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FILM FESTIVAL | Gaza on Screen

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All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 11, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University 1180 Amsterdam Ave, Room 612

Paper Boat (2017) directed by Mahmoud Abu Ghalwa.

A shelter in Gaza during a bombing. A young couple waits in the small claustrophobic room. She is pregnant, but how can she give life to a human being in these conditions? The future father is lost in the memories of his childhood. A reflection on freedom, slavery and surrender, sustained by a pressing emotional tension. Director in attendance.

Degrade (2015) directed by Ahmad Abu Nasser and Mohammed Abu Nasser.

The Gaza Strip today. Christine’s beauty salon is crowded with female clients: a bitter divorcée, a religious woman, a woman addicted to prescription drugs and a young bride-to-be, among others. However, their leisure is disrupted when gunfire breaks out across the street. A gangland family has stolen the lion from Gaza’s zoo, and Hamas has decided it is time to settle old scores. Imprisoned in the salon, the women begin to unravel.

Friday, April 12, 2019
10:00 AM - Noon
Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University, 1180 Amsterdam Ave, Room 612

Scenes from the Occupation in Gaza (1973) directed by Mustafa Abu Ali.

A work created from a French news report about the Gaza Strip that Abu Ali re-edited, adding additional footage and a new commentary. This is the only film produced by the Palestinian Cinema Group, a large collective of Palestinian and Arab filmmakers and artists who came together in 1973 for the purposes of creating a vibrant Palestinian revolutionary cinema.

Voices from Gaza (1989) directed by Antonia Caccia and Maysoon Pachachi.

Voices from Gaza is the first full-length documentary produced after the start of the first Palestinian intifada. With minimal commentary, it allows the people of Gaza - 70% of whom are refugees - to tell their seldom-heard story. In the film Palestinian men, women, and children speak frankly about the effect of Israel’s occupation on their lives, but also about their organized and empowering grassroots resistance to the occupation.

Gaza Diary (2001) directed by Taysir Batniji.

Combining still and moving images, Batniji’s short experimental film invites reflection on daily life and violence.

Al-Wafaa (2014) directed by Yassir Murtaja.

Al-Wafaa is the sole hospital in the Gaza Strip that serves the needs of the disabled. This is the story recounted by its staff and patients of their experience being shelled and bombed during the 2014 Israeli attack.

Shuja’iyah: Land of the Brave (2014) Directed by Hadeel Assali.

Shuja’iyah: Land of the Brave represents one filmmaker’s personal reflection on the meaning of “crimes against humanity” in the context of Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ waged in the Gaza Strip in 2014. Juxtaposing footage of her family filmed in the summer of 2013 against audio from the summer of 2014 Assali poses the question, when we say ‘crimes against humanity’, what ‘humanity’ are we talking about?” Director in attendance.

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, Room 511

Daggit Gaza (2009) directed by Hadeel Assali and Iman Saqr.

Politics, food, and family are the topics of a phone conversation between Houston and Gaza that serves as voiceover commentary to the preparation of a spicy tomato salad.

Ouroboros (2017) directed by Basma Alsharif.

Ouroboros is acclaimed visual artist Basma Alsharif’s first feature film. This experimental film is an homage to the Gaza Strip and to the possibility of hope based on the eternal return. The film follows a man through five different landscapes, upending mass-mediated representation of trauma. The film is a journey outside of time, marking the end as the beginning and exploring the subject of the eternal return and how we move forward when all is lost.

4:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Dodge Hall, Columbia University 2960 Broadway, Room 511

Masterclass with Abdel Salam Shehada

Abdel Salam Shehada will talk about dreams and reality, images and imagination. He will share stories from his life, his beginnings in film as a cameraman and a visual album of his journey.

7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University 1180 Amsterdam Ave, Room 501

Samouni Road (2018) directed by Stefano Savona.

In the rural outskirts of Gaza City a small community of farmers, the Samouni extended family, is about to celebrate a wedding. This will be the first celebration since the latest war. Amal, Fuad, their brothers and cousins have lost their parents, their houses and their olive trees. The neighborhood where they live is being rebuilt. As they replant trees and plow fields, they face their most difficult task: piecing together their own memories. Through these young survivors’ recollections, Samouni Road conveys a deep, multifaceted portrait of a family before, during, and after the tragic event that changed its life forever. Winner of the L’Œil d’or prize for best documentary at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
10:00 AM - Noon
Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, Room 511

My 3 Dreams (2018) directed by Mohamed Nayef Ahmed Ali, Birzeit University.

In Gaza, Mohammed Mahani dreams of race cars, playing oud, and karate. 5.03. Director joining via videoconference.

Dema (2015) directed by Amjad M. A. Al Fayoumi. Al-Azhar University.

Too young to be a bride. 3.15.

Seekers for Life (2017) directed by Mahmoud Awad. Al-Aqsa University.

Gaza’s used clothing market. 4.32.

Private Number (2012) directed by Omar Elemawi, Al-Aqsa University.

An unexpected warning. 8.03.

We Love Life (2015) directed by Mohammed S. Ewais. Al-Aqsa University.

A portrait of graffiti artist Bilal Khaled in Gaza. 7.13. Director joining via videoconference.

Moving Dream (2012) directed by Alaa Alaloul. Birzeit University.

Nader dreams of going back to work. 2.00.

The Cage (2016) directed by Khaled Tuaima. Birzeit University.

The hazards of catching birds in Gaza. 6.42.

Parkour on the Rubble of Gaza (2014) directed by Khaled Tuaima. Birzeit University.

A team of athletic daredevils. 2.33.

1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Screening: Two Films by Abdel Salam Shehada
Dodge Hall, Columbia University 2960 Broadway, Room 511

Rainbow (2004) directed by Abdel Salam Shehada.

Of Rainbow, his film essay made in the aftermath of Israel’s 2004 attack on Gaza, Shehada says “These are people who have crossed my path...Some of these rose from among the debris. Carrying their tears, some were looking for answers to worries that haunted them...Others were exhausted by contemplating the reality ...They appeared like me...I used to love the camera and believe in what it could do to transfer the pain...forget sorrows, or may be promise of a better life.”

To My Father (2008) directed by Adel Salam Shehada.

“Those were the days when girls were prettier, when eyes were in all colours, without any colour. What is different now - the camera, or the eyes?” asks Abdel Salam Shehada’s poetic and mesmerizing homage to the studio photographers of the 1950’s - 70’s. Set partly in a refugee camp in Rafah, this is a remarkable look back at fifty years of Palestinian and Arab history, through photographs, reportage and the voices of these photographers today. Director in attendance.

4:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Academic Panel
Avery Hall, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave, Room 114

Gaza Film Between the Event and the Everyday

Nadia Yaqub: Nadia Yaqub is Professor of Arab Culture at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ghazza ala bali: Memory, Place and Trauma in Rashid Masharawi’s Haifa

Kamran Rastegar: Kamran Rastegar is Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Tufts University

Documentary Art Films “About” Gaza

Samirah Alkassim: Samirah Alkassim is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Film and Video Studies at George Mason University. Moderated by Hamid Dabashi: Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Co-sponsored by Studio-X Amman and GSAPP

7:00 PM-9:00 PM
Closing Night
Lenfest Center for the Arts, 615 West 129th Street, Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room

We Will Return (2018) by Ibrahim Ghunayim, Samir al-Burnu, Sami Shahadah, Arkan Gharib, and Faris Abdal-Malik.

A music video by rapper Ibrahim Ghunayim shot at the Great March of Return. Ghunayim has dedicated the song and video to the journalist Yaser Murtaja who was shot and killed by Israeli security forces while reporting on the March in April 2018.

Ambulance (2016) directed by Mohamed Jabaly.

A raw, first-person account of the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014. The filmmaker joins an ambulance crew as war approaches, looking for his place in a territory blockaded under siege, and films their harrowing and heroic lifesaving work. In response to the dark chaos of war, the filmmaker learns to rely on the ambulance captain and crew, who in turn support him to make a film that expresses both the trauma and hope of the Palestinians of Gaza. Director in attendance. Advisory: Graphic war violence.

9:00 PM-10:00 PM
Jerome L. Greene Science Center 3227 Broadway

Join us for a closing reception at Dear Mama Coffee’s location in the New Manhanttanville campus. It is in the southwest corner of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center’s ground floor, facing the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Copies of Nadia Yaqub’s book “Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution” will be available for sale at the opening screening.

Later Event: April 18