4th Toronto Arab Film Festival kicks off

Ahram Online , Thursday 1 Jun 2023

The 4th Toronto Arab Film Festival (TAFF) kicked off on Thursday and continues until 11 June.



The festival brings a large selection of films created by filmmakers from Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, among other Arab countries.

The TAFF's activities - film screenings, workshops and panel discussions - are being held in Toronto and online across Canada.

The festival opens with the winner of the Un Certain Regard award at the the Cannes Film Festival Mediterranean Fever by Maha Haj.

The international compeition invites viewers to screenings at the Revue Cinema, Innis College, 1411_D, and the Goethe Institute, with additional virtual screenings available through the Toronto Arab Film website.

This segment also features Streams by Mehdi Hmili, and A Gaza Weekend by oscar-nominated filmmaker Basil Kahlil, among other movies.

This year’s programme boasts an increased number of Arab-Canadian films, including two feature documentaries: The Desert Rocker by Sara Nacer, a profound portrait of the extraordinary life of the pioneer Gnawa artist Hasna El Becharia; and the comedic saga The Lebanese Burger Mafia, a film by Albertan Omar Mouallem.

The short films in the programme include Kingdom of Strangers by Randa Ali; He's Dead Now by Tarek El Sherbeny; Crocodile Tears by Khaled Moeit; Olive Planet by Shehab Fatoum; Back by Yazan Rabee; A Space Woman by Hadi Moussally; Simo by Aziz Zoromba; 45th Parallel by Lawrence Abu Hamdan; Leila & the Cigarette by Leah Manasseh; and "04.23.2018//A Hail Mary" by Faisal Karadsheh, among others.

The festival also presents numerous cinema industry events such as: panel discussion Unlocking Doors: Exploring Entryways into the Canadian Film Industry; Crafting Compelling Narratives: Story Editing Essentials in Film; Digital Marketing Mastery for Filmmakers & Producers; and more.

The Toronto Arab Film Festival, the first festival of its kind in the largest city in Canadia, focuses on presenting and promoting pan-Arab films by Arab filmmakers from all over the world.

The festival is an extension of the already existing activities of the TAF, which  has held numerous events showcasing Arab cinema to Canadian audiences over the last few years. 

According to the organizers, the aim of TAF and the festival is to "encourage interconnectedness between Arab filmmakers in Toronto and foster filmmakers, which we endeavour to do through the Shabaka initiative, where we support emerging talents through hosting networking events and running filmmaking workshops throughout the year."

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