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Still from "Mother of the Unborn" by Nadine Salib

AFAC Film Night Continues at Sursock Museum

10 Nov, 2016 

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and Sursock Museum are pleased to announce the third program of their year-long partnership to bring forward a monthly series of screenings under the title AFAC Film Night, showcasing the work of Arab filmmakers supported by AFAC over the past years.

 

Entitled “Resilience” the third program starts in December with The Wanted 18 by Amer Shomali (December 7th) and will continue through January and February 2017 with Mother of the Unborn by Nadine Salib (January 18th) and The Runner by Saeed Taji Farouky (February 15th).

 

“AFAC Film Night” kicked off in May 2016 with the aim of offering local audiences a glimpse at independent filmmaking in the region which suffers from under-exposure and little accessibility due to the absence of proper distribution structures for Arab films within the Arab region. Curated by AFAC and Sursock Museum, the screenings are presented in four programs, each with a title at which the films’ narratives converge: Displacement, Entrapment, Resilience and Retrospection. Previous screenings included: Port of Memory by Kamal Aljafari, Roshmia by Salim Abou Jabal and Home Sweet Home by Nadine Naous, Birds of September by Sarah Francis, Diaries of a Flying Dog by Bassem Fayad, and The Man Inside by Karim Goury.

 

All screenings will take place at Sursock Museum Auditorium. The fourth program will be announced in February 2017.

 

AFAC Film Night (Dec, 2016/ Jan- Feb, 2017)

 

The Wanted 18 (2014)

Dir. Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan (Palestine/Canada/ France)

Color, 75 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles

Wednesday 7 December, 19:00

Auditorium, Level -2

In 1987, in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour (an epicenter for the insurgency), a group of townspeople — a schoolteacher, a pharmacist, a physician, etc. — decided to buy eighteen cows and produce their own milk as a co-operative. Their venture was so successful that the collective farm became a landmark, and the cows local celebrities, until the Israeli army took note and declared that the cows pose "a threat to the national security of the state of Israel." Consequently, the dairy was forced to go underground, the cows continued to produce their "Intifada milk" with the Israeli army in relentless pursuit.

 

Amer Shomali is a Palestinian multidisciplinary artist, using painting, films, digital media, installations and comics as tools to explore and interact with the sociopolitical scene in Palestine. Much of Shomali’s work examines the creation and the use of the Palestinian revolution’s iconography. His art works are part of several Museum and private collections. Shomali co-directed an award winning animated documentary, The Wanted 18, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. The film was awarded the best documentary award in Abu Dhabi, Carthage, Traverse City, and Al-Jazeera Film Festivals. The Wanted 18 was in the official submission lists for the foreign language and documentary categories of the Oscars 88th. Born in Kuwait in 1981, Shomali holds a BSc in Architecture from Birzeit University in Palestine, and a Master’s degree in Animation from Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. He is currently based in Ramallah, Palestine.

 

Mother of the Unborn (2014)

Dir. Nadine Salib (Egypt)

Color, 84 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles

Wednesday 18 January, 19:00

Auditorium, Level -2

The absolute truth lies in the notions of life and death...fertility indeed is the miracle of creation. But does it answer the question of happiness, or is it just an illusion? In a forgotten corner of Egypt lives a woman who is yearning for a child. Having no option but to live on the fringe of her community because of her infertility, Hanan lingers between a dream that is slowly slipping away and her struggle to find a place where she belongs. While everything that surrounds her bustles with fertility and mortality, she wonders how to give meaning to the time that she has in between.

 

In 2006, Nadine Salib graduated with a BFA in Film studies from the IAMS. She started her career as an assistant director, where she worked as a first assistant and script supervisor in many short and feature length films. Salib worked closely with many  independent Egyptian filmmakers, such as Ibrahim ElBatout in ‘Winter of Discontent’, which premiered in Venice Film Festival in 2011 and Tamer El said in ‘In the Last days of the city’, which premiered in Berlin in 2016. In 2012 she directed her first short documentary ‘Fagr’ or ‘Dawn’, which won the second prize in the Arab women filmmakers competition in the Baghdad International Film Festival and the 1st prize in the 12th Goethe independent Film Festival in Egypt. Nadine took part in many filmmaking workshops such as Durban Talent Campus in 2011, the Documentary Campus in 2012 and the IDFA summer Academy in 2014. ‘Um Ghayeb’, or ‘Mother of the unborn’ is her first feature-length documentary, it premiered in IDFA 2014, and won the Peter Wintonick Special Jury Award for First Appearance competition and the FIPRESCI for best documentary in Abu Dhabi Film Festival 2014. It was also awarded the best documentary in the Afrycam Film Festival and in the Mizna Twin cities. Mother of the unborn also received a special mention in Medfilm festival iand the Arab Latin Film Festival. Um Ghayeb’ was selected in many international festivals such as Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Carthage Film Festival, Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, Transylvania international film festival and Yamagata Film Festival in Japan. 

 

The Runner (2013)

Dir. Saeed Taji Farouky (Morocco)

Color, 84 minutes, Arabic with English subtitles

Wednesday 15 February, 19:00

Auditorium, Level -2

The Runner is a film about endurance. The journey of Salah Ameidan, a champion long-distance runner, transformed him from an athlete to the symbol of a national liberation movement. A native of an occupied Western Sahara, Salah risked his life to run for a country that doesn’t exist. In 2003, he decided to take a stand. At the end of an 8km race in France, he waved a Sahrawi flag across the finish line as he came in first place, an illegal act in Morocco. Unable to return home safely, he sought asylum in France where he continues to train and compete internationally. Salah will never take any nationality, but that of a free Western Sahara.

 

Saeed Taji Farouky is an award-winning filmmaker and cinematographer specializing in humanist, conflict-based documentaries films for over twelve years. In 2011, he was awarded a Senior TED Fellowship for his documentary work, and was previously an artist-in-residence at the British Museum and Tate Britain. His most recent documentary Tell Spring Not to Come This Year tells the story of the war in Afghanistan from the perspective of the Afghan army at the moment of NATO’s withdrawal. It premiered at the Berlinale 2015 where it was awarded the Amnesty International Human Rights Film award and the Audience Choice Award.

 

About Sursock Museum
The Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum is a modern and contemporary art museum in the center of Beirut first opened in 1961, with a mission to collect, preserve, and exhibit local and international art.
Through its collection, archives, exhibitions, and public programs, the museum aim to produce knowledge on art practices in the region and explore work that reflects on our contemporary moment. The goal is to support local art production, to provide a platform for encounter and experimentation with art and ideas, and to inform and challenge different audiences in new and unexpected ways.


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