Arab Film Series online Aziza (2019) dir Soudade Kaadan

Arab Film Series online

Posted: May 2, 2020

The Arab Film Series online

ArteEast partnered with the Arab American National Museum, the Arab Film and Media Institute, and Cinetopia Film Festival, to bring together a wide range of new and classic films by Arab and Arab American filmmakers.

Brooklyn Inshallah (2019) Dir. Ahmed Mansour
3 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020

Free; $5 suggested donation
RSVP for streaming link

Khader El-Yateem is Palestinian American, a practicing Lutheran pastor, and, he hopes, the first Arab American on the New York City Council. Having grown up amidst conflict before emigrating to the U.S., Father K works to alleviate the mounting fears of the diverse but marginalized Arab American community of Bay Ridge following the 2016 presidential election. With the support of political activist Linda Sarsour, he mounts the campaign of a lifetime, taking viewers into the heart of identity politics.

The film will be introduced with opening remarks by Linda Sarsour, and directly following the screening we will be joined by director Ahmed Mansour and Father Khadr El-Yateem for an intimate talkback.

United States / Documentary / 83 minutes / In English and Arabic with English Subtitles


10 Days Before the Wedding (2018) dir. Amr Gamal

10 Days Before the Wedding (2018) dir. Amr Gamal

3 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020

Free; $5 suggested donation

Rasha and Ma’moon, a young Yemeni couple, were set to get married but the war of 2015 stood in the way of their wedding.  After so much suffering, they try the best they can to make it happen in 2018.  But yet again, obstacles appear—except this time it’s not the war, but its aftermath. From evacuating their homes to dealing with warring parties controlling certain areas to the economic crisis, the couple struggles to race against time to make sure the wedding of their dreams happens on time.

Following the screening we will be joined by director Amr Gamal for an intimate talkback hosted by Romooz Foundation director and current AANM artist-in residence Ibi Ibrahim. 

Yemen / Drama / 120 minutes / Rated R for Explicit Language / In Arabic with English Subtitles


Yemeni Stories Told by Yemeni Filmmakers + Talkback
3 PM EDT on Sunday, July 26, 2020
Yemen, United States / Documentary / 60 minutes / Rated PG13 /
In Arabic and English with English subtitles

Following the screening was an intimate talkback with several Yemeni filmmakers from across the world.

Free. Suggested donations benefit Yemen Aid

In partnership with Romooz Foundation, the Arab Film Series presents an afternoon of Yemeni documentary short films, created and told through the eyes of Yemeni filmmakers. These short films showcase the impact the war in Yemen has had and continues to make on the Yemeni community throughout the world.

These films uplift the voices of Yemeni filmmakers and their experiences. These are their stories.

The Bleaching Syndrome (2018) dir. Iman Mirghani
3 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 2020

Free; suggested donations benefit Detroit Justice Center

Eiman Mirghani, an Afro-Arab filmmaker living in Qatar, sets out to make a documentary about a Sudanese beautician who, like many other Sudanese women today, bleaches her skin as part of her “beauty routine”. After coming across challenges in making the film, particularly in which the woman becomes hesitant in speaking openly about the subject, Mirghani begins to look inwards regarding this increasing trend, turning the camera around on her relationship with her own “blackness”. She looks to find answers towards her lifelong feelings of unworthiness and underrepresentation in a world that is discreetly but deeply intolerant.

A virtual talkback with director Eiman Mirghani followed the screening.

Qatar / Short Documentary / 20 minutes / Rated PG 13 / In Arabic and English with Arabic and English subtitles

“Eccomi…Eccoti (Here I am…Here you are)” (2017) dir. Raed Rafei

Eccomi…Eccoti (Here I am…Here you are) (2017) dir. Raed Rafei
3 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 2020

FREE with suggested $5 donation

“Eccomi…Eccoti” unfolds as a virtual road trip navigating between Italy and Lebanon. Conditioned to live in a long-distance relationship with his partner because of strict European visa regulations, the director patches together the shared moments in an attempt to create a possible day-to-day reality for the couple. With a lyrical, ambient soundscape set atop a dreamy visual style oscillating between still photography and moving images, the film explores what it means to be gay in contemporary Beirut, and the existential discomfort that blocks one from reaching a sense of completeness.

Italy, Lebanon / 68 minutes / Arabic, French, Italian and English with English subtitles

Cairo Drive  (2014) dir. Sherief Elkatsha
3 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 31, 2020

Free/donation optional  

Using the road as an analogy for life in Cairo, Cairo Drive explores the unique personality of Egyptians as they go about their daily struggle of simply moving about the city. The film introduces its audience to the contrast between residents of the massive city, from different walks of life and displays how those differences are often erased when they have to share Cairo’s congested roads.

Egypt / 79 minutes / In Arabic with English Subtitles

Following the film was a talkback with Egyptian American director Sherief Elkatsha, moderated by ArteEast board member and CEO of Arab Foundations Forum, Naila Farouky.

Salam (2018) dir. Claire Fowler

Arab American Shorts Program
2 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 10

This Mother’s Day, to honor all of the amazing women and mothers in our lives, we are showcasing some of the best short films that highlight Arab American women making an impact, all directed by women! Whether standing up for their beliefs, finding their voice or changing the course of history (literally!), these Arab Americans make us proud by sharing their strength, multifaceted lives and passion with the world.

All films in Arabic with English subtitles.

Directors Darine Hotait (Like Salt) and Suha Araj (Pioneer High) appeared for a post-film talkback!


“Aziza” (2019) dir. Soudade Kaadan

Arab World Shorts Program
2 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 2, 2020

With everything going on in the world right now, taking a detour through great cinema can be a helpful escape. These short films, all screened at a previous AANM Arab Film Festival, tackle serious issues through elements of comedy and animation. Whether taking us on an out-of-body experience, exploring a lifestyle change or dealing with unexpected visitors, these beautiful short films give us a glimpse into the complex problems and interesting situations we can find ourselves in.

All films in Arabic and/or English with English subtitles. Total runtime: 61 minutes.

Directors Basil Khalil (Ave Maria) and Khalid Salim (Veganize It!) will appear for a post-film talkback.

When Monaliza Smiled (2012)
7 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 23

A romantic comedy about a love story between Jordanian Monaliza and Egyptian Hamdi, set in present-day Amman among a community of nosy and quirky characters.

Dir. Fadi Haddad
Rated PG-13
95 minutes
Arabic with English subtitles

The screening was followed by an interview with Director Fadi Haddad.

Life is Waiting — Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara (2015)
7 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 16

After having its Michigan premiere at the AANM Arab Film Festival last year, Life is Waiting — Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara returns as the first online screening in the Arab Films Online series.

Most people think that colonialism in Africa has ended. But in Western Sahara, the end of European rule gave way to a new occupation, by Morocco. More than four decades later, the Sahrawi people face arrests, torture and disappearances for demanding their independence.

Dir. Iara Lee
Rated PG-13
2015/Western Sahara
61 minutes
Arabic, Hassaniya, Spanish, English and French with English subtitles