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Film Screening: Award-winning Films From the San Francisco Arab Film Festival

Film - Series: Arab Film Festival | March 14 | 5 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 340 Stephens Hall

Center for Middle Eastern Studies

The CMES is proud to present the winners of the 2012 Outstanding Arab Film Awards from the San Francisco Arab Film Festival (AFF). The AFF screens films from and about the Arab World that provide realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history and politics. The following films are the recipients of the Outstanding Short Narrative, Short Documentary and Honorable Mention for Outstanding Documentary.

Farewell Exile
Directed by Lamia Alami
Outstanding Short Narrative | Morocco | 2011 | 15 min.

In the midst of an underprivileged Moroccan neighborhood, Fatima is waiting anxiously for her immigration papers so she can join her husband who migrated to France over a year ago. The absence of the husband, the misery that surrounds her, the lack of job opportunities and finances, along with the harmful environment that her naïve ten-year-old son, Mohammed, is immersed in gives her very little hope. Will the husband’s letter potentially secure a brighter future for her son or will she have to make a crucial sacrifice?

Karama Has No Walls
Directed by Sara Ishaq
Outstanding Short Documentary | Yemen | 2012 | 26 min.

Set amidst Yemen’s 2011 uprising, the nature of the Yemeni revolution is illustrated in stark contrast to the gross violations of human rights that took place on the Friday of Karama (Dignity), 18th March, 2011. Through the lenses of two cameramen and the accounts of two fathers, the film retells the story of the people behind the statistics and news reports by encapsulating the tragic events of the day as they unfolded, from a peaceful prayer gathering to a warzone. This day marks the turning point in Yemen’s revolution.

Directed by Rami Nihawi
Honorable Mention for Outstanding Documentary | Lebanon | 2011 | 70 min.

The complexities of personal memory, silence and Lebanon are drawn out by way of Rami Nihawi’s affecting film, Yamo. Situated beside recollections of the filmmaker's mother, Nawal, the boundaries between personal history and national history become increasingly blurred as questions of family memory and 'what happened' post-1975 are explored. At times a participatory documentary donned with voice-over and interviews, at others, an experimental non-linear venture into a dream-like account of Nihawi’s (and Lebanon’s) past, Yamo captures what it means to remember, to recollect – and the process of forgetting that cannot be divorced from the remembered event.