Examining themes of home, community and diaspora, the 14th Arab Film Festival open this weekend in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit.
Presented by the Arab American National Museum, the festival includes award winners from the Cannes and Sundance festivals, and a work featuring a Detroit teen cast member.
Films screen June 7-16 at the AANM, the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Details from Arab American National Museum:
Films earning acclaim on the international festival circuit are among those featured at the Arab American National Museum’s (AANM) 14th Arab Film Festival (AFF), June 7-16, 2019, with screenings at the Dearborn museum, in Detroit and in Ann Arbor.
Among the festival’s leading titles are:
Capernaum, winner, Jury Prize and nominee, Palme d’Or at 2018 Cannes Film Festival and nominee, Best Foreign Film, 2019 Academy Awards.
Yomeddine, winner, Francois Chalais Award and nominee for both Camera d’Or and Palme d’Or, all at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. In the film, a Coptic leper and his orphaned apprentice cross Egypt in search for family (the image above is a detail taken from a scene in the film).
Sofia, winner, Un Certain Regard Screenplay Prize, 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and a Michigan premiere.
Dunya’s Day, winner, Short Film Jury Award for International Fiction and nominee, Best Short Film Grand Jury Prize, both at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and a Michigan premiere.
This year’s AFF features more than 15 films making their Michigan premieres, including Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf, directed by Susan Youssef. It’s the story of a 17-year-old outsider in Arkansas dealing with high-school tension and her jailed father, taking solace in writing poetry, fancying a boy and riding a motorcycle.
Among the cast of Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is Detroit resident Maram Aljahmi, 14, a 9th grader at Voyageur College Preparatory High School in Detroit, who earned the role during a 2014 casting call held at AANM. She plays Jinane, the title character’s younger sister.
The AFF brings the perspective of marginalized voices to the fore. This year’s curated selection of films explores stories related to home, community and diaspora. Among the four programs of short films is a new offering designed especially for children and families, including post-screening theater-style games and crafts.
“The common denominator in all this year’s films is their depiction of reality, of daily life in the Arab world or in Arab American communities,” says festival curator Dave Serio.
“This festival presents the Arab and Arab American experience in its truest, purest form, without sensationalizing. These communities are not monolithic – they are multi-dimensional and ever changing,” Serio says.
All AFF films are subtitled in English. See film descriptions, schedule and ticket information below and at the festival’s new website, www.aanmfilmfest.org, for complete information.
AFF screenings take place at three venues: most at the Aliya Hassan Auditorium at the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; with additional screenings at the Detroit Film Theatre at Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; and State Theatre, 233 S. State St., Ann Arbor.
The 14th Arab Film Festival is made possible in part by Saudi Aramco, Ford, and Michigan Council for Art and Cultural Affairs.
AANM is grateful for the support of these partners: Cinema Lamont; Michigan Theater; Arab American Heritage Council; Detroit Film Theatre at Detroit Institute of Arts; ACCESS’ Campaign to Take on Hate; Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Dearborn Centennial Library; Palestinian Youth Movement; Dearborn Community Fund; and Stories Never Told.
14th Arab Film Festival TICKETS + PASSES
Tickets are available online at www.aanmfilmfest.org and at the door.