As in previous years the festival launches with a screening in the Leeds International Film Festival. The title will have three screenings and will then be followed by a further six titles, mainly in single events. There are a number of venues and some screenings have a speaker and/or a Q&A. And there is an event where one can enjoy two titles with Middle Eastern food in between: an evening with a choir and screening: and all through the festival there is a photographic exhibition. The festival webpages have full in formation on the titles, screenings, venues and the supporting events.
Mediterranean Fever, Palestine/Germany/France/Cyprus/Qatar / 2022 / 108 mins Arabic with English subtitles – Director Maha Haj. LIFF screening at the Vue in the Light from Nov. 10th
This subtly tender film tackles the dynamics of male friendship and the strain of living under occupation. It focuses on the daily struggles of Haifa’s Arab community, as two middle-aged frenemies develop an unexpected relationship and are drawn together by a series of terrifying events.
The film depicts a gentle drama about depression and life decisions, concentrating on the interaction between two neighbours, one of whom dreams of becoming a writer and the other who may hold the key to make this dream a reality. As the film concludes, we are reminded that we are always in the dark about what others are going through.
Premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain regard section, and won the Prize for Best Screenplay.
Fadia’s Tree, Sarah Beddington / UK / 2022 / 68 mins / Arabic, English, English subtitles
Seven Arts Friday November 18 2022 7:00pm
Sarah Beddington’s film is a compelling documentary account of the director’s friendship with Fadia, a charismatic Palestinian woman and teacher who lives in a refugee camp in Lebanon but yearns to reconnect with her ancestral village in Palestine.
The film spans 15 years, during which time Beddington agreed to make the journey that Fadia was prevented from taking to the home village she has never seen – to find the mulberry tree that has taken on a totemic significance for generations of her displaced family.
Following directions from a blind man, and weaving in studies of migratory birds, Beddington’s journey carries a potent symbolic weight.
Speaker: Susan Simnett, producer of Fadia’s Tree
Love and Resistance in the Films of Mai Masri
Double-bill – Q&A with Victoria Britain – delicious Middle Eastern buffet
Wheeler Hall Saint Annes Street – Monday 21 November 2022 4-7.15pm
Frontiers of Dreams & Fears, Mai Masri / Palestine / 2001 / 56 mins
A tender insight into the lives of Palestinian children growing up in refugee camps. Although Mona and Manar live in camps miles apart, a friendship is forged through barbed wire and walls of concrete.
Hanan Ashrawi: A Woman of her Time, Mai Masri / Palestine / 1996 / 50 mins
An intimate portrait of a formidable political activist and former spokesperson for the PLO who rejected a position in government in favour of human rights advocacy. The film explores how she juggles her responsibilities as political activist, writer, and mother—all against the backdrop of challenges facing the Palestinians in their struggle to build a viable state.
Roadmap to Apartheid, Ana Nogueira & Eron Davidson / South Africa/Israel / 2012 / 94 mins
Slung Low at The Holbeck – Friday November 25 2022 7:30pm
The analogy of the Palestinian experience under Israeli occupation as apartheid is dissected in a forensic comparison with the history of apartheid in South Africa. Eye-witness accounts and unseen archive material are included.
In 2021 and 2022, Amnesty International as well as prominent Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups issued reports condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid, a crime against humanity. This film remains one of the most insightful accounts of why this condemnation is valid. The Directors are a white South African and an Israeli.
Speaker / Q&A with Robert Cohen.
Winner of Milano International Film Festival Award 2012
Tantura, Alon Schwarz / Israel / 2022 / 85 mins
THE HEART – Sunday November 27 2022 1:30pm
In the late 1990s, a graduate student conducted research into an alleged massacre at Tantura. His work later came under attack and his reputation was ruined, but 140 hours of audio testimonies remain. Israelis insist that the massacre never happened, while Palestinians view it as a hell that can’t be forgotten.
In this astute documentary, Israeli Director Alon Schwarz re-explores this, one of the most memorable massacres in 1948. He revisits vanished records and re-interviews ex-soldiers, now in their 90s, who recall unsettling acts of war while disquietly pausing at points they either don’t remember or won’t speak of.
His controversial and heated film shatters the silence of self-preservation among the Israeli community in regard to what happened during the massacre and how they protected it from exposure throughout the years, shaping and affecting the history of many generations.
Speaker: Dr Kholoud Al-Ajarma.
Boycott, Julia Bacha / USA / 2021 / 70 minutes / English
Otley Courthouse – Sunday 27 November 7.30 p.m.: Wheeler Hall – December 9th 6.30 p.m.
When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across 33 states in America.
Boycott traces the impact of state legislation designed to penalise individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. A legal thriller with ‘accidental plaintiffs’ at the centre of the story, Boycott is a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation and an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect their rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech.
Speakers. Jenny Lynn – Ben Jamal
Eye Witness – singing, film and food
Chapel FM Arts Centre – Sunday 4 December 2022 3pm – 5pm
We are delighted to offer you two eye-witness accounts of life under occupation, both reflecting the power of solidarity. The singing and film will be followed by refreshments.
The singers are fresh from a solidarity visit from Sheffield to Palestine in October. They travelled around the West Bank, visited projects and met many community activists, witnessing first-hand the brutality of life under Israeli occupation. They sang wherever they went. They will share their songs and discuss what they learnt.
Tour Wadi Hilweh, Silwan 18mins
Sahar Abassi is a community activist and Deputy Director of the Madaa-Silwan Creative Centre She gives us a personal tour of the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, where an art project with Art Forces from the USA reinforces local resistance to the ethnic cleansing of the neighbourhood.
Humans of Palestine – Unique exhibition showcasing top Palestinian photographers
Otley Courthouse, 1st – 28th November
Launch event 2 November 5 – 6.30pm with speaker