Cape Cod, MA — The Cape Cod Festival of Arab & Middle Eastern Cinema has released today its full four-day schedule of screenings and events to take place May 4 – 7, 2017. Tickets are now on sale and full information is available online at CapeCodFilmSociety.com.
The full schedule is listed below. Interviews, high-resolution images, and trailer links are available upon request.
The Cape Cod Festival of Arab & Middle Eastern Cinema was founded in 2012 by Rebecca M. Alvin, an independent filmmaker, teacher and writer who lives in Brewster, Mass. The biennial festival celebrates the cinema of the Arab World and the Middle East, focusing on works made by filmmakers of Arab and/or Middle Eastern descent living around the world, with the goal of sharing films most Americans are unable to access and fostering cross cultural understanding by accentuating the ability of the cinema to generate empathy and dialogue. The festival receives support from the Chatham Cultural Council, the Provincetown Cultural Council, and the Wellfleet Cultural Council.
Rebecca Alvin is an independent filmmaker and Associate Teaching Professor at The New School in New York City. She is also a writer and editor of Provincetown Magazine. The festival is one of several film programs she has offered to the Cape community under the umbrella of the Cape Cod Film Society program, which she founded in 2002. The Festival is produced with support from the Chatham Cultural Council, Provincetown Cultural Council, and Wellfleet Cultural Council. Additional sponsors and support, as well as volunteers, are still being sought for this year’s events.
For more information visit capecodfilmsociety.com and to be included on the mailing list, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, May 4, 6 p.m. Opening Night Film & Reception at the Chatham Orpheum Theater: Halal Love (and Sex) by Assad Fouladkar
The 2017 Cape Cod Festival of Arab & Middle Eastern Cinema kicks off wth Assad Fouladkar’s Halal Love (and Sex), a Lebanese comedy about regular everyday people working with their Muslim faith and their romantic entanglements, trying not to sacrifice either. The film will screen after a pre-screening reception featuring Middle Eastern hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
Preceded by the U.S. short film E.A.S. by Kays Al-Atrakchi
Friday, May 5, 7 p.m.
Spotlight on Syria: Houses Without Doors by Avo Kaprealian at Wellfleet Preservation Hall
This Syrian documentary portrays the changes in the life of an Armenian family on Aleppo’s frontline in Al Midan, an area that brought shelter to the persecuted Armenians 100 years ago and today to many displaced Syrians. From the balcony of his home, the director films with a small camera the changes in his neighborhood and his own family, interweaving his images with extracts from classical films to illustrate the parallels between the Armenian genocide and Syrians’ reality today.
Saturday, May 6, 4 p.m. Tribute to Iranian Filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami: Screening of Taste of Cherry with Introduction by Professor Jamsheed Akrami of William Paterson University at Wellfleet Preservation Hall
Professor Jamsheed Akrami will introduce the late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s “Taste of Cherry” and discuss the film afterward. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry is an emotionally complex meditation on life and death. Middle-aged Mr. Badii (Homayoun Ershadi) drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran—searching for someone to rescue or bury him. It will be shown preceded by a new Iranian short film dedicated to Kiarostami and followed by discussion with Professor Akrami.
Preceded by the Iranian short film dedicated to Kiarostami: Only Five Minutes by Mohammad Mohammadian
Saturday, May 6, 7 p.m.
Regional Premiere: Tickling Giants by Sara Taksler at Wellfleet Preservation Hall
In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef makes a decision that’s every mother’s worst nightmare… He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full—time comedian. Dubbed, “The Egyptian Jon Stewart”, Bassem creates the satirical show, Al Bernameg. The weekly program quickly becomes the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averaged two million viewers. In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem’s show becomes as controversial as it popular. He and his staff must endure physical threats, protests, and legal action, all because of jokes. Directed by a member of The Daily Show production team.
Sunday, May 7, 7 p.m. Closing Night Selection: Yallah! Underground by Farid Eslam at WOMR Studios in Provincetown
The Festival closes with a screening of Farid Eslam’s “Yallah! Underground,” a documentary about Arab underground artists and musicians in four countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel), including Zeid Hamdan, Shadi Zaqtan, and Maii Waleed Yassin, with an eye toward music and art as political and social comment in an area of the world that has recently been experiencing a major cultural and generational shift. The screening is co-sponsored by WOMR-FM (92.1FM) Outermost Community Radio.
The Cape Cod Festival of Arab & Middle Eastern Cinema was produced by Rebecca Alvin’s Cape Cod Film Society, a project of the Provincetown Community Compact, a not for profit 501(c)3 organization. This program received support from the Chatham Local Cultural Council, Provincetown Local Cultural Council, and Wellfleet Local Cultural Council.
ABOUT THE NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL | The Nantucket Film Festival was founded by brother and sister team Jill and Jonathan Burkhart in 1996 to promote the cultural awareness and appreciation of the fine art of screenwriting in the world of cinema. These days, NFF has become one of the premier destination film festivals in the world. Visitors come from all over to experience the preview screenings, unique signature programs, and stand out hospitality on a magical island rich with history, a friendly atmosphere, and beautiful sandy beaches. In addition to screening over 100 films across six days, NFF presents the Screenwriters Tribute, the All-Star Comedy Roundtable hosted by Ben Stiller, In Their Shoes… hosted by Chris Matthews, Late Night Storytelling, and our daily Morning Coffee With… series.
Leaders in the documentary film industry convene for a series of screenings, master classes, panels, workshops, pitch sessions and the Sustainable Maine Engagement Summit
The Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) has unveiled the lineup for its seventh Points North Documentary Forum. The three-day conference program runs concurrently with the festival from September 17 – 20, 2015 at the historic Camden Opera House in Camden, Maine, and Rockport Opera House in Rockport, Maine. This year’s program will feature four master classes focused on directing, editing, producing and interactive media, panel discussions, case studies, networking events and the sixth annual Points North Pitch, which is now part of the year-long Points North Fellowship for filmmakers with feature documentaries in development. The lineup marks the continued growth of CIFF’s Points North program as a launching pad for the next generation of documentary artists, as well as a unique space for the international documentary community to reflect on the craft, business and future of nonfiction storytelling.
Six projects have been selected to participate in the 2015 Points North Fellowship and Points North Pitch. These filmmaking teams will travel to Camden for a day of pitch training and industry mentorship at the Maine Media Workshops with Sundance Institute’s Kristin Feeley and producer Andrea Meditch. On September 19, the filmmakers will take the stage at the Camden Opera House and pitch their documentary works-in-progress before a live audience and receive critical feedback from a panel that includes representatives from HBO, CNN Films, TIME Inc., Vimeo, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and Impact Partners, among others. One project will receive the Points North Pitch Award and Modulus Finishing Fund, which includes a $10,000 in-kind post-production package from Boston-based Modulus Studios and three consultations with the Tribeca Film Institute.
Filmmakers, students and other Points North attendees will have numerous opportunities to connect with industry delegates throughout the festival weekend, both formally during master classes, panels, and one-on-one meetings, and informally during CIFF parties and receptions. For filmmakers interested in strengthening their storytelling craft, Points North will feature three additional master classes with Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney, producer Andrea Meditch, and veteran editor David Teague.
Since 2011, the Points North Documentary Forum has been highlighting how nonfiction storytelling is evolving in response to digital media technologies and platforms. This year, the Forum will include two
sessions in its Storyforms strand – a performance of the collaborative, multimedia documentary LIVING
LOS SURES, and an interactive documentary master class led by Alexandre Brachet, a digital storytelling pioneer and founder of the Paris-based agency Upian. Points North will close with “The New News,” a program of short films produced or commissioned by news organizations, followed by a panel discussion with editors and filmmakers focused on the convergence of documentary and journalism on digital platforms and the changing nature of audience engagement with the news.
“We’re honored and excited to have the opportunity to continue to develop a platform for filmmakers to
introduce their projects to some of the most influential decision-makers in the documentary industry,” says Ben Fowlie, Founder and Executive Director of the Camden International Film Festival. “It’s a privilege to bring together such a diverse, talented and inspiring group of participants in Camden for this year’s Forum,” says Points North Director Sean Flynn. “Whether you’re developing a feature, producing a short film for the web, exploring interactive media, using media as a tool for social
change, or interested in the craft of documentary storytelling – there’s something here for everyone.”
Founded in 2005 and recognized as one of the top documentary film festivals in the world, the Camden
International Film Festival (CIFF) brings the finest non-fiction cinema to the rugged coast of Maine,
showcasing over eighty documentary feature and short films from around the globe each fall. Additional
year-round programming includes the CIFF Selects screening series and the Engagement Summit, a unique program that connects Maine-based nonprofit leaders with documentary films and filmmakers to develop community-based social action campaigns designed to engage communities.
The Points North Documentary Forum provides emerging documentarians with opportunities for professional development and creative inspiration. and an opportunity to discover new voices in documentary media who are pushing the boundaries of the form and re-imagining the role of nonfiction storytelling in society. Programs include the year-round Points North Fellowship, master classes, workshops and international short form pitch opportunities such as The New York Times’ Op Docs Pitch (2013) and, most recently, the AJ+ Pitch (2014). Past industry participants in the Forum include HBO, A&E, BBC, Participant Media, Al Jazeera America, Discovery, PBS, Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, Vimeo and Kickstarter.
The 2015 Camden International Film Festival and Points North Documentary Forum will take place September 17 – 20 in Camden, Rockport and Rockland, Maine. The Camden International Film Festival is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, CNN Films and Vimeo.
Passes to the 2015 CIFF and Points North are now available for purchase at www.camdenfilmfest.org
Access to the full conference program is open to all CIFF passholders. Passes are now on sale on the
Camden International Film Festival website.
ACMi and the Friends of Robbins Farm Park announce the third annual Arlington Short Animation Film Festival, an evening outdoor festival showcasing local animated work for all ages.
Date: Saturday, August 29 (Rain date: August 30)
Time: Films will begin at Sunset (around 8 pm)
Place: Robbins Farm Park
Want to show your own film in the festival?
Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2015
For more information about how to submit and the festival itself,
visit the festival page.
And more great news for aspiring animators!
Starting TONIGHT, July 8, the Studio Knights (ACMi’s in-house production group) are offering a series of four weekly Animation Workshops on Wednesdays from 7-9 pm. Learn all you need to know to create your own animated film, then submit it to the festival and come to your own Premiere on August 29th!
Celebrates 15 years Williamstown, MA October 30 – November 2
It’s no wonder Alec Baldwin (see IMAGINE April 1998) has praised the Williamstown Film Festival [WFF] as “the best film festival in New England.” Tucked within the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, the Festival offers all the charm of a small town with the finest in independent filmmaking. WFF doesn’t just give you the chance to see films, it guarantees you’ll meet the filmmakers – and who knows, maybe even share a glass or two of wine with them.
The Festival was founded in 1998 and is held in Williamstown, Massachusetts, home to Williams College, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum.
At WFF, there are no velvet ropes or red carpets; everyone is part of the experience. Hear the story behind the story, learn about the process, and join in on conversation with filmmakers. “It is everything that’s great about living in a small town where you get to really know people,” says Joe Finnegan, WFF’s Board Chair and Vice Chair of the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Another special attribute of WFF is that no two films are screened at the same time. Often, artists of short films feel “out of the spotlight” because their film is shown simultaneously with a starry feature. At WFF, all eyes are on you, no matter what the length of your film.
Steve Lawson, WFF’s Executive Director, recalls one memorable short film screening, “When it ended I noticed the director was near tears. I went over to make sure she was okay and she said it was the first time she ever saw her movie on the big screen and could witness the audience’s reactions.”
Over the years, WFF has had many moments like this to remember. “So many remarkable people have been here, from the very well-known to the not as well-known.” says Lawson.
In 2003, Paul Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward, were shooting the HBO miniseries Empire Falls. They gave up their one day off to participate in a Q & A about their film MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE. “I remember the Newman’s stayed for an hour beyond when they were supposed to leave, and the discussion could have gone on for many more,” recalls Lawson.
Sandra Thomas, WFF’s programming consultant and Executive Director of Images Cinema (where many of WFF’s films screen) recalls one of her favorite memories. “I was volunteering at Images Cinema and walked in and saw Sigourney Weaver. She was next to Robert Redford, sitting there as a part of the audience like everyone else and I just thought, ‘where am I?’”
This year’s festival is a very special one, as WFF will be celebrating their 15th anniversary over the course of four nights and five days – from Wednesday, October 30th to Sunday, November 3rd. The festival will kick off with celebrated author John Irving showing clips from his Academy- Award winning film, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES and participating in conversation with the audience. The exterior for St. Cloud’s Orphanage was filmed at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in the nearby town of Lenox, MA.
Another event to look forward to is the screening of A CASE OF YOU starring Justin Long. Long has performed in plays at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Kat Coiro, the film’s director, will be in attendance. In addition, a few years ago two filmmakers had their shorts screened at WFF, and have now collaborated to debut their first feature, A BIRDER’S GUIDE TO EVERYTHING. The screenwriter, Luke Matheny, will be on hand to do a Q & A after the screening.
Thursday will be a special night of food and film. First to screen will be, DINER EN BLANC, about a very secretive, and very fancy, French dinner party. To follow is a film that couldn’t be more its opposite. THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT is about a group of friends on a search for America’s best buffalo chicken wings. Both directors, Matt Reynolds and Jennifer Ash Rudick, will be in attendance and there will be delicious (and equally surprising) food to enjoy!
Another film screening, GOOD OL’ FREDA, is about the Beatles’ first secretary, who fifty years later talks about her close relationship with the Fab Four.
There will also be screenings of several locally made films. THE RIVER was filmed in Great Barrington, MA and directed by Sam Handel. Both he and the film’s star, Lauren Ambrose (Handel’s wife), will be in attendance. The documentary CHERRY COTTAGE, directed by David Simonds of Williamstown, is a saga of America seen through the prism of a Berkshire County house and the people who’ve lived there.
The 2013 Christopher and Dana Reeve Award winner will also be announced. This award was initiated in 2006 and named in memory of the actor and his wife – two loyal supporters of the Festival. It’s presented to the top short film as determined by audience vote. The winner receives an original artwork by internationally known artist, WFF board member, and Williamstown resident Stephen Hannock. The Reeve winners in 2010 and 2012 – Luke Matheny and Shawn Christensen – both went on to capture Academy Awards for their respective shorts.
Film is truly a visceral experience – not many things have the power to affect someone the way a film can. “There is this electricity, and you can tell it’s specific to the audience – at some point everyone levitates off their seats and floats to the ceiling together,” says Lawson. The WFF staff and Board work hard to make sure that this electricity continues long after the film has ended. Congratulations, WFF, on celebrating your 15th anniversary. I personally can’t wait to see what the next fifteen years will bring.
For the complete schedule and to purchase tickets for the Williamstown Film Festival please visit, http://www.williamstownfilmfest.com or call 413 458-9900.
Lauren Zink is the Communications Manager for the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative. Reach her anytime at Lauren@berkshirefilm.com. To keep up-to-date with the western Massachusetts film scene, visit www.berkshirefilm.com
“The Festival has been making people think, laugh, feel, love, and dream for a quarter of a century,” says Artistic Director Amy Geller. “I am so proud and honored to be part of this rich cultural legacy.”
This year, there are forty six films from thirteen countries including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and the Netherlands, and, of course, many from Israel and the U.S.; forty films are Boston area premieres.
Geller is particularly proud of the many films with local connections. “The New England area with its vital history of documentary filmmaking is also incredibly fruitful for Jewish cinema.” UNORTHODOX, made by Nadja Oertelt and Anna Wexler, who met as MIT undergrads and live in Boston, has its world premiere November 10th at the ICA. The tongue-in-cheek mockumentary YOUR GOOD FRIEND, also a world premiere November 10th at the Coolidge, stars Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, formerly of Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley. Finally, THE DEWEY STONE CONNECTION: FROM EXODUS TO INDEPENDENCE, the Closing Night film on November 17th at the MFA, celebrates the late Dewey Stone, a Zionist philanthropist in 1940s Brockton, MA, and “an unsung hero for Israel.”
The 25th year promises to be an expanded program for all Festival goers. “There’ll be more fun elements to heighten the Festival experience and reach out to a wider audience — more family programming, young adult programming, local celebrities, food, music and social opportunities.”
Programs include The Family Film Series, back by popular demand, with screenings for families with children age eleven and up, including THE ZIGZAG KID and JERUSALEM, a 3D IMAX® film at the Museum of Science.
BJFF FreshFlix – Not Your Bubbie’s Festival, a festival within a festival for the 20-40s crowd, kicks off with the 3rd Annual Short Film Competition. The audience will pick the winning shorts via text voting. FreshFlix also features the first BJFF midnight movie ever: Israel’s hit thriller, BIG BAD WOLVES. In addition, there are opportunities for young adults to engage, discuss, meet the director and schmooze before and after screenings.
LGBTQ Shorts Program: OUT Loud is a dramatic and emotional series of LGBTQ short films from Israel, Canada and the U.S. They will be screened at the ICA with Keshet moderating a panel discussion.
Diaspora Jews: Spotlight North Africa features three documentaries that shed new light on the fascinating but little-known history of Jews in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria. Today, there are very few Jews living in these North African countries, but there was a time when Jews thrived alongside their Muslim neighbors. The films explore what life was like for these Jewish communities, as well as the circumstances under which they emigrated.
Favorite Films from the Famous asks: which classic Jewish films have influenced local celebrities? Esteemed Poet Laureate, essayist and literary critic Robert Pinsky presents TEN FROM YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, a hilarious compilation of sketches from the legendary and live 1950s television program, starring a riotous ensemble lead by comic genius Sid Caesar.
But it’s not just about throwing more options at viewers, Geller explains, “I also want to create more opportunities for artistic engagement and expand and strengthen community participation.” As a result, the Festival is launching the first BJFF Community Leadership Award, honoring a distinguished leader from greater Boston who has demonstrated a commitment to social justice and to improving our community.
The inaugural award recipient is Lisa Simmons, founder of the Color of Film Collaborative and co-producer of the Roxbury International Film Festival. The award will be presented on November 10th at the screening of the civil rights documentary THE LAST WHITE KNIGHT.
The Festival kicks off this very special year with a Silver Celebration on Sunday, November 3rd from 6-9:30 pm at the Ritz-Carlton Boston. Founding board member Shoshana Pakciarz and longtime trustee Barbara Resnek will be honored. The celebration will include a cocktail reception and dinner, an exclusive preview of festival films and a presentation by acclaimed Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr from his most recent book Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame.
The Boston Jewish Film Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, celebrates the richness of the Jewish experience through film and media. Throughout the year, the Festival engages and inspires the community to explore the full spectrum of Jewish life and culture.
Venues are AMC Framingham, Arlington Capitol Theatre, Brattle Theatre, Cinema Salem, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Hollywood Hits Theatre, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Museum of Science IMAX, Showcase Cinema de Lux Patriot Place, Somerville Theatre and West Newton Cinema.
Film descriptions, schedule and ticket information and sales are available now at bjff.org.
Tickets are on sale via the website. All films, with the exception of Special Events, are $14 general admission; $12 for seniors, students and members of the BJFF, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts and WGBH. Special Events include Opening Night (November 6th), Mid-Fest Film (November 13th) and Boston Closing Night (November 17th): $26 General Admission/$24 Discount.