• March 07, 2018
  • Iraq Solidarity News (Al-Thawra)
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The annual Arab Film Festival is heading into its 13th year with a funding boost from the Knights Arts Challenge. The festival returns May 31 to June 10 as part of the regional Cinetopia Film Festival. 

The festival will present films from the Arab World and Arab America in the genres of drama, comedy and documentary, in both short-form and feature lengths. The focus of this year’s festival is amplifying marginalised voices through film. 

With grant funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, AFF will showcase films that present the depth of Arab and Arab American culture by expanding the museum’s annual film festival, including panels and workshops led by artists and filmmakers with topics that include culture, race, sexuality and otherness. 

“This year we’re adding new components to the program that are specifically aimed at giving a platform and providing resources to people whose voices are underrepresented in film,” AFF Curator Dave Serio said. “It’s really important for people to get a more detailed view of what it means to live in the Arab World, or to be Arab in the United States.” 

Other programming will include hands-on workshops that are meant to serve as a resource for Arab American filmmakers and immersive cultural programs like food tours and an Iftar dinner. 

“It’s through films that issues of today are highlighted, offering us different perspectives and the opportunity to broaden our own perspectives,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president of arts at the Knight Foundation. “Filmmakers tell our stories, build empathy and connect us to one another and to our cites. We’re delighted by how this festival is growing to bring more voices to Cinetopia.” 

Screenings will take place at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor as part of the Cinetopia Film Festival. Visit cinetopiafestival.org for a full schedule and other details. 

by Andrea Blum


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