11th Arab Film Festival Australia Launches 2012 Program


Arab Film Festival 2012The 11th Arab Film Festival Australia will share the stories and culture of the Arab world with the Australian audience when it screens an impressive program of films from 11 countries during 28 June to 15 July 2012 in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

The 2012 Festival features a powerful line up of short and feature length films, many drawing inspiration from the Arab Spring as festival co-director Mouna Zaylah said “We have seen an explosion of filmmaking since the Arab Spring. This collection of films will take the audience into the hearts and minds of the Arab people during this season of change.”

Opening night of the Festival will feature the Australian premiere of the internationally renowned Palestinian film, HABIBI. Telling a story of love, passion and poetry, this daring film is set against a hostile backdrop in Gaza as a star-crossed couple defies tradition.

Feature film highlights include the documentary NO MORE FEAR that tells the stories of ordinary Tunisians who dared to defy the Ben Ali regime in 2011 and ignite the Arab Spring, and the Australian premiere of the Egyptian film ASMAA, based on a true story about a HIV-positive woman who is refused medical treatment and dares to fight the system.

Highlights on the short films program includes the Australian film TRAB LAUS that follows a woman’s personal journey from Sydney to her roots in Lebanon and FIGHTING FOR AIR, about a young Muslim woman involved in an underground boxing competition.

Zaylah said “The Festival is a place where communities are connected and misrepresentations challenged as we celebrate the complexity, diversity and beauty of these films.”

The Arab Film Festival Australia will launch at the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, before touring to Melbourne and Canberra. For further information visit www.arabfilmfestival.com.au.

The full schedule of features includes:

  • Habibi – Palestine | 2011 | 85 min| Dir: Susan Youssef
  • Asmaa – Egypt | 2011 | 96 min |Dir: Amr Salama
  • No More Fear – Tunisia | 2011 | 74 min| Dir: Mourad Ben Cheikh
  • The Rif Lover – Morocco | 2011 | 91 min | Dir: Narjiss Nejjar
  • The Last Friday – Jordan | 2011 | 88 min | Dir: Yahya Alabdallah
  • Cairo 678 – Egypt | 2010 | 100 min | Dir: Mohamed Diab
  • Tayeb, Khalas, Yalla – Lebanon | 2010 | 93 min | Dir: Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia