Thursday, May 4, 6 p.m.
Opening Night Film & Reception at the Chatham Orpheum Theater. Tickets: $25 included reception)*
The 2017 Cape Cod Festival of Arab & Middle Eastern Cinema kicks off wth Assad Fouladkar’s Halal Love (and Sex), a Lebanese comedy about regular everyday people working with their Muslim faith and their romantic entanglements, trying not to sacrifice either. The film will screen after a pre-screening reception featuring Middle Eastern hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
Preceded by the U.S. short film E.A.S. by Kays Al-Atrakchi
*Tickets for Opening Night are only available through the Chatham Orpheum Theater (online or in person):
Friday, May 5, 7 p.m.
Spotlight on Syria: Houses Without Doors by Avo Kaprealian at Wellfleet Preservation Hall. Tickets: $15
This Syrian documentary portrays the changes in the life of an Armenian family on Aleppo’s frontline in Al Midan, an area that brought shelter to the persecuted Armenians 100 years ago and today to many displaced Syrians. From the balcony of his home, the director films with a small camera the changes in his neighborhood and his own family, interweaving his images with extracts from classical films to illustrate the parallels between the Armenian genocide and Syrians’ reality today.
Preceded by the Saudi/U.S. short film Daesh Girl by Abdul Almutairi
Saturday, May 6, 4 p.m.
Tribute to Iranian Filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami: Screening of Taste of Cherry with Introduction by Professor Jamsheed Akrami of William Paterson University at Wellfleet Preservation Hall. Tickets: $15 TICKETS AT THE DOOR TONIGHT
Professor Jamsheed Akrami will introduce the late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s “Taste of Cherry” and discuss the film afterward. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry is an emotionally complex meditation on life and death. Middle-aged Mr. Badii (Homayoun Ershadi) drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran—searching for someone to rescue or bury him. It will be shown preceded by a new Iranian short film dedicated to Kiarostami and followed by discussion with Professor Akrami.
Preceded by the Iranian short film dedicated to Kiarostami: Only Five Minutes by Mohammad Mohammadian
Saturday, May 6, 7 p.m.
Regional Premiere: Tickling Giants by Sara Taksler at Wellfleet Preservation Hall. Tickets: $15 TICKETS AT THE DOOR TONIGHT
In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef makes a decision that’s every mother’s worst nightmare… He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full—time comedian. Dubbed, “The Egyptian Jon Stewart”, Bassem creates the satirical show, Al Bernameg. The weekly program quickly becomes the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averaged two million viewers. In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem’s show becomes as controversial as it popular. He and his staff must endure physical threats, protests, and legal action, all because of jokes.
Preceded by the Iranian short film Light Sight by Seyed M. Tabatabaei
The Festival closes with a screening of Farid Eslam’s “Yallah! Underground,” a documentary about Arab underground artists and musicians in four countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel), including Zeid Hamdan, Shadi Zaqtan, and Maii Waleed Yassin, with an eye toward music and art as political and social comment in an area of the world that has recently been experiencing a major cultural and generational shift. The screening is co-sponsored by WOMR-FM (92.1FM) Outermost Community Radio.