Middle East: What Can Cinema Do?, the 4th edition will be held in Paris at the cinema theatre Les 3 Luxembourg from December 2-13, 2009.
The program is now closed; we will be showing 50 films with a predominance of documentaries, but we have more fiction than in previous years and a couple of short animated films.
Middle East: What Can Cinema Do? has grown from a week to 12 days with a keynote film and debate each night that explores the conflicts and daily life in Israel and Palestine, as well as the neighboring countries in the region (Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Jordan…).
The evening debate themes will focus on Jerusalem, Gaza, Women, but also Iraq and the war as well as Iraq and the effects of war. A day is devoted to Lebanon, another to Iran. We will also continue our look at Colonialization and Exile.
Leila Shahid, Dominique Vidal & Michel Warschawski will once again be the festival's special guests at opening night, with the avant premiere screening of Ajami, which was awarded the Camera d'Or Special Mention, directed conjointly by an Israeli and Palestinian filmmaker.
The success in bringing together a varied, activist, regular or just curious crowd to see films and be part of the daily conferences has contributed to the growing importance of this Parisian biennale event. It has also addressed the growing need to confront and discuss these issues on a regular basis. Cinema is very much an important vehicle of communication.
In the words of Janine Halbreich-Euvrard, founder of the event (and author of the book "Israéliens, Palestiniens : Que peut le cinéma ?"), "Cinema can most certainly help to tumble down walls, be they made of steel or of prejudice and ignorance."
See you in December for the 4th edition.
Opening Film - Ajami
Once again the festival is expecting a full house for the premiere showing of Ajami, a film that won five awards from the Israeli Film Academy, and for the presence of our very devoted guests: Leila Shahid, Dominique Vidal and Michel Warschawski.
Closing Film… Persian Cats
We close the festival with a film that bears witness to the unrest among the young people of Iran, with its focus on the underground music scene in Tehran, No One Knows About Persian Cats by Bahman Ghobadi.
Country by Country - The Program
50 films during 12 days are programmed for the 4th edition. Documentaries are in the majority, but more fiction is being presented than ever before including four "premieres". Two-thirds of the films are feature or TV length films, complemented by another fifteen short films. Here follows a country by country glimpse at the film program.
A full program of debates, one each night, featuring Leila Shahid, Michel Warschawski, Dominique Vidal, Hassan Balawi, Christian Chesnot, Esther Benbassa, Jean-Paul Chagnollaud and very special guests Joseph Algazy (picutred here), reputed Haaretz journalist, and Stéphane Hessel, diplomat, ambassador and French resistant.
Website : http://www.whatcancinemado.com