Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sexy & 17: Arabian Sights Opens 10-25

Radu Mihaileanu's The Source

From our friends at DC Film Review...

The Arabian Sights Film Festival celebrates its 17th birthday with new digs (National Geographic Live) and a dazzling selection of 10 films showcasing the best of contemporary Arab cinema. This year’s festival gets under way on October 25th, as the Embassy of France hosts a special screening of Radu Mihaileanu’s The Source, followed by a wine and cheese reception at the Embassy’s beautiful Cultural Center.

The festival moves to National Geographic Live’s Grosvenor Auditorium on Friday, beginning at 6:30 with the American premiere of Daniel Joseph’s Taxi Ballad, one of two Lebanese entries (along with Joe Bou Eid’s drama Heels of War.) At 8:30, Morocco’s submission to the Academy Awards, Omar Killed Me plays the first of two showings (in addition to Saturday, October 27th at 9:00 PM.)

The ASFF (focusing on weekend performances) will take a brief break, before returning on Friday, November 2nd. Director Safinez Bousbia will be on hand to introduce his musical documentary El Gusto at 6:30 PM, which is followed by a special reception hosted by the Embassy of Algeria. If you can’t make Friday’s show, El Gusto will screen again on Saturday, November 3rd at 9:00 PM.

Other filmmakers scheduled to appear are Eid (Heels of War) November 3-4; and Nawaf Al-Janahi, who will present his 2011 drama Sea Shadow on October 27th at 4:00 PM.

This year’s impressive lineup is made possible through the efforts of festival director Shirin Ghareeb and her staff. Ghareeb, who’s been around since the ASFF’s inception (she actually founded the festival) is excited about this year’s edition, ‘This year Arabian Sights is presenting some of the newest and liveliest films from the Arab world, including two American premieres from Lebanon. Some of the films feature first-time directors as well as Arabian Sights favorites. The themes reflect timely experiences such as the ongoing revolutions, social issues, as well as humorous stories.’

Advance tickets are available through Missiontix.com and cost $12 per screening (plus a small convenience fee.) If you plan on attending several films, you should consider purchasing a festival pass for $95, which provides admission to each film (except for opening night.) Opening night tickets for The Source at the Embassy of France are $20, which includes a wine and cheese reception immediately following the screening. For more information, contact the Arabian Sights Hotline directly at 202-234-FILM (3456). Click here to download the ASFF catalog.

Here’s a full rundown of this year’s lineup (in alphabetical order)

Asma’a: Friday, November 2 @9:00 PM; Sunday, November 4 @5:15 PM (The Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau & Embassy of Egypt, sponsors a reception following Sunday’s screening)

El Gusto: Friday, November 2 @6:30 PM; Saturday, November 3 @9:00 PM

Heels of War: Saturday, November 3 @6:30 PM; Sunday, November 4 @7:30 PM

How Big is Your Love: Saturday, November 3 @4:00 PM; Sunday, November 4 @3:00 PM

Omar Killed Me: Friday, October 26 @8:30 PM; Saturday, October 27 @9:00 PM

The Reluctant Revolutionary: Sunday, October 28 @3:00 PM

The Rif Lover: Saturday, October 27 @7:00 PM; Sunday, October 28th @7:00 PM

Sea Shadow: Saturday, October 27 @4:00 PM

The Source: Thursday, October 25 @7:00 PM (Embassy of France, $20)

Taxi Ballad: Friday, October 26 @6:30 PM; Sunday, October 28 @5:00 PM