Arab Film 21

The Arab Film Festival 21 opens Friday 13 October 2017 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Solitaire directed by Sophie Boutros (2016) Egypt/Jordan/Lebanon is the opening night film. Screenings continue in the Bay Area over the following nine days in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Vallejo before moving to Los Angeles for an additional three days.

I plan to see three dramatic features Saturday 14 October 2017 at the Roxie Theater: Bezness As Usual directed by Alex Pitstra (2016) Netherlands/Tunisia, Here I Am…Here You Are directed by Raed Rafei (2016) Italy/Lebanon, and In Between directed by Maysaloun Hamoud (2016) France/Israel.

For more information and tickets contact Arab Film Festival.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

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Dog Walker

Mr. Predictable directed by Rose Florentin (Israel) 2016 is about transformation.

The main character of this romantic comedy lives a meaningless, boring, middle-class life. Invisible and irrelevant to those outside his immediate circle.

An accident propels him toward a new direction, both unexpected and intriguing, offering not only passion but also genuine affection.

The film screens two more times in early August 2017 during San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 37. Contact Jewish Film Institute for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFJFF 37

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 37 takes place 20 July –  6 August 2017 at five Bay Area venues.

The six films I plan to see this year at the Castro Theatre are: A Quiet Heart (Israel), Bobbi Jene (Denmark/Israel/United States), Mr. Predictable (Israel), Personal Affairs, (Israel), Planetarium (France/Belgium), and The Young Karl Marx (France/Germany/Belgium).

Other works from Mediterranean countries include: Avanti Popolo (Israel), Ben-Gurion, Epilogue (Israel/France), Death In The Terminal (Israel), Fanny’s Journey (France), and Harmonia (Israel).

Also: Home Port (Israel), In Between (Israel/France), More Alive Than Dead (Israel), The 90 Minute War (Israel/Germany), and Your Honor (Israel).

For more information and tickets contact Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

New Voice

The Women’s Balcony, written by Shlomit Nehama and directed by Emil Ben-Shimon (Israel) 2016, begins with a tragic incident.

An accident in a Jerusalem synagogue during a bar mitzvah seriously injures the rabbi’s wife and traumatizes the rabbi. Damage to the building interior and destruction of the holy scroll displaces the congregation.

An attempt to hold prayer in a temporary location nearly fails before the arrival of a young rabbi and his students. However, the small Orthodox community is challenged by the stricter demands of the charismatic new cleric.

The most serious problem develops along the gender line, dividing women from men. As the situation worsens, there’s a showdown in which the wives stand united.

This charming dramatic comedy is currently playing at Lincoln Plaza Cinema, East 86th Street Cinema, and Quad Cinema in New York.

It opens 9 June 2017 at Harkins Shea 14, Scottsdale; Cobble Hill Cinemas, Brooklyn; and ShowRoom Cinema, Asbury Park.

Additional runs begin 16 June 2017 at the Clay Theatre, San Francisco; Camera 3 Cinemas, San Jose; Palace 17 Theater, Hartford; Bethesda Row Cinema, Washington; Siskel Film Center, Chicago; The Charles, Baltimore; and Edina Cinema, Minneapolis.

See www.menemshafilms.com for more information, including additional venues and dates.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Six Decades

The San Francisco International Film Festival celebrates its sixtieth anniversary 5 – 19 April 2017.

sixdecades

I first attended half a century ago at the Masonic Auditorium on a student ticket I obtained with my ID from the Alliance Française in Paris. At thirty I wasn’t the oldest person in the balcony, where student ticketholders were seated. Presently I qualify for senior tickets.

The film festival changed venues over the years. I remember its long run at the Castro Theatre and subsequently the Palace Of Fine Arts Theater before moving to the Kabuki.

This year’s numerous San Francisco venues are: the Alamo Drafthouse, Castro Theatre, Dolby Cinema, Proxy, Roxie Theater, SFMOMA, Victoria Theatre, Walt Disney Family Museum, YBCA, and Vogue Theatre, as well as BAMPFA in Berkeley.

Mediterranean offerings include: Everything Else directed by Natalia Almada (Mexico/USA/France) 2016, Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge directed by Marie Noëlle (Germany/France/Poland) 2016, Mister Universo directed by Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel (Austria/Italy) 2016, Story of a 3-Day Pass directed by Melvin Van Peebles (France) 1967, The Death of Louis XIV directed by Albert Serra (France/Portugal/Spain) 2016, and The Wedding Plan directed by Rama Burshtein (Israel) 2016.

Contact San Francisco Film Society for more information and tickets.

copyright © 2017 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Arab Film Fest 20

The twentieth annual Arab Film Festival opens soon in five California cities.

San Francisco 7 – 11 October 2016, Oakland 12 – 14 October 2016, Berkeley 15 – 16 October 2016, Los Angeles 21 – 23 October 2016, and San Diego 27 – 30 October 2016.

Clash directed by Mohamed Diab (Egypt) 2016 is the opening night film at the Castro Theatre. It will be preceded by a reception and followed by a party at Mercer featuring DJ Emancapacion. Subsequent San Francisco screenings will be at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.

Very Big Shot directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaya (Lebanon) 2015 is the opening night film at Harmony Gold in Los Angeles. Iraqi Odyssey is the opening film at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.

This year’s festival includes narrative features, documentaries, and shorts from Egypt, France, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.

For more information and tickets contact Arab Film Festival.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

It’s Complicated!

Family relationships can be difficult even in the best of times and adoptions present an added complexity to the situation.

it'scomplicated!

Wars disrupt the daily lives of everyone involved and this was especially true during World War II in Central Europe where millions of civilians were targeted for extermination.

Holocaust survivors were left with deep psychic scars that affected them throughout their lives.

Aida’s Secrets directed by Alon and Shaul Schwarz (Israel/United States/Germany/Canada) 2016 unveils a fascinating trail of secrets and lies.

The main part of the story involves the search and meeting for a brother whose very existence was kept secret from an adoptee for over sixty years. But this is only the beginning of a broader investigation to piece together the details of a truly complicated mystery.

The film screens again at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 36 Friday 5 August 2016 at the Piedmont Theatre in Oakland.

For more information and tickets check the Jewish Film Institute.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com