Florida State University’s Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and the FSU Middle East Center will host the 13th annual Middle East Film Festival, showcasing films that provide insight into international cinema and perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media.
The festival, which runs Feb. 25-April 2, is co-sponsored by the FSU Middle East Center and the Student Life Cinema and features five films over five weekends this spring.
“Our Middle East Film Festival aims to present films that spark discussion between family, friends and colleagues about experiences outside their own perspectives,” said Zeina Schlenoff, director of the Middle East Center. “We choose films that help our audience make sense of a world that is unfamiliar to them, raise awareness and inspire social change.”
Participants are invited to the festival’s kickoff celebration from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, on Landis Green. The first 100 individuals to arrive will receive a goodie bag of treats representing different regions of the Middle East, a limited-edition FSU Middle East Film Festival tote bag and more.
The festival’s prestigious and lengthy history in Tallahassee has made it an important part of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics’ annual outreach initiatives within both the university and the wider community. FSU’s commitment to providing meaningful international engagement opportunities for students and faculty, as well as nurturing a rich, multicultural environment on campus, is a key component of the university’s overall academic success.
“I am pleased to support the Middle East Film Festival and applaud the value it adds to our academic mission,” said Sam Huckaba, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The event provides a truly outstanding opportunity to promote FSU’s rich cultural diversity.”
All events are free and open to the public, though a one-time registration is required to receive links and sign-in information for each virtual screening. Once registered, attendees can stream the films each weekend they are shown.
10 Days Before the Wedding (Yemen) — 5 p.m. | Feb. 26
2018 | 122 min
Rasha and Ma’moon, a young Yemeni couple, have only 10 days to plan their wedding amidst the challenges and obstacles posed by the country’s 2015 war.
A Revolution from Afar (Sudan and United States) — 5 p.m. | March 5
2020 | 77 min
Sudanese-American performance artists share their identity struggles as they live in a world separate from the revolution in Sudan.
Sisters (Algeria) — 7 p.m. | March 9
2020 | 99 min
Three French-Algerian sisters see their family fall apart when one of them decides to write a play about their dying father, whose choices scarred their early lives.
Shtetlers (Jewish Documentary) — 5 p.m. | March 26
2020 | 80 min
In small shtetls in the former Soviet Union, traditional Jewish life has survived even as it disappears around the globe. This documentary follows nine people who once lived in these shtetls and how the experience impacted their lives.
200 Meters (Palestinian Territories) — 5 p.m. | April 2
2020 | 96 min
Husband and wife Mustafa and Salwaare are separated by the Israeli-Palestinian border and a bureaucracy that refuses to let Mustapha cross. He embarks on a journey to find a way to cross the 200-meter distance and return to his family.