Film Schedule

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Maryam Touzani - Morocco, France - 98 mins

Actresses Lubna Azabal and Nisrin Erradi turn a simple story about an unwed Moroccan girl who is pregnant into gold in Maryam Touzani's directing debut. Premiering in competition in this year's Cannes Film Festival, Adam opens with Samia, pregnant and living on the street, going door-to-door begging for work. She encounters Abla (Azabal), a single mother deeply ... more

Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche - Israel, Canada, Switzerland - 108 mins

Lea Tsemel calls herself a losing lawyer, because every case she has taken was lost. She has spent nearly 50 years representing Palestinians in an increasingly conservative Israel, earning the sobriquet "the devil's advocate" in her native Israel for her decades of work championing Palestinians accused of resisting the occupation. We meet Tsemel and the team ... more

Arab Blues
Manele Labidi - France - 88 mins

Winner of the Audience Award at the Venice Film Festival. After 10 years of living in Paris, Selma has returned to Tunis in an incisive comedy about coming home, breaking taboos, and building community. Back home, Selma's younger cousin can't figure out why she'd leave the French capital, her aunt is overbearing, and her uncle is only giving her a matter of weeks ... more

Baghdad in My Shadow
Samir - Switzerland, Germany, UK, Iraq - 105 mins

In his latest thriller-drama, award-winning filmmaker Samir's ambitious feature elevates discussions surrounding women's rights, the plague of extremism ensnaring young lost Muslim men in Europe and other controversial issues. The ensemble film revolves around a group of Iraqi immigrants and once idealistic socialists who regularly meet and work at London's Café ... more

Diamond Dust
Marwan Hamed - Egypt - 154 mins

A web of corruption emerges in the multilayered revenge thriller by prominent Egyptian director Marwan Hamed (The Yacoubian Building, Filmfest DC '07, The Originals, Arabian Sights '17). Loosely based on one of Egypt's best-selling novels by Ahmed Mourad, this Cairo-set vigilante story follows Taha, a pharmacist who leads a dreary life with his wheelchair-bound ... more

Escape from Raqqa
Emmanuel Hamon - France - 102 mins

A gripping contemporary thriller set partially inside the Islamic State, Escape from Raqqa is based on the true story of a French woman who voluntarily took her child to Syria and wound up a prisoner in the titular ISIS stronghold. Unbeknownst to her husband Sylvain, Faustine leaves Paris with her five-year-old son to join ISIS in Syria. But when she realizes ... more

The Guest
Hadi El Bagoury - Egypt - 99 mins

Today, there are only a few films where plot twists can truly surprise the seasoned viewer. This one, however, has several. Dr. Yehia Al Tigany is a writer and thinker who lives a stable family life with his wife Mimi and his daughter Farida. His views against religious extremism and his ambitious ideas to renew religious discourse bring him accusations of blasphemy ... more

Home After War
Gayatri Parameswaran - Iraq, Germany, US - 20 mins

Home After War is an interactive virtual reality (VR) experience that takes you to Fallujah, Iraq, a city that was, until recently, under Islamic State (IS) control. The war against IS has ended but the city is still unsafe. There's one looming fear for returning refugees – booby trapped homes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the neighborhoods. Since ... more

OPENING NIGHT - followed by a party
It Must Be Heaven
Elia Suleiman - France, Qatar, Germany, Canada, Palestine - 97 mins

In his fifth feature, which garnered a Jury Special Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Elia Suleiman explores the world with his trademark, wide-eyed wonder. In a series of comic vignettes shot in international locales, famed Palestinian director Elia Suleiman investigates the meanings of nationalism, normality, identity and exile. A church in Nazareth ... more

New Biz in the Hood!
Mohamed Hamidi - France - 90 mins

New Biz in the Hood follows the shenanigans of a high-strung, smooth-talking, 40-something Parisian marketing exec who runs a small business. Things seem to be going fairly well for Frederic ever since he landed a big new client for his company. The hitch is that French authorities have caught on to a tax scheme he ran for years, and after a heated audit, Frederic ... more

Rashid & Rajab
Mohammed Saeed Harib - UAE - 105 mins

This witty and engaging farce puts a fresh spin on the body swap comedy formula as Rashid a high-powered Emirati business executive, and Rajab an easygoing Egyptian deliveryman, find themselves learning to walk in each other's shoes (literally) following a freak accident. After swapping bodies, nice-but-dim Rajab gets a much nicer house out of the deal, but struggles ... more

Short Cuts
various - various - 90 mins

This year's collection features Aziza directed by Soudade Kaadan (Lebanon/Syria), What Remains directed by Areej Mahmoud (USA), The President's Visit directed by Cyril Aris (Lebanon/USA/Qatar), Ambience directed by Wisam Al Jafari (Palestine), Dunya's Day directed by Raed Alsemari (Saudi Arabia/USA), and Are You Volleyball?! directed by Mohammad Bakhshi ... more

What Have We Done to Deserve This?
Eva Spreitzhofer - Austria - 92 mins

Humorous and filled with quirky dialogue, director Eva Spreitzhofer and her brilliant ensemble cast manage to pull off a magnificently biting comedy about tolerance and the limits thereof. For Vienna resident Wanda, an adamant atheist and feminist, her worst nightmare has come true when her teenage daughter Nina converts to Islam, asks to be addressed as Fatima ... more


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