The Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) at Columbia University presents the first annual Palestinian Film Festival in Santiago, Chile at the Cineteca Nacional (Centro Cultural La Moneda). This weeklong festival, which runs from June 23 to 29, 2014, will feature iconic works from Palestinian cinema, which has emerged as a globally influential artistic force.
CPS, in collaboration with the Columbia Global Centers Latin America (Santiago), the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Chile and the Cineteca Nacional, will present a comprehensive selection of Palestinian cinema. Following in the footsteps of other Palestinian international film festivals in Madrid, London and Boston, the purpose of the inaugural Santiago Festival is to engage Latin American audiences with filmic depictions of Palestinian history and culture.
This year’s Festival is focused on the theme of cinema and exile. The program includes the screening of eight feature films and five short films; twelve of these films will be premiered for the first time in Chile.
The impressive list of films include emblematic works by internationally renowned directors and artists like Michel Khleifi, Elia Suleiman, Hany Abu Assad, Mona Hatoum, Annemarie Jacir and Cherien Dabis, and documentary filmmakers Nasri Hajjaj , Azza El- Hassan and Omar Shargawi, along with emerging young artists the likes of Basma Alsharif , Larissa Sansour, and Mahdi Fleifel.
Omar (2013), nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film after great success at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and at several other international festivals, will be shown on opening night on June 23, 2014. Waleed Zuaiter, the film’s producer and actor who plays Agent Rami will open the Festival with a discussion after the film’s screening.
Moreover, one of the most important Palestinian directors, Michel Khleifi, director of Zindeeq (2009), which premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival, will participate. At its inaugural event in October 2010, the Center hosted Khleifi for the New York premiere of his film.
Cherein Dabis, director and alumna of the Columbia University Film School, will also participate in the Festival for a discussion after the screening of her film Amreeka (2009).
The festival will also feature panel discussions by Professors from the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Chile who will discuss the central theme of the festival: “cinema, exile and occupation.