Vancity Theatre (Vancouver, Canada) included three films from the Arab world in their current programme, which focuses on award-winning and nominated movies.
The films from the Arab region include Syrian film A Syrian Love Story that will screen on 2 and 3 February, Jordanian film Theeb (9 February), and the Palestinian film Ave Maria that will see several screenings within the movie theatre's section Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action).
Vancity Theatre is the major platform for Vancouver Film Festival (VIFF), which is scheduled to take place in September.
A Syrian Love Story is a documentary by Seam McAllister, who followed a Syrian family over the course of five years, documenting their life of personal and political challenges. At the heart of the film is the troubled love story between Amer, a Palestinian freedom fighter, and Raghda, a left-wing Syrian activist.
The film won the Grand Jury Award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest where it premiered, and the Special Jury Award at the Bigrafilm Festival. It was also nominated at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) for Best Debut, the British Independent Film Awards for Best Documentary, the European Film Awards for Best Documentary, and The Critics Circle for Documentary of the Year.
Theeb tells the story of a young boy who accompanies his brother, an English soldier, and his guide, to a well near the newly established train tracks for his mission.
Theeb has screened in many major festivals and won several awards. At Venice Film Festival Theeb brought Abo Nawar the New Horizons Award for Best Director and in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival it won Best Film from the Arab World, and the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Narrative Feature. Adding to its many awards, the film also won the main award -- The Belgrade Victor -- and the award for Best Script at the 43rd Belgrade International Film Festival (FEST).
Directed by Basil Khalil, Ave Maria is a 14-minute comedy short that tells the story of Palestinian nuns living in the middle of the West Bank and who have their daily routine of silence and prayer disrupted when a family of Israeli settlers’ car breaks down outside their convent at the beginning of the Sabbath. The family needs to get home but cannot operate the phone, while the nuns have taken a vow of silence.
The film will be shown as part of Vacinity Theatre’s programme screening the Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action).
Recently, Ave Maria won the Silver Egg award for Basil Khalil and the Vilko Filač Award for Best Cinematography for Eric Mizrahi at the 8th Küstendorf International Film and Music Festival in Serbia. On the same night, the film also received the special jury recognition for the short film award at Coronado Island Film Festival (CIFF) in the USA.
The film also received the Prix de Hermès (best short film) award at Fréjus Short-Film Festival and competed at the 3rd Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF) in Sudan, which runs until 27 January.
The film was screened in Egypt during the Cairo International Film Festival in November 2014, as part of the Prospects of Arab Cinema Programme. It won the Jury Prize for best cinematography and artistic direction.