arab world. The Society’s activities include wide range of cultural events.

Arab Film Nights 2016 sets record attendance numbers

With an added night and a bazaar in support of Syrian refugees, the Calgary Arab Art and Culture Society’s 2016 film festival was its most successful to date.

This year’s lineup of films included the addition of an extra evening April 28 – CanadianEye on the Arab World – with Oscar-nominated Incendies and the critically acclaimed Inch’Allah. Films such as On the Bride’s Side showed a timely relevance with events unfolding in Syria and beyond. And art and cinematography was showcased in films like Nefertiti’s Daughters and Atlantic.

Leading up to the film festival, the Calgary Arab Art and Culture Society held a number of events at local post-secondary institutions screening Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. The film was also screened April 29 and Calgary’s own Colin Curwen of New Machine Studios was in attendance to discuss his involvement with the film. Curwen was not the only special guest, as panels and discussions also included Atlantic director JanWillem van Ewijk, Raja Khouri of the Canadian Arab Institute and Luke Azevedo with Calgary Economic Development.

On closing night Sunday, art and wares were featured in a bazaar with all proceeds going to Syrian refugees. The Calgary Arab Art & Culture Society is a notforprofit society made up of progressive ArabCanadian
professionals, business people and friends. The Society’s goal is to share with Calgarians a fuller, more realistic, side to life in the Arab world. The Society’s activities include wide range of cultural events.

Inquiries for next year’s festival and other CAACS events can be directed to:

Kelsey Hipkin, CAACS board secretary

kmhipkin@gmail.com

403-700-8698

Arab Film Nights 2016

Friday April 29 , Saturday April 30 & Sunday May 1
Festival Hall Calgary

Opening Night Calgary Premiere: Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, An Animated Feature starring Liam Neeson and Salma Hayek Other Films to be Announced

Film Synopsis: VIEW HERE            Official Trailer: VIEW HERE

Eman takes the stage at Calgary YukYuk’s

In conjunction with Yuk Yuk’s, the Calgary Arab Art and Culture Society is pleased to present Arab-Canadian comedienne Eman ElHusseini.

Eman has travelled throughout Canada, the United States and the Middle East creating laughs as she goes. The comedienne has been featured in The National Post, the Toronto Star and the Montreal Gazette who described her as “fearless and ferociously funny”.

Eman has also extensively worked the comedy festival circuit, making appearances at the New York Arab American Comedy Festival, CBC’s Cracking up the Capital and the fifth annual Arab Women in Film. Eman takes the stage at Calgary YukYuk’s July 2325, with doors opening at 6:30 and the show starting at 7:30. Tickets are $12.

Get your tickets here: https://www.yukyuks.com/calgary

Eman El-Husseini @ Yuk Yuk’s – July 23rd, 2015

Mark your calendars for our July 23rd. We are hosting a special Fundraiser at Yuk Yuk’s in Calgary featuring celebrated Arab-Canadian comedienne Eman El-Husseini.

  • Tickets & Prices: TBA
  • Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins 7:30.

Both Yuk Yuk’s and our society look forward to this fund raising event being the first of many to come.

https://www.yukyuks.com/calgary

Spread the Word!

For further information about Eman see: http://www.rcinet.ca/arabs-canada/2015/03/23/eman-el-husseini-comedienne/

Eman

Eman El-Husseini

Since her comedy debut in 2006 Eman El-Husseini has racked up an impressive list of credits.
Travelling across Canada, the U.S and the Middle East she covers a wide range of topics,from how lesbians are the new gentlemen to her parents’ wedding anniversary landing on, you guessed it, September 11th.

A media darling of sorts, Eman has been featured in major Canadian newspapers such as The National Post, The Toronto Star and The Montreal Gazette. She has also appeared regularly on radio stations such as CJAD, CBC, and CKUT. Her TV credits include a half hour comedy special on CTV, Comedy Network and the iChannel.

The Montreal Gazette describes her as “Fearless and ferociously funny” and named her “The queen of Montreal comedy“ “It’s someone that needs to be discovered. She is really funny. I don’t think that anyone can be disappointed after seeing her perform. As soon as she finishes her first joke, people will already love her.” – Mike Ward

FESTIVAL APPEARANCES:

  • New York Arab American Comedy Festival (2008-2013)
  • Amman Standup Comedy Festival(2009)
  • Just For Laughs Festival (2010 & 2012)
  • Ha!ifax Comedy Festival (2012) AIRED ON CBC TV
  • JFL42 (2013) SiruisXM Next top Comic Competition
  • Boston Comedy Festival (2013)
  • Charleston Comedy Festival (2015)
  • CBC’s Cracking Up the Capital (2015)
  • 5th Annual Arab Women in Film (2015)

AS SEEN/HEARD ON:

  • CTV’s 15th Season Comedy Now! on the Comedy Network
  • CBC’S STROMBO: “BEST JOKE EVER”, Guest Comedy Panelist.
  • CBC’S DEBATERS

Announcing Arab Film Nights 2015

Announcing Arab Film Nights 2015 Friday June 5th to Sunday June 7th
OFFICIAL CALL FOR ENTRIES

The Society’s third annual film event & Calgary’s 6th Arab Film Festival, Arab Film Nights 2015, will be held at Festival Hall in Inglewood, 1215 10 Ave SE.

The society has an open call for Submissions for 2015.

1) Arab world, Middle East or North African themes only.
2) Films in Arabic, French, English, Hebrew, Berber or other Arab/Middle Eastern N. African languages accepted, but must be subtitled in English
3) Documentary, shorts, animation or feature films welcome
4) Only films completed after January 1, 2015 will be considered.
5) Preference will be given to films not previously publicly screened in Alberta or Canada
6) Films available for download or sale via the internet are not eligible.
7) Formats accepted are DVD, BluRay, MP4, Real Player
8) Filmmakers must deliver final format as indicated for festival screening.

The Calgary Arab Art & Culture Society is a not-for-profit society made up of progressive Arab-Canadian professionals, business people &friends. The Society’s goal is to share with Calgarians a fuller, more realistic, side to life in the Arab world. The Society’s activities include wide range of cultural events.

For further information please visit: www.CalgaryArabArtsSociety.ca

Announcing Arab Film Nights 2015 Friday June 5th to Sunday June 7th

Another year has passed and once again the Arab Film Nights in Calgary is back!

“We are very excited about the rapidly approaching third annual Arab Film Nights 2015,” says executive director Moness Rizkalla. “The films that we selected to screen this year perfectly match the festival’s objectives and what our dedicated festival goers look for, which is to show everyday life in, and the diversity across, the Arab world.

This year’s line-up includes films from Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Palestine covering a variety of topics and genres.

“The weekend’s film program will have something for every taste, from short films to features, and ranging from the comedic to the very serious,” adds Rizkalla.

The Calgary Arab Art & Culture Society is a not-for-profit society made up of progressive Arab-Canadian professionals, business people & friends. The Society’s goal is to share with Calgarians a fuller, more realistic, side to life in the Arab world. The Society’s activities include wide range of cultural events.

Media inquiries: Kelsey Hipkin
Communications Co-ordinator

kmhipkin@gmail.com
403-700-8698
Facebook: Calgary Arab Arts & Culture Society
Twitter: YYC_Arab Arts

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