All Films & Events
Democracy Year Zero
Four weeks. This is the time the Tunisian people took to overthrow the dictator Ben Ali and make way for the greatest geopolitical upheaval of the beginning of the 21st century. Nevertheless, the Tunisian revolution, as unexpected and dazzling it may have appeared to the world, is part of a much bigger story. A story that extends from the first revolts in the Gafsa mining region in January 2008, to the first free elections in October 2011. In two chapters and 12 months of investigation, Democracy Year Zero becomes the eyewitness of this major event in its entirety, through the eyes of the main opponents and revolutionaries.
Between Detroit and Arab-America, Sami works behind the bulletproof glass of a 24-hour gas station with his cousin Mike. Inside this unique neighborhood, the station is more than just a pitstop for rolling papers and fake perfume, but a place where an infinite stream of spirited and often hilarious people flow through. When Najlah walks in, Sami//'s shift becomes anything but routine.
The film explores the parallels between music and politics in particular illuminating the alternative space for communication about Egypts revolution offered by electro chaabi music. Set in the slums of Cairo, the film explores the rich cultural scene of underground music in Egypt incorporating folk, electronic, and rap.
Embers explores the ghosts of soviet-Armenia, spurred by the filmmakers personal desire to explore the life of her grandmother. The film interviews the remaining circle of her grandmother's friends, transporting the film past the medium of documentary into a meditation on loss, history and existentialism.
Festival for the Schools: California Theatre
The Arab Film Festival is committed to bringing original, unexpected, and underrepresented stories and voices from the Arab World into California schools in order to enhance the classroom experience.
In the summer of 1982, in a sheltered village protected by its armed men, it took no longer than three months until radical changes started occurring in the lives of two families of different backgrounds. A priest about to be ordered, is exhausted by temptations and an arrogant girl comes from the outside world, and penetrates the village, taking away the community’s virginity. The little refugee girl becomes the refuge of a man, about to undertake in a mission of life. The one supposed to marry, will be married; the one supposed to serve, will be served. A shredded memory and an intimate story of a narrator who tells the meeting of his parents, before his existence, until their marriage…
Elena and Lucas are a happy couple with their son Hugo. Elena has a very coherent imaginary world where she goes to feel safe and meet two friends: Leslie and an old ludicrous and crazy man. One day, Elena is sent to a psychiatrist who tells her that her husband revealed the existence of her world. It puts her in a delicate situation for the custody of Hugo in the divorce Lucas has started. What will she be willing to do to save her imaginary world and get the custody of her son?
In Search of Oil and Sand
In Search of Oil and Sand follows Mahmoud Sabit, as he unveils the story behind Oil and Sand, an 8mm film ironically shot just weeks before the royal Egyptian family was overthrown in a coup d'Etat. After 60 years, Mahmoud assembles the last surviving copy of the film, reconstructing the story behind the film, the people involved, and the political circumstances surrounding the film.
It’s About to Rain
‘It’s About to Rain’ tells the story of Said, a confident and ambitious young man, born and raised in Italy from Algerian parents, who studies and works as a part-time baker. When the director of the factory where his father works commits suicide, the family is suddenly faced with the worrying reality of not being able to renew their residency visa as they have done for the past thirty years and receive a letter of expulsion.