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A Celebration of Palestinian Culture

Photo of Carlos Aguilar By Carlos Aguilar | SydneysBuzz September 29, 2013 at 8:30AM

As part of a multimedia event that aims to highlight Palestinian culture in a hopeful and positive manner, the Bright Stars of Bethlehem and the Levantine Cultural Center will screen a series of Palestinian-themed films, both documentary and narrative, for audiences in Los Angeles and Irvine. Most of the films, which are having their Southern California premieres, will be followed by engaging Q&As with the filmmakers to give the creators and the community the change to connects and exchange thoughts. Some of the films screening at the festival are:
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Documentary 'It's Better to Jump'
Documentary 'It's Better to Jump'

As part of a multimedia event that aims to highlight Palestinian culture in a hopeful and positive manner, the Bright Stars of Bethlehem and the Levantine Cultural Center will screen a series of Palestinian-themed films, both documentary and narrative, for audiences in Los Angeles and Irvine. Most of the films, which are having their Southern California premieres, will be followed by engaging Q&As with the filmmakers to give the creators and the community the change to connects and exchange thoughts.

Some of the films screening at the festival are:


It’s Better to Jump

Dir: Patrick Alexander Stewart, Gina M. Angelone, Mouna B.Stewart

'It's Better to Jump' poster

This new documentary centers on the city of Akka (Acre) in northern Israel, in which Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha’i have coexisted since ancient times. Today, as the city deals with economic difficulties and social change, many Arab families have decided to abandoned the land they have called home for dozens of generations, a land in which their unique culture developed over thousands of years. The film gets its title from the rite of passage that takes place on the centuries-old, forty-foot seawall at the edge of the city. Young people test their fate and bravery by jumping off the wall into the rolling waters, an event that today not only relates to tradition, but also acts as metaphor for the self-determination required to rise above the tumultuous issues that affect Akka’s people.

See the trailer HERE

It’s Better to Jump screens October 1st at 7:00 PM in the Harmony Gold Theater as part of the Celebration of Palestinian Culture, and will then go on to screen in several different cities thought the fall.

October:
10/1 Levantine Cultural Center (Harmony Gold Theater) L.A.
10/2 Levantine Cultural Center Orange County
10/18 Silent River Film Festival Orange County
10/19 Unspoken Film Festival Utica, NY
10/21 Boston Palestine Film Festival (Harvard Law School)

November:
11/19 Other Israel Film Festival (Jewish Cultural Center) Manhattan
11/20 Other Israel Film Festival (Cinema Village Theater) 13th St. Manhattan
11/22-11/28 Quad Theater 13th Street, New York, New York 10011(2 shows per day)

December:
12/6-12/12 Laemmle's Theater NoHo (2 shows per day)

Under the Same Sun

Dir: Sameh Zoabi

Sameh Zoabi's 'Under the Same Sun'
Sameh Zoabi's 'Under the Same Sun'

On the narrative front, prominent Palestinian filmmaker Sameh Zoabi’s latest work is a tale of camaraderie and understanding. Produced by the Academy Award-nominated producer Amir Harel, the film follows a Palestinian businessman (Ali Suliman) and an Israeli entrepreneur (Yossi Marshak) as they must join forces to develop a new solar energy firm that will serve the needs of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, all while dealing with the societal expectations of their respective backgrounds.

The film will screen on October 2nd at 7:00 PM at the Harmony Gold Theater

PALESTINIAN WOMEN IN FILM

Within the selection of films to be presented there is a particular section that highlights the most recent cinematic contributions from Palestinian female directors.

Yasmine Perni's 'The Stones Cry Out '
Yasmine Perni's 'The Stones Cry Out '

The Stones Cry Out

Dir: Yasmine Perni

Perni’s eye opening documentary approaches the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from a different angle focusing on the Christian population of the Holy Land. Often ignored is the fact that Palestine was the birthplace of Christianity and that their cultural contributions are as equally important in the identity of the land as those from Muslims and Jews.

Restored Pictures

Dir: Mahasen Nasser-Eldin

Exploring the life of Karimeh Abbud, the first female photographer in Palestine, the film documents her oeuvre as visual testimony of life in Palestine during the early 1900s.

The films will screen together on October 3rd at 7:00 PM in the Harmony Gold Theater followed by Q&As with both filmmakers.

SHORT FILMS

In addition to the features screening at this unique event, there will also be a small program of short films that deal with varied subjects within the Palestinian community.

Town Barber —a film about an old barber in the town of Beit Sahour who offers haircuts for men, which are not modern in style but rather old-fashioned.

Space of the Alley —a film about a group of teenagers who practice “Parkour” as a creative way to express themselves and overcome the difficult situation and frustration they face living in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Heavy Peel of Onion —a story about three people from different generations who emigrated to Norway. The film tries to work with the issue of identity, and looking into how and why they emigrated.

Panels will be held to further discussion about topics covered by the films and to bring light and conversation to the Palestinian culture and people. 

MUSIC

Palestinian Hip Hop Group DAM
Palestinian Hip Hop Group DAM

Besides the exclusive opportunity to see these incredible films, the festival will also bring Palestinian music to California.

The Dyar Dance Theater, an avant-garde group, and Palestinian Hip Hop sensation DAM will perform on October 5th starting at 8:00 PM in the Harmony Gold Theater of Los Angeles. Both acts will also perform in Irvine on October 6th at 5:30 in the Irvine Barclay Theater.



LOS ANGELES 

All screenings and events will take place at the Harmony Gold Theater, 7655 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046, on October 1, 2, 3, and 5.

For more information and to purchase tickets click HERE or email rsvp[at]levantinecenter.org

IRVINE

This will be a one-day event on October 6 at the Irvine Theater, 4199 Campus Dr, Irvine, CA 92612.

For more information and to purchase tickets call (949) 854-4607


This article is related to: A Celebration of Palestinian Culture , It's Better to Jump, Under the Same Sun , The Stones Cry Out , Restored Pictures , Palestine , Israel , Academy Awards, International Film Festival, International Film Market

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