The 2012 festival opens with the Canadian premiere of the award winning documentary, The War Around Us, directed by Abdallah Omeish. Set in the winter of 2008, when the first Israeli bombs dropped on Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, the film follows Ayman Mohyeldin and fellow Al Jazeera journalist and friend Sherine Tadros, who found themselves the only Western reporters there to capture it. To watch the film trailer, click here.
One of the highlights of this year's festival is our special programming of Arab film: the Arab World Perspectives. This year's Arab World Perspectives spotlights and celebrates Egypt with the award winning film Microphone by Ahmad Abdalla. Completed on the eve of the remarkable youth-led revolution that ultimately ousted President Mubarak last year, Microphone captures the rarely filmed arts scene in one of Egypt's most vibrant cities. To watch the film trailer, click here.
The 2012 closing film, Habibi by Susan Youssef, is based on the Arabic folkloric story of Layla and Qays (the Arabic Romeo and Juliet), which is re-told, and filmed, in modern day Gaza. The subjects of this tragic romance are two university students studying in the West Bank whose love story is abruptly interrupted after their student visas are revoked by Israel and they are forced to return to their families in Gaza. To watch the film trailer, click here.Er, I think I'll give 'em a pass. Too much overt Israel-bashing; not enough Gravol in the world to keep me from upchucking on fellow film-goers.