Bedouin City Rahat To Host Inaugural Middle Eastern Film Fest – The Media Line


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First-of-its-kind occasion to couple dozens of movies from region with culinary honest as organizers hope to transform city into a pillar of culture

The Bedouin city of Rahat in Israel’s southern Negev desert is ready to host an inaugural movie competition showcasing movies from the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.

The Rahat Film Festival for Cinema From the Mediterranean and Middle East opens on February 2, and can feature a extensive variety of films from Israel, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Kosovo, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It will happen over 4 weekends in February on the Rahat Fine Arts Center, which opened final year.

“I chosen 40 films out of the 400 that I watched,” Daniel Alter, creative director of the festival, advised The Media Line. “There are movies from Iran and Saudi Arabia. From Saudi Arabia, we included a singular movie from a female director – one of the best within the kingdom – which is able to open the pageant.”

This competition was born in Rahat. People listed under are working on this stuff all the time.

Alter is referring to the award-winning 2012 movie by Haifaa al-Mansour known as “Wadjda,” the primary function film to be shot totally in Saudi Arabia, and likewise to be directed by a Saudi lady. It tells the story of a younger woman named Wadjda dwelling in Riyadh and her need to experience a bicycle despite the precise fact that it’s forbidden in her country to take action.

“The Taste of Apples is Red” – a drama by Syrian filmmaker Ehab Tarabieh about Israel’s Druze community – could have its nationwide premiere on the event on February 10. The movie showcases the story of a respected sheikh, whose brother disappeared in the course of the 1967 Arab-Israeli warfare and who returns to the Golan Heights after living in exile for 47 years. Tarabieh is slated to speak with the viewers after the movie.

A still picture from Yosef Abu Mediam’s 2011 film “Zira.” (Courtesy)

Another notable movie, “Zira,” was produced by native Rahat resident Yosef Abu Mediam. It depicts the war between Israel and Gaza in 2008, known in Israel as Operation Cast Lead.

Films at the pageant might be screened in Hebrew with Arabic subtitles, in addition to in English, French and several different languages, in accordance with Alter.

Alongside these cinematic offerings, the occasion additionally will embrace a culinary fair with a variety of dishes prepared by Intisar Al-Sheikh, an award-winning local chef. Visitors will be able to pattern meals comparable to the films’ international locations of origin.

“This pageant was born in Rahat,” Alter stated. “People here are working on these items on an everyday basis.”

Alter has helped organize several cultural occasions within the city, together with its first-ever coffee festival last fall, which noticed some 6,000 guests.

One of the goals of these initiatives is to reshape the public’s notion of Rahat, Israel’s largest Bedouin city.

The Rahat Community Center in southern Israel’s Negev desert in a 2012 photo. (Wikimedia Commons)

Fuad Ziadna, director of the Rahat Community Center, said that he hopes these efforts will present folks that the town is a good place to visit.

“We now have a cultural heart and cinematheque in Rahat,” Ziadna told The Media Line. “In my view, it’s a bridge of peace, love and cooperation. It’s crucial to bring cinema to this city so that folks will come and see very positive issues [happening] and this is something I am always engaged on.”

Ziadna added that Rahat is crammed with younger individuals and that encouraging them to participate in cultural events has become a serious venture for town.

“With regard to culture we’ve opened an arts heart and we have two giant theatres, cinemas and a music faculty,” he famous. “We’re inaugurating new festivals and the objective is to have these festivals every year. We’re always bringing new things to Rahat.”



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