Houston Palestine Film Festival

Sharing the stories of Palestinians through cinema


Houston Palestine Film Festival
2510 Wichita St.
Houston, Texas 77004

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The Wanted 18
Friday, May 8th

Animation/ Canada, Palestine, France/ 2014/ Arabic, English, Hebrew/ Color/ 75 minutes

Combining stop motion animation with interviews, original drawings and archival footage, The Wanted 18 tells the story of a group of Palestinian activists in Beit Sahour, who decide to purchase 18 cows from an Israeli kibbutz to create a cooperative dairy farm in the West Bank during the first Intifada. With time, they start producing a high quality product that becomes known as the "Intifada Milk." This aspiring project does not go unnoticed; the dairy farm is raided by the Israelis and the cows are declared "a threat to the national security of the State of Israel."

Date & Place: Friday, May 8 - 7:30 PM at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Directors: Paul Cowan, Amer Shomali
Writer: Paul Cowan
Cast: Alison Darcy, Rosann Nerenberg, Holly O'Brien


Villa Touma
Saturday, May 9th

Drama/ 2014/ Arabic/ Color/ 87 minutes

Eighteen-year-old Badia arrives at the home of her three spinster aunts in Ramallah, after leaving a Catholic orphanage in Jerusalem where she was raised. The three sisters, Juliette, Violet and Antoinette, isolated themselves from the rest of the world and adopted a routine of strictness and sternness. With their young guest in house, the three sisters decide to marry Badia off to a man from a good family. But Badia's outgoing personality and her secret love for an unsuitable man angers the three sisters, and with that, secrets start to unravel throughout the house.

Date & Place: Saturday, May 9 - 7:00 PM at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 
Director: Suha Arraf
Writer: Suha Arraf
Cast: Nisreen Faour, Ula Tabari, Cherin Dabis, Maria Zreik


Transit Game
Friday, May 15th

Short drama/ USA, Lebanon, Canada/  2014/ Arabic/ Color/ 18 minutes

In the northern mountains of Lebanon, a Syrian man hoping to reunite with family torn apart by war encounters two Palestinian children whose own stories of exile provide a glimpse into the uncertainties he must face as a refugee.

Date & Place: Friday, May 15 - 7:30 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Anna Fahr
Writer: Anna Fahr
Cast: Jalal Altawil, Sajed Amer, Sanaa Amer


Girrafada
Friday, May 15th

Drama/ Palestine, Italy, Germany, France/  2014/ Arabic, English, Hebrew/ Color/ 85 minutes

A Palestinian veterinarian (Saleh Bakri) persuades an Israeli colleague (Roschdy Zem) to help him capture a giraffe from a Tel Aviv safari park and smuggle it to a zoo in the West Bank.

Date & Place: Friday, May 15 - 7:30 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Rani Massalha
Writer: Xavier Nemo, Rani Massalha
Cast: Saleh Bakri, Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, Ahmad Bayatra


Climb of Hope
Saturday, May 16th

Short documentary/ Palestine, UAE/  2014/ Arabic, English/ Color/ 14 minutes

Climb of Hope is a story about two young amputees who attempt to summit the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa, in order to raise hope and inspiration for children struggling in the Levant.

Date & Place: Saturday, May 16 - 5:30 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Amal Al Agroobi


Voice of a Condor
Saturday, May 16th

Documentary/ USA, Chile/  2014/ Spanish/ Color/ 45 minutes

Due to political instability and poverty, Christian Palestinians have been immigrating since the 19 century to the Americas and especially to Chile. Today, Chile has the largest Palestinian diaspora outside of the Middle East. The Voice of a Condor features the voice of the Christian Palestinian diaspora in Chile. It is a voice which strongly brings the Palestinian Christian population back to the political map of Palestine/Israel.

Date & Place: Saturday, May 16 - 5:30 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Heba Al Attar

Writer: Heba Al Attar


In Damascus
Saturday, May 16th

Video Art/ Syria/ 2014/ Arabic, English,/ Color/ 4 minutes
In Damascus is a film about Damascus, an 11,000 years old city, the most ancient & precious of cities, set to the poetry of the world famous Palestinian poet / author Mahmoud Darwish.
Date & Place: Saturday, May 16 - 7:00 PM at Rice University Media Center
DirectorsWaref Abu Quba


The Wanted 18
Saturday, May 16th

Animation/ Canada, Palestine, France/ 2014/ Arabic, English, Hebrew/ Color/ 75 minutes

Combining stop motion animation with interviews, original drawings and archival footage, The Wanted 18 tells the story of a group of Palestinian activists in Beit Sahour, who decide to purchase 18 cows from an Israeli kibbutz to create a cooperative dairy farm in the West Bank during the first Intifada. With time, they start producing a high quality product that becomes known as the "Intifada Milk." This aspiring project does not go unnoticed; the dairy farm is raided by the Israelis and the cows are declared "a threat to the national security of the State of Israel."

Date & Place: Saturday, May 16 - 7:00 PM at Rice University Media Center
Directors: Paul Cowan, Amer Shomali
Writer: Paul Cowan
Cast: Alison Darcy, Rosann Nerenberg, Holly O'Brien


1913: Seeds of A Conflict
Friday, May 22nd

Documentary/  2014/ English/ Color

Breaking new ground and shattering old myths, 1913: SEEDS of CONFLICT, directed by award-winning filmmaker Ben Loeterman, explores the little-known history of Palestine during the latter part of the Ottoman Empire, a time of relative harmony between Arabs and Jews. Weaving the raveled threads of Arab and Jewish narratives back together, 1913: SEEDS of CONFLICT provides new and fascinating insights into the dramatic events that took place in Palestine which set the stage for the coming century of unrest.

Date & Place: Friday, May 22 - 7:30 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Ben Loeterman

Writer: Ben Loeterman


On the Bride’s Side
Saturday, May 23rd

Documentary, Drama/ Italy/  2014/ Arabic/ Color/ 89 minutes

A Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa after fleeing the war in Syria. They decide to help them complete their journey to Sweden, and hopefully avoid getting themselves arrested as traffickers, by faking a wedding. With a Palestinian friend dressed up as the bride and a dozen or so Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, they cross halfway over Europe on a four-day journey of three thousand kilometers.

Date & Place: Saturday, May 23 - 5:00 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele del Grande, Khaled Soliman al Nassiry

Writer: Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele del Grande, Khaled Soliman al Nassiry


Eyes of a Thief
Saturday, May 23rd

Drama/ Palestine/  2014/ Arabic/ Color/ 98 minutes

Eyes of a Thief tells the story of Tareq, a Palestinian water engineer recently released from an Israeli prison and trying to search for his missing daughter. Moving to Nablus, where he believes his daughter might be staying, Tareq forms a father-daughter relationship with ten-year-old Malak, and a tense relationship with his employer, Adel, despite having suspicions about the kind of work he wants him to do. 

Date & Place: Saturday, May 23 - 7:00 PM at Rice University Media Center
Director: Najwa Najjar
Writer: Najwa Najjar
Cast: Khalid Abu El-Naga, Souad Massi, Malak Ermileh, Suhail Haddad


"Where is Picasso Gaza is Guernica"
Saturday, May 16th and 23rd

Video Art/ UK/  2014/ Color/ 6 minutes

The artist dedicated this work to Dr. Mads Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert has broad range international experiences, in particular from locations that merge medical and political issues. He has done volunteer work at a kibbutz. Later he became actively involved with solidarity work concerning Palestinians since the 1970s, he has served as a doctor during numerous periods in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. His efforts have been central to the efforts that have led the city of Tromsø, since 2001 a twin town of Gaza, to claim to be the city that has sent more health workers to the Palestinian territories than any other in the world

Date & Place: Saturday, May 16th & 23rd at Rice University Media Center
A Visual Adaptation: Massod Vadiee
Based on:
"La montaña sagrada"/ Alejandro Jodorowsky
Music: "Shufi" (Look) Kamakan Band (Iran)
Produced by: Arden Zahedi-Bogucka - A Dokumuzik Group Projekt & Az Kolexion 'E London, UK 2014


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Houston Palestine Film Festival 2015