In memory of Said
THIS TUESDAY (1 November) sees the inauguration of "The Edward Said Memorial Lecture," to be delivered annually on the first of November, Said's birthday. Commemorating the life and work of the late distinguished Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said (1935-2003), the lectures are sponsored by the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the American University in Cairo (AUC). This year's lecture will be delivered by the eminent literature scholar David Damrosch, a Columbia University colleague of Said's and author of What is World Literature?. Under the title "Secular Criticism Meets the World: the Challenge of World Literature Today," Professor Damrosch will be talking at the Oriental Hall, main campus, AUC, at 8:00pm on Tuesday 1 November.
Images in the Big Apple
ARTEEAST, an organisation established in 2003 to exhibit the works of artists and filmmakers from the Middle East and its diaspora, opens its First CinemaEast Film Festival 2005 November 4-10, 2005 at The Quad Cinema, New York City. The 55 films selected this year include 10 Features, 28 Shorts, 17 Documentaries. Among these there are 12 New York premières and 29 US premières. The festival also features discussions with Filmmakers.
"This festival represents a necessary and long overdue step in opening up a dialogue with this often misunderstood region" says Festival Director Rasha Salti.
The critically acclaimed Egyptian film Bahib Al-Sima (I Love Cinema, 2004), directed by Osama Fawzi kicks off the festival as its opening night film. Set in 1967, the film depicts a six-year-old film buff who is repressed by his Christian fundamentalist father, his eyes opening to the fascinating contradictions that beset closed and repressed societies. Director Fawzi and lead actress Leila Elwi will discuss the film with the audience after the screening.
The festival's closing night will screen Araïs Al-Teïn (Clay Dolls) by acclaimed Tunisian filmmaker Nouri Bouzid, a provocative and searing film that continues the filmmaker's exploration of despair and desire framed in social degradation and political exploitation. Bouzid will also be present for a discussion with the audience.
CinemaEast Film Festival will also present a programme of roundtable discussions on the themes of "Independent Documentary Film Production" and "Cinema and Trauma," bringing together filmmakers, producers and programmers from Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Algeria and Iran, to examine the challenges of independent documentary film production, an emerging genre in the region and across its diasporas, and the site for exploration in form as well as social and political contestation.
The festival is an addition to the film series from the Middle East and its diaspora presented regularly by ArteEast in collaboration with the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University (NYU), in monthly screenings at NYU's Cantor Film Center, followed by open discussions with filmmakers, critics and other film and regional experts. Yousry Nasrallah's internationally acclaimed Palestinian epic Bab Al-Shams (Gate of the Sun, 2004) opened the new fall season of CinemaEast on 17 September while the experimental Iranian film The Journey of Maryam will be screened on 30 November.