RISE - Wings ok

The film selection of Middle East Now 2015 is announced, and the complete program of the screenings and the events is coming soon. 43 films in the program, 18 short films and 37 Italian and international premieres. A journey through Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Kurdistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine, Qatar, Syria, UAE and for the first time Turkey.


Tales di Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
(Iran, 2014, 88’) vo. persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Set in Tehran, the film takes in a man humiliated by the bureaucracy, a shamed and abandoned single mother, a terrifying snapshot of meth addiction and more. The realism is charged with empathy, we feel united with these people, sharing their hopes and frustrations.

The Mulberry House di Sara Ishaq
(Yemen , Syria , Egypt, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, 2013, 65′) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
After 10 years in Scotland, Sara Ishaq travels back to her childhood home of Yemen and takes her camera along. In this personal and touching film, Ishaq captures events in her own home throughout the tumultuous period of the Revolution, when multiple changes are afoot.

No Land’s Song di Ayat Najafi
(Iran, Germania, Francia, 2014, 90’) vo. persiano, inglese, francese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
In Iran it is forbidden for women to sing solo in front of a mixed audience. The dream of a young composer, Sara Najafi, to bring on stage two official Iranian singers along with three French artists, it turns into a fascinating journey between prohibitions and taboos.

Until I lose my Breath di Emine Emel Balci
(Turchia, Germania, 2015, 94’) vo. turco, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Serap is a quiet but hot-headed adolescent who is working long hours in a cramped clothing workshop. The only thing that keeps Serap going is the hope of moving into an apartment with her father, a long distance truck driver. Since the father is quite indifferent to Serap’s wishes, however, she decides to take matters in her own hands.

Hamama di Nujoom Alghanem [Focus UAE]
(Emirati Arabi, 2010, 63’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Hamama is a nearly 90-year-old female healer and living legend in the Emirates. Blessed with an incredible gift of healing she has to face her fragility and age that threaten to impact her work and her livelihood.

The Blue Veiled di Rakhshan Bani-Etemad
(Iran, 85’, 1995) vo. persiano, sottotitoli: inglese, italiano.
An elderly owner of a tomato farm and sauce factory, after his wife’s death, falls in love with one of the workers of the factory. While everybody in the big family persuades the old man to abandon the relationship, the old man makes his final choice of love.

Turning Thirteen – An Unusual Bar Mitzvah Film di Dana Idsis
(Israele, 2013, 58’) vo. ebraico, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
The film follows the preparations for the Bar Mitzvah of Guy, the director’s younger autistic brother. During the course of preparations for this unusual event, the daily and complex reality the family must cope with is revealed, paved with difficulties and humor, and Guy’s unique view of the world is discovered.

10949 Women di Nassima Guessoum
(Algeria, Francia, 2014, 75’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
In Algiers, the director meets Nassima Hablal, a forgotten heroine of the Algerian Revolution. Like a grandmother with her granddaughter, she tells her story of a woman in the war, her fight for an independent Algeria.

The Narrow Frame of Midnight di Tala Hadid
(Marocco, UK, Francia, Qatar, 2014, 93’) vo. arabo, francese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Zacaria a Moroccan-Iraqi writer, sets off on a journey to find his missing brother. Aïcha, a young orphan sold to a petty criminal, escapes from captivity. Judith, the lover Zacaria left behind, yearns to have a child. The respective quests of these characters intersect, giving them opportunities to rescue one another.

This is my Land di Tamara Erde
(Francia, Israele, 2014, 90’) vo. arabo, ebraico, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
How do the Palestinian and Israeli education systems teach the history of their nations? The film follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers during a school year. Through dialogues and challenges with their students, the viewers obtain the long lasting and profound effect that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict transmits onto the next generation.

Once Upon a Time, Cinema di Mohsen Makhmalbaf
(Iran, 1992, 90’) vo persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
The King, who is against cinema and censors the films himself, falls in love with one of the actresses of an old movie and in order to get hold of his lover he leaves the throne and goes after the cinema. Once Upon a Time, Cinema … is a fantasy on the pattern of fairy tales of “One thousand and one nights”, which presents a condensed history of Iranian cinema and expresses the love of cinema in general.

The Valley di Ghassan Salhab
(Libano, Francia, Germania, Qatar, EAU, 2014, 135’) vo. arabo, francese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
After surviving a car crash in the middle of Lebanon’s isolated Beqaa Valley, an amnesiac man finds himself held hostage on a local farm that doubles as an illegal drug-production facility. The Valley is the Ghassan Salhab’s masterfully directed last feature, a metaphysical condition report about our being in the here and now.

Private Revolutions: Young, Female, Egyptians di Alexandra Schneider
(Egitto, Austria, 2014, 98’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
A documentary about four young Egyptian women with different social background. Their fight for justice and gender equality leads to constant clashes with their mendominated surrounding. Nevertheless they keep going and that’s what the movie wants to show: their courage, sensitivity and their willingness.

Tarzan and Arab di Paul Fischer
(Palestina, UK, 2014, 40’) vo. arabo, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Tarzan and Arab tells the story of the Palestinian filmmakers, who, after growing up in a Gaza City devoid of any cinemas, as adults start to make acclaimed films of their own, becoming the new promises of cinema made in Palestine.

From My Syrian Room di Hazem Alhamwi
(Siria, Francia, Germania, Libano, Qatar, 2014, 70’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
How can you keep your humanity in a country where you’re educated to erase in yourself any singularity? In his early years, the Syrian painter and filmmaker Hazem Alhamwi felt free by drawing ob-sessively in his own room. When the Revolution started, he was unable to face this terror immediately. Through his memories, he tells about the will of freedom of a whole country.

In the Sands of Babylon di Mohammed Al-Daradji
(Iraq, UK, 2013, 92’) vo. arabo, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
The last film by multi-award winning Iraqi filmmaker, Mohamed Al-Daradji, it is a hybrid tale set against the backdrop of the closing days of the Gulf War. Ibrahim, an Iraqi soldier, has escaped from Kuwait as the Iraqi army retreats. Facing the perilous journey home, Ibrahim is captured by the republican guard and cast into Saddam’s infamous prisons as traitor. In search of answers about the past, the Director of the film confronts three survivors of the uprising.

A Few Cubic Meters of Love di Jamshid Mahmoudi
(Afghanistan, Iran, 2014, 90’) vo. pashto, persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Somewhere in the outskirts of Tehran a small factory illegally employs Afghan asylum seekers, who live with their families in old containers or modest shacks in nearby shanty towns. Saber, a young Iranian worker, secretly meets Marona, daughter of Abdolsalam, an Afghan worker. A love story unfolds, the conclusion of which no-one can foretell.

Fest of Duty di Firouzeh Khosrovani
(Iran, 2014, 60’), vo persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
For Muslims, puberty begins at nine years old. In Iran, this occasion is celebrated with a party that remains etched in the memory of the girls. Eight years later, the filmmaker visits two of the girls she filmed: the cousins and former best friends Melika and Maryam. What’s been happening to them in the meantime?

Censored Voices by Mor Loushy
(Israele, 2015, 84’) vo. ebraico, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
One week after the 1967 ‘Six-Day’ war, a group of young kibbutzinks, led by renowned author Amos Oz and Editor Avraham Shapira, recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing only a fragment of the conversations to be published. “Censored Voices” reveals these original recordings for the first time.

Our Terrible Country di Mohammad Ali Atassi, Ziad Homsi
(Siria, Libano, 2014, 85’) vo. arabo, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Our Terrible Country is a film about the wounds of Syria through the perilous journey of Yassin Al-Haj Saleh and Ziad Homsi. They travel together in an arduous, dangerous route from the liberated area of Douma/Damascus to Raqqa in northern Syria, to find themselves forced to leave their home country for a temporary exile in Turkey. Our Terrible Country is not only a film that is incredibly urgent and timely, but it’s also an act of resistance that portrays the ground zero of current human condition at its bare bones.

The Wanted 18 di Amer Shomali e Paul Cowan
(Palestina, Francia, Canada, 2014, 75’) vo. arabo, ebraico, inglese sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
During the First Palestinian Intifada a group of townspeople in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour decide to buy eighteen cows and produce their own milk, seeking to create an alternative economy as a stepping stone towards self-sufficiency and sovereignty. Their venture is so successful that the collective farm becomes a landmark, until the Israeli army takes note and declares that the cows pose “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.

Life May Be di Mania Akbari e Mark Cousins
(Iran, UK, 2014, 80’) vo. Inglese, persiano, sottotitoli: inglese, italiano
An epistolary dialogue between Mark Cousins, a famous British director, and Mania Akbari, an actress discovered by Kiarostami and today a renown director. A comparison on the diversity of culture, gender and artistic sensibility that involves the viewer as in the most fascinating love stories.

Yol di Yilmaz Güney, Serif Gören
(Turchia, Svizzera, Francia, 1981, 109′) vo. turco, inglese, persiano, sottotitoli: italiano
Yol (“The Road”) is the masterpiece by Yılmaz Güney, a portrait of Turkey in the aftermath of the 1980 Turkish coup d’état: its people and its authorities are shown via the stories of five prisoners given a week’s home leave.

Ich Liebe Dich di Emine Emel Balci
(Turchia, Germania, 2012, 75’) vo. turco, tedesco, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Ich Liebe Dich tells the story of peasant women from one of the most remote and impoverished parts of Turkey as they attempt to reunite with their migrant worker husbands in Germany. To comply with a new German immigration law, these women must learn German, if they want to join their husbands.

Peau du Colle di Kaouther Ben Hani
(Tunisia, Francia, 2013, 23’) vo.  arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Amira, 5 years old, doesn’t like school. In order to avoid going there she finds an unstoppable idea that goes beyond her expectations…

Almost Friends di Nitzan Ofir & Barak Heymann
(Israele, 2014, 60’) vo.  arabo, ebraico, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Two girls, an Arab and an Israeli, meet online. As participants in a program combining education and technology, their relationship starts from online correspondence. Meeting face-to-face adds an exciting, tense and often surprising component to the two girls’ lives.

Memories on Stone di Shawkat Amin Korki
(Iraq, Germania, Qatar, 2014, 97’) vo. curdo, arabo, persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
After the fall of the regime in Iraq, childhood friends Hussein and Alan decide to produce a film about the Al Anfal Kurdish genocide. But making a film in postwar Kurdistan is a nightmarish experience, the most difficult task being to find a lead actress. Through the trials and tribulations of his protagonists, which he treats with a subtle humour, the director gives us a poignant glimpse of contemporary Kurdish society.



Rise di Ali F. Mostafa
(EAU, Canada, 2015, 14’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Set in 2025, RISE is an ego trip, a short music film where businessman Jamal El-Nargisee finds himself battling a personal coup.

The Policeman’s House di Mich’ael Zupraner
(Israele, Palestina, 2013, 25’) vo. ebraico, arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Provocatively constructed around Mich’ael Zupraner’s precarious position as an Israeli Jew living in the Palestinian city of Hebron, the film alternates a gaze looking out of and one looking into his house, with a series of rumours, lies, and half-truths about his presence that circulate among his Arab and Jewish neighbours.

The Runner di Mohannad Eissa [Tripoli Stories]
(Libia, UK, 2014, 4’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
The story of what happened to Libyan runner Tari Al Shibli when he revealed his tattooed independence flag after winning international race.

The Journey di Hana Makki
(Emirati Arabi, 2012, 15’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
A conversation between a young Ethiopian housemaid arriving in a new country and her older Indian Taxi Driver. On their journey we discover these invisible expatriates’ hopes, dreams and realities.

Stuffed Fish di Baran Jafari
(Iran, 2014, 6’), vo persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Shirin returns to Iran a day earlier than she was supposed to without informing anyone, and she plans to surprise Amir by the stuffed fish she is going to make…

Feeding 500 di Rafed Al Harth
(Emirati Arabi, 2013, 20’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
How many days can a person go on feeding stray cats? For Sediq, it has been 15 years. We gain insight into his daily life as he faces hostility, sympathy…

The Neighbour di Nayla Al Khaja
(Emirati Arabi, 2013, 18’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Sarah moves to Dubai to make a fresh start, leaving behind a tragedy. Her interactions with an elderly neighbor force her out of isolation, and she slowly confronts her past. Little by little, she opens her heart until one careless act threatens to destroy this new bond.

The Journey di Hana Makki
(Emirati Arabi, 2012, 15’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
A conversation between a young Ethiopian housemaid arriving in a new country and her older Indian Taxi Driver. On their journey we discover these invisible expatriates’ hopes, dreams and realities.

Freej di Mohammed Saeed Harib
(Emirati Arabi, 2013, 19’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Middle East’s first 3D animated series, FREEJ is the tale of four old national women living in a secluded neighborhood in modern day Dubai. The show’s main characters, Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Allawi and Um Khammas, try to live a peaceful life in the midst of the ever-expanding city around them. Episode 1: MARGARET (Series 4), 19 min.

Shouk di Dotan Moreno
(Israele, 2014, 18’) vo. ebraico, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
A teenager lives under the shadow of his controlling mother in Israeli periphery. Beneath their day to day survival, the film explores questions of marginality and poverty in a society searching for its identity.

Land of Men di Kelly Ali  [Tripoli Stories]
(Libia, UK, 2014, 4’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Libyan women had so many dreams post 2011 revolution. Whatever happened to them?

Angelus Novus di Aboozar Amini
(Afghanistan, Paesi Bassi, UK, 2015, 25’) vo. pashto, persiano, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Afghani refugee Ali and his brother have just arrived in Turkey where they earn their living shining shoes. When one day their spot has been taken, their fragile existence and dreams hang by a thread.

Maternity Leave di Moran Ifergan
(Israele, 2014, 7’) vo. ebraico, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
A young mother, the director and main character of the film, closes herself inside her house in Jerusalem with her newborn. She looks outside at the world through her camera.

With Premeditation di Tarzan & Arab
(Palestina, 2014, 5’) vo. arabo, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Prayer is an act of virtue that involves the deepest respect for God, humility and dedication. But when prayer becomes a daily habit just practiced only to maintain a certain social status or power, it becomes a disaster.

The Mosque di Farag Al- Sharif [Tripoli Stories]
(Libia, UK, 2014, 4’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Post 2011 Libyan revolution, Tripoli saw a series of attacks by religious extremists damaging Sufi shrines such as the beautiful 18th century Ahmed Pasha Karamanli mosque.

The Sandwich Maker di Samer S. Omar [Tripoli Stories]
(Libia, UK, 2014, 4’) vo. arabo, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
Retirement is not an option for Tripoli most famous sandwich maker.

High Hopes di Guy Davidi
(Palestina, 2014, 14’) vo. arabo, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
The film focuses on the 1997-1998 forced transfer of West Bank Bedouin for the expansion of one of the largest Israeli settlements, Ma’ale Adumim, during the Oslo peace process, using archive material from the BBC and Associated Press, including landmark testimony by the late Edward Said. Soundtrack, donated by Pink Floyd.

Apartment 10/14 di Tarzan & Arab
(Palestina, 2014, 8’) vo. arabo, inglese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
The fantasy of a man waiting for his woman coming through the Israeli separation wall to celebrate his birthday. All appointments crumble at checkpoints, and the only option left is waiting.

Transit Game di Anna Fahr
(Libano, Canada, USA, 18’, 2014) vo. arabo, francese, sottotitoli: italiano, inglese
A tale of friendship and exile in the northern mountains of Lebanon set against the backdrop of the Syrian war.