NEWS: MIDDLE EAST NOW SUMMER NIGHTS, cinema under the stars on the occasion of Estate Fiorentina 2015

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Three special screenings in Piazza SS. Annunziata: six titles, among premières and awarded films, to present the contemporary Middle East within the calendar of ESTATE FIORENTINA 2015 [Summer in Florence 2015].

“MIDDLE EAST NOW SUmmer Nights. Other Worlds / Other Journeys” make us travel in the Middle East with three summer nights in S.S. Annunziata Square. A brief but intense calendar of open air screenings of feature, documentary and short films that tell us more of the Middle East, an area of the world often in the international radar because of wars and conflicts, but that in fact is among the most dynamic and culturally lively on the planet.

The theme of the journey, intended as a reconstruction of the voices of those who live, work and create art in the Middle East, is the focus of this event that want to turn one of the most beautiful squares of Florence into a stage of experiences and special routes in the large map of the Middle East. Great films of fiction, to enter the heart of complex social issues and award-winning documentaries. In the spotlight countries such as Iran, Israel and Palestine. The films will be introduced by experts of the field and personalities, engaged in developing a debate with the audience and in the promotion of the contemporary culture from the Middle East.

Location: Piazza S.S. Annunziata – Arena estiva “Apriti Cinema!”
Dates: Tuesday 30 June, Friday 3 July, Tuesday 7 July
Time: 9.30pm
Free entrance



TUESDAY 30 June – 9.30 pm
Presentation by Felicetta Ferraro (curator of the Iran and Afghanistan programme), with the special music performance by the journalist  Giovanni Bogani 

No Land's Song_Middle East Now
No Land’s Song
 by Ayat Najafi [Middle East Now 2015 Audience Award Winner]

(Iran, Germany, France, 2014, 90’)
Director Ayat Najafi follows Sara Najafi’s preparations as she courageously plans an evening of Iranian and French female soloists to rebuild shattered cultural bridges. The Islamic revolution of 1979 banned female singers from appearing in public in Iran. They are no longer allowed to perform solo, unless to an exclusively female audience. Recordings of former female icons can only be bought on the black market. But Sara is determined to refresh the cultural memory by roaming Tehran in the footsteps of famous singers of the 1920s and 1960s. A political thriller and a musical journey, No Land’s Song never loses sight of its real centre – the female voice.

to follow:
Angelus Novus by Aboozar Amini [Best Short by NYU Florence 2015]

(Afghanistan, Paesi Bassi, UK, 2015, 25’)

FRIDAY 3 JULY – 9.30 pm
Special screening in collaboration with Oxfam Italia. Presentation by Umiliana Grifoni (head of Middle East and North Africa programme – Oxfam Italia), with the video contribution by Simone Cammilli

Peau du Colle by Kaouther Ben Hani

(Tunisia, France, 2013, 23’)


 by Amer Shomali e Paul Cowan

(Palestine, France, Canada, 2014, 75’)
Through stop-motion animation, drawings and interviews, directors Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan recreate an astonishing true story from the First Palestinian Intifada: the Israeli army’s pursuit of eighteen cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared “a threat to the national security of the state of Israel.”

TUESDAY 7 JULY – 9.30 pm

Apartment 10/14 by Tarzan & Arab
(Palestine, 2014, 8’)

Villa Touma
 by Suha Arraf – Tuscany Première

(Palestine, 2014, 85’)
Award-winning screenwriter Suha Arraf (The Syrian Bride, Lemon Tree) makes her feature directorial debut with this story of spirited eighteen-year-old orphan Badia, whose arrival at the Ramallah home of her three spinster aunts unleashes a torrent of family secrets and long-held grudges.

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Photo by Mehran Falsafi