Contemporary Middle Eastern Cinema

March 4, 2011 - March 6, 2011, Varied

Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall

The School of Cinematic Arts, the Arab Film Festival and
Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative
Invite you and a guest to a special film celebration



A three-day Visions & Voices film symposium

Friday, March 4th - Sunday, March 6th, 2011
Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall

FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO ALL.

ELECTRONIC RSVPS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL SCREENINGS.


ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

This three-day film festival will present and explore a panorama of emerging and established cinemas from the Middle East, including recent works from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Iran. The festival will highlight unifying themes in Middle Eastern cinemas, as well as delineate the complex role that filmmakers play in granting visibility to salient political and civil rights issues, often at odds with the political establishment. Filmmakers and scholars will discuss the ability for cinema to be used as a vehicle for mobilizing social change and how these films reflect and respond to their domestic cultures.

SCHEDULE OF SCREENINGS

Abbreviated Schedule (film synopses and reservation links below):

Friday, March 4th, 2011

  • 7:00 P.M. -- Opening Remarks by Alessandro Ago, SCA Director of Programming; Michel Shehadeh, Executive Director of the Arab Film Festival; and Camille Alick, Project Manager, MOST Resource and Board of Directors, Arab Film Festival.
  • 7:15 P.M. -- Outside the Law (Algeria/France/Belgium, 2010), 138 minutes
  • 9:40 P.M. -- Masquerades (Algeria/France, 2008), 92 minutes
Saturday, March 5th, 2011

  • 12:30 PM -- Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story (Egypt, 2009), 135 min.
  • 3:00 PM -- Caramel (Lebanon/France, 2007), 95 min.
  • 4:45 PM -- Slingshot Hip Hop (Palestine/U.S.A., 2008), 83 min.
  • 6:30 PM -- Panel Discussion: "Capturing the Reel Picture: Civil Rights and Social Change in the Arab World"
  • 8:00 PM -- Son of Babylon (Iraq/U.K./France/Palestine, 2009), 110 min., preceded by Paper Dress (Jordan, 2009), 7 min.
Sunday, March 6th, 2011

  • 11:00 AM -- Women Without Men (Iran/Germany/Morocco, 2009), 95 min.
  • 12:45 PM -- Offside (Iran, 2006), 93 min.
  • 2:30 PM -- About Elly (Iran, 2009), 119 min.
  • 4:45 PM -- The Green Wave (Iran/Germany, 2010), 80 min. (Due to other festival obligations, this screening will be restricted solely to current USC students, faculty and staff)
  • 6:30 PM -- Panel Discussion: "Lifting the Veil Through Media: Futbol, Dating and Revolution in Iran"
  • 7:30 PM -- Catered reception in front of the theater in Queen's Courtyard
  • 8:30 PM -- Persepolis (Iran/France/U.S.A., 2007), 96 min.

DETAILED SCHEDULE: FRIDAY, MARCH 4th:

7:00 P.M. -- Opening Remarks by Alessandro Ago, SCA Director of Programming; Michel Shehaden, Executive Director of the Arab Film Festival; and Camille Alick, Project Manager for MOST Resource.

7:15 P.M. -- Outside the Law (Algeria/France/Belgium, 2010), 138 minutes
Written and Directed by Rachid Bouchareb.

After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers and their mother are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France and Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Academy Awards.
35mm print provided courtesy of Cohen Media.
In French and Arabic, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and to view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

9:40 P.M. -- Masquerades (Algeria/France, 2008), 92 minutes
Directed by Lyès Salem. Written by Lyès Salem and Nathalie Saugeon.


After working for much of his life as a gardener in his dusty Algerian village, Mounir dreams of improving his family's fortune and gaining a measure of respect by marrying off his narcoleptic sister, Rym, to a "real gentleman." However, Rym has other plans—she dreams of marrying Mounir's best friend, Khliffa, who has secretly courted her for years. When Mounir lashes out at village gossip with a fib that he has promised Rym to a wealthy outsider, she comes out of her sleepy stupor to embrace the rumor and press her real betrothed into action.

Beautifully brought to life by a memorable cast—including director Lyès Salem as the cocky but compassionate bumbler Mounir—this heartfelt comedy suggests that when dreams become reality, it's time to wake up.

Official Submission from Algeria for the 2009 Academy Awards.
35mm print provided courtesy of The Global Film Initiative's Globel Lens Collection.
In Arabic with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 


SATURDAY, MARCH 5th:

12:30 PM -- Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story (Egypt, 2009), 135 min.
Directed by Yousry Nasrallah. Written by Wahid Hamid.


Cairo, today. Hebba, a television show host, presents a successful political talk show on a privately owned network. Karim, her husband, is deputy editor in chief of a government-owned newspaper. His ambition is to become editor in chief. He is led to believe by the party leaders, that his wife's constant meddling with opposition politics could put his promotion in danger. Using his boyish charm and sexual prowess, he convinces Hebba to stay away from politics, and devote her program to social issues for which the government cannot be held responsible. She starts a series of talk shows around issues involving women.

She listens to the stories of resilient, strong women, who, like Scheherazade in "A Thousand and One Nights", tell their stories to stay alive. Gradually, she finds herself walking in a minefield of abuse, sexual, religious, social and political repression that lead to the break-up of her marriage.

Winner: Lina Mangiacapre Award for Yousry Nasrallah, 2009 Venice Film Festival.
35mm print provided courtesy of ArtMattan. In Arabic with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

3:00 PM -- Caramel (Lebanon/France, 2007), 95 min.
Directed by Nadine Labaki
.
Written by Nadine Labaki, Rodney El Haddad and Jihad Hojeily.


This Lebanese film follows the lives and loves of five women whose paths criss-cross in Beirut. They work and play in and around a beauty parlor where their issues involve an affair with a married man, an engagement to a stubborn alpha male, and dalliances with the customers both male and female in this sweet comedy.

Winner: Audience Award, 2007 San Sebastian International Film Festival.
35mm print provided courtesy of Swank Motion Pictures.
In Arabic and French, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and to view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

4:45 PM -- Slingshot Hip Hop (Palestine/U.S.A., 2008), 83 min.
Directed by Jackie Reem Salloum


Slingshot Hip Hop braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and Separation Walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them.

Official Selection: 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
DigiBeta provided courtesy of Fresh Booza.
In Arabic, English and Hebrew, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

6:30 PM -- Panel Discussion: "Capturing the Reel Picture: Civil Rights and Social Change in the Arab World" Hosted by the Arab Film Festival and MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television). Featuring: Sabine El Gemayel, Writer/Director, Niloofar; Mark LeVine, Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at UC Irvine; Amin Matalqa, Writer/Director, Captain Abu Raed; Claire Naber Matalqa, Head of Institutional Development, The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts; Jackie Reem Salloum, Director, Slingshot Hip Hop. Moderated by Camille Alick.

MAKE A RESERVATION

8:00 PM -- Son of Babylon (Iraq/U.K./France/Palestine, 2009), 110 min.
Directed by Mohamed Al Daradji
.
Written by Mohamed Al Daradji and Jennifer Norridge.

Northern Iraq, 2003. Two weeks after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Ahmed, a 12-year-old boy begrudgingly follows in the shadow of his grandmother. On hearing news that prisoners of war have been found alive in the South, she is determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed's father, who never returned from the Gulf war. From the mountains of Kurdistan to the sands of Babylon, they hitch rides from strangers and cross paths with fellow pilgrims, on all too similar journeys. Struggling to understand his grandmother's search, Ahmed follows in the forgotten footsteps of a father he never knew. This journey will lead the boy to come of age.


The filmmakers would like to highlight the associated 'Iraq's Missing Campaign'. Please visit their website for more information about the campaign to help reconcile the over 1,000,000 people that are currently missing in Iraq. The campaign website link is www.iraqsmissing.org

Official Submission from Iraq for the 2011 Academy Awards.
35mm print provided courtesy of Human Film.
In Arabic and Kurdish, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and to view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

Son of Babylon will be preceded by Paper Dress (Jordan, 2009), 7 min.

An interpretive documentary exercise by Kasem Kharse, an Egyptian student at the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA). Paper Dress is based on a story told by an Iranian student about her encounter with illness as a child, shot by Ali Azhari. The film was designed and created by Kasem Kharsa and a team of RSICA students. RSCIA is an MFA program for aspiring film makers of the Middle East and North Africa, founded by his Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan in partnership with the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 6th:

11:00 AM -- Women Without Men (Iran/Germany/Morocco, 2009), 95 min.
Written and Directed by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari.

Against the tumultuous backdrop of Iran's 1953 CIA-backed coup d’etat, a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history that brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, the destinies of four women converge in a beautiful orchard, where they find independence, solace and companionship. Acclaimed photographer Shirin Neshat makes her directorial debut with this incisive and sumptuously filmed reflection on the pivotal moment in history that directly led to the Islamic revolution and the Iran we know today.  

Winner: Silver Lion for Best Director, 2009 Venice Film Festival.
35mm print provided courtesy of New Yorker Films. In Farsi, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

12:45 PM -- Offside (Iran, 2006), 93 min.
Directed by Jafar Panahi
. Written by Jafar Panahi and Shadmehr Rastin.

Many Iranian girls love soccer as much as their countrymen and sport fans all over the world but, they are prevented by law from attending live soccer matches in their country. Inspired by the day when his own daughter was refused entry to a soccer stadium in Iran, Jafar Panahi's OffsideIranian girls attempting to watch their team's World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain at the stadium in Tehran. The young women, who range from timid to tomboy, are guarded by a group of naïve young soldiers who would rather be watching the game themselves, out with their girlfriends or at home looking after their sheep.

Winner: Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, 2006 Berlin International Film Festival.
35mm print provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
In Farsi, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and to view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

2:30 PM -- About Elly (Iran, 2009), 119 min.
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
. Written by Asghar Farhadi and Azad Jafarian.

After many years living in Germany, Ahmad is visiting Iran. His old university friends organize a three-day break on the Caspian Sea. The joyful Sepideh plans the reunion but, unbeknownst to her colleagues, invites Elly, her daughter's nursery school teacher. Ahmad, exiting an unhappy German marriage, would like to settle down with an Iranian woman. The friends, realizing why Sepideh has invited Elly, pay her particular attention and laud her qualities. On the second day an incident occurs which leads to Elly's disappearance. The joyful atmosphere evaporates as the friends try to understand how and why she is no longer there. Panic sets in.

The friends become judgmental and try to find fault in Elly's character. The group's opinion of Elly veers from those of the first day, until at last the truth is out.

Winner: Silver Berlin Bear for Best Director, 2009 Berlin International Film Festival.
HDCam provided courtesy of Regent Releasing.
In Farsi and German, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

4:45 PM -- The Green Wave (Iran/Germany, 2010), 80 min.
Written and Directed by Ali Samadi Ahad

Green is the color of hope. Green is the color of Islam - and Green was the symbol of recognition among the supporters of Iranian presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. This touching documentary-collage illustrates the dramatic events before and after the 2009 presidential elections in Iran, sharing the feelings of the people behind the historic Green revolution.

Official selection: 2011 Sundance Film Festival & Berlin International Film Festival.
HDCam provided courtesy of Visit Films. In English and Farsi, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and to view the trailer, click here.
(Due to other festival obligations, this screening will be restricted solely to current USC students, faculty and staff)
MAKE A RESERVATION

 

6:30 PM -- Panel Discussion: "Lifting the Veil Through Media: Futbol, Dating and Revolution in Iran" Hosted by the Arab Film Festival and MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television). Featuring: Babak Rahimi, Islamic and Iranian Scholar; Johanna Blakley, Deputy Director, Norman Lear Center; Ellen Harrington, Director of Exhibitions and Special Events, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Moderated by Camille Alick.

MAKE A RESERVATION

7:30 PM -- Catered reception with Mediterranean cuisine provided by Pi on Sunset in front of Norris Cinema Theatre in Queen's Courtyard.

8:30 PM -- Persepolis (Iran/France/U.S.A., 2007), 96 min.
Written and Directed by Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi


Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war, the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable. At age fourteen, Marjane's parents make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager.

In addition, Marjane has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Though it means putting on the veil and living in a tyrannical society, Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family.

Nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2008 Academy Awards.
35mm print provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
In French, English, Farsi and German, with English subtitles.
To visit the Official Website and view the trailer, click here.
MAKE A RESERVATION

 


About the Guests

"Capturing the Reel Picture: Civil Rights and Social Change in the Arab World"

Sabine El Gemayel, Writer/Director, Niloofar

After living in Iran and Lebanon for most of her life, Sabine El Gemayel moved to Canada in 1987.  She graduated from Stanislas High School, and got a B.A. in Communications Studies from Montreal’s Concordia University in 1993. Sabine wrote and directed three short films before moving to Los Angeles in 1994. Since then she has edited a number of feature films such as the award winning Palestinian feature film The Olive Harvest. Sabine marked her debut as a writer-director with Niloofar (2008), an Iraqi story dealing with arranged marriage, education and crime of honor produced by Jean Bréhat and Rachid Bouchareb (Days of Glory, Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film 2006). Currently, Anne-Dominique Toussaint (Caramel, The Hedgehog) is producing Sabine El Gemayel’s second feature film Motherhood Inc. in 2011.

Mark LeVine, Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at UC Irvine and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University

LeVine is the author and editor of more than half a dozen books, including Heavy Metal Islam (Random House 2008), Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989 (Zed Books, 2009), Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv and the Struggle for Palestine (California, 2005), and Why They Don't Hate Us (Oneworld Publications 2005). He writes frequently for the international press and is a columnist for Al-Jazeera. He is also producer of several films and albums, including Flowers in the Desert (EMI, 2010) and the documentary Heavy Metal Islam, currently in production.

Amin Matalqa, Writer/Director of the 2008 Sundance-winning Jordanian film, Captain Abu Raed

Amin Matalqa has an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute.  With 28 international awards, his feature film debut was Jordan’s first entry into the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Prior to that, he made 26 short films at low-to-no budget while searching for his voice as a filmmaker. Born and raised in Jordan until he was 13, Amin immigrated to the US with his family and spent 14 years in Ohio where he majored in Business Marketing at Ohio State University and had a career in telecommunications for six years before deciding to finally pursue his childhood dream of filmmaking.

Today he lives in Los Angeles with his wife Claire and their dogs, Cello and Oboe.  Amin just completed shooting his second feature film, Disney's first Arab Language production, The United.    

Claire Naber Matalqa, Head of Institutional Development – The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts, Jordan and U.S. Liaison Officer for the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, Los Angeles

Born and raised in Jordan, Claire has worked in Amman, London and Sydney in the fields of music, marketing, radio, television and film. Her lifelong passion for writing led to a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at the University of New South Wales in Sydney in 2002. In 2006 Claire returned to her hometown of Amman, and was hired to work alongside Dean James Hindman as Project Manager and one of the founding members of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA); Jordan's first regional graduate film school, born from an historic collaboration between the Royal Film Commission of Jordan and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts (USCCA).  With a team of passionate Jordanian staff, international faculty, and the invaluable support of Dean Elizabeth Daley and a team of expert consultants from USCCA, The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts was inaugurated in September 2008, and graduated its first class of MFA students from all over the Middle East in 2010.

After continuing creative writing work on two short films and various writing projects in the past three years, Claire wrote her first feature film script, Yasmeen, in 2009. The script was awarded the Dubai Film Connection Grand Development Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2009, and was selected for the semifinal shortlist of 12 scripts considered for the RAWI Middle East Screenwriter’s Lab in association with the Sundance Institute in 2010. Currently Claire is Head of Institutional Development for RSICA in Jordan, as well as U.S. Liaison Officer representing the Royal Film Commission in Los Angeles. She plans to continue writing and producing feature films, as well as collaborating on projects to build cultural bridges between East and West, empowering local talent and sharing the unique voice of a modern Middle East with the world.

Jackie Reem Salloum, Director, Slingshot Hip Hop

Jackie Reem Salloum is a New York based artist and filmmaker. Drawing on her Palestinian and Syrian roots, her pop-infused work focuses on challenging the stereotypes of Arabs in the media. She has directed several shorts exploring this issue, including Planet of the Arabs, which was an official selection in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. After receiving her MFA from New York University, Salloum began directing her first feature length documentary Slingshot Hip Hop. Five years in the making, it made its premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival-Documentary Competition. Salloum’s work is also the basis of a youth education program on Palestine, and she is frequently invited to speak and lead workshops at universities and events internationally.

"Lifting the Veil Through Media: Futbol, Dating and Revolution in Iran"

Ellen M. Harrington, Director of Exhibitions and Special Events, as well as International Outreach, for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

During her seventeen years at the Academy she has organized and designed the installations for over eighty exhibitions of motion picture-related material in two galleries at the Academy’s world headquarters in Beverly Hills, California; exhibitions she has curated have also toured throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. In addition, she produces ongoing public film screenings, retrospectives, tributes and educational programming for the Academy’s 1,000-seat theater in Beverly Hills and 300-seat theater in Hollywood, as well as film series in partnership with a wide variety of cultural organizations, and traveling film programs throughout the world. Ms. Harrington co-created the Academy’s Media Literacy Program, which for the last fourteen years has provided film education programs for over ten thousand Los Angeles high school students.

She recently developed and heads the Academy’s International Outreach Project, and organized its first initiative in 2007, a visiting artist program and film festival in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A key initiative under this project was an unprecedented visiting artist delegation to Iran in February of 2009, with a follow-up visit to the United States by a group of prominent Iranian filmmakers in October of 2009. Other recent programs have included extensive technical trainings for young filmmakers in Vietnam, the “New Voices from Vietnam” film series presented in Los Angeles in collaboration with UCLA, an exhibition of film posters and program of American films and filmmaker master classes at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba, and plans for an Academy member delegation to work with emerging filmmakers later this year in East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda).

Ms. Harrington has previously worked in feature film development for Dustin Hoffman’s Punch Productions, and non-profit film programming for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theater, under founder and artistic director Joseph Papp. She is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, holds a B.A. with honors from Dartmouth College in Comparative Literature and Art History, and an M.A. in Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies from New York University.

Johanna Blakley, Deputy Director of the Norman Lear Center

The Norman Lear Center is a research and public policy institute that explores the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society based at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Blakley performs research on a wide variety of topics, including global entertainment, cultural diplomacy, celebrity culture, digital media and intellectual property law. Currently, she is developing a survey instrument that measures the impact that films have on individual beliefs, knowledge and behavior. Blakley has overseen two major research initiatives about the impact of intellectual property rights on innovation and creativity – Ready to Share: Fashion & the Ownership of Creativity and Artists, Technology & the Ownership of Creative Content. This spring, she gave a popular talk about fashion and copyright on TED.com. Much of her work addresses the intersection between entertainment and politics, including two nationwide polls she conducted, with Zogby International, on the relationship between political ideology and entertainment preferences.

Blakley is a regular blogger, both on her own site and on the Lear Center Blog, and she has guided more than forty manuscripts to publication at the Lear Center, including Warners’ War: Propaganda, Politics & Pop Culture in Wartime Hollywood. She received a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught courses on popular culture and twentieth-century literature. Blakley has held a variety of positions within the high-tech industry, including Web producer and digital archivist at Vivendi-Universal Games. She is on the advisory board of Kartemquin Films, one of the longest-running documentary companies in the country, and she’s on the board of directors for Les Figues Press, a venue for literary experimentation.

Babak Rahimi, Assistant Professor of Iranian and Islamic Studies, Program for the Study of Religion, Department of Literature, UC San Diego

Babak Rahimi, who earned his BA at UCSD, received a Ph.D from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, in October 2004. Rahimi has also studied at the University of Nottingham, where he obtained a M.A. in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, and London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, 2000-2001. Rahimi has written numerous articles on culture, religion and politics and regularly writes on contemporary Iraqi and Iranian politics. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Jean Monnet Fellowship at the European University Institute, and was a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington DC, where he conducted research on civil society in post-Baathist Iraq. Rahimi witnessed first-hand the 2009 post-election unrest in Iran, where he continues to travel regularly for his research.  His current project is on the impact of the Internet on politics in Iran and the greater Middle East.

About the Festival Organizers

Alessandro Ago, Director of Programming and Special Projects, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Ago programs film screenings, festivals, guest speakers and special events for the USC School of Cinematic Arts. In addition to programming the popular undergraduate courses Theatrical Film Symposium, taught by Leonard Maltin, and Television Symposium, taught by Howard Rosenberg, Ago also curates Outside the Box [Office], a screening series dedicated to bringing new international, documentary and independent cinema to USC. He oversees Deans Council programming for the School of Cinematic Arts and has produced festivals celebrating the work of John Wayne, Roger Corman, Costa Gavras, Maurice Jarre, Albert Broccoli and the James Bond franchise, as well as world cinema showcases focusing on Japan, Italy, Bollywood and the Middle East and an ongoing series of Live in HD satellite broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Both an Italian and American citizen, he grew up in Washington D.C. and Rome, Italy. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree from the USC School of Cinematic Arts' Critical Studies division.

Camille Alick, Project Manager, MOST Resource and Board of Directors, Arab Film Festival

MOST Resource is a nonprofit organization founded by Brookings Institution, Unity Productions Foundation and Gallup Organization. Located at USC School of Cinematic Arts, MOST Resource provides writers and producers with complimentary research and expert consultation on any of their characters or storylines regarding the Middle East, Muslims or Islam.  Camille develops and maintains relationships within Hollywood and acts as an intermediary between clients and resource experts.  She also hosts dialogues on relevant topics with Hollywood, Policy and Academia and organizes Industry special events.  Previously, Camille worked at the Writers Guild of America, West, in Independent Film, Animation and Video Games. Camille sits on the Board of Directors for the Arab Film Festival and has organized the festival in Los Angeles, since 2008. She also hosts dialogues on relevant topics to the Hollywood entertainment industry, the policy-making community, and Academia,  and organizes special entertainment-inudstry-related events. Additionally, as Chair of “Festival at the Schools,” she’s helped make free screenings of Middle Eastern films available to Los Angeles area schools.

Camille is an active member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and was recently a featured speaker on representations of Islam in the Media.  She currently serves as President of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee – Los Angeles.  In addition, Ms. Alick sits on the Department of Homeland Securities, Los Angeles Roundtable.

Michel Shehadeh, Executive Director, Arab Film Festival

Executive Director Michel Shehadeh is a long time Arab American activist. He is the former West Coast regional director of the American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC). He is a script Writer and Comentator on Arab Affairs. His writings appeared in many English and Arabic publications such as the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Middle East Report, Al-Jazeera net and Al-Adab magazine. Mr. Shehadeh holds a BA in Journalism and a Master’s in Public Policy Administration from California State University, Long Beach. He produced and directed videos such as Edward Said at a Glance and Lest We Forget. His wide media experience includes co-founding successful Radio Programs, Newspapers, and an extensive interviews by print, radio and TV. He has served as technical and cultural consultant on major films such as The Prince of Egypt, Three Kings, and Princess and the Marine. He is well known as a national public speaker on Arab issues and Arab arts and culture. Mr. Shehadeh assumed the role of Executive Director of the Arab Film Festival early 2008.

About the Arab Film Festival

The Arab Film Festival offers Americans access to artistically excellent films that illuminate Arab lives. It presents Arab stories that spark insights and broaden intellectual and emotional horizons. In showcasing the breadth of Arab Cinema from the Arab world as well as from immigrant communities throughout the globe, the festival provides a rare contact with the beauty, talent, and diversity of Arab culture. Like no other medium, film can illuminate contemporary issues facing Arab societies and creates a needed space for cross-cultural understanding.

Arab films demonstrate our shared humanity and stand in the face of negative stereotyping and xenophobia. The festival is committed to showcase the range of genres of Arab Cinema; from avant-garde films to popular features, from short student films to hard-hitting documentaries, the film lineup offers a kaleidoscope of voices often missing from the American media landscape.

To learn more, visit: http://www.arabfilmfestival.org/

 

About Pi on Sunset

If you are looking for a cozy atmosphere in the midst of all the action that takes place around West Hollywood, Pi is the place to be. This hidden Mediterranean restaurant on busy Sunset Boulevard offers you a variety of homemade, healthy, and delicious Lebanese and Italian food, in addition to a selection of unique Mediterranean beer and wine. You can indulge your sense in a romantic ambience any time of day for lunch and evenings for dinner, seven days a week. Located at 8828 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Pi was established three years ago to offer its customers an exceptional dining experience with entertainment. You can enjoy dinner with standup comedy shows, karaoke nights and live music events. Pi also offers delivery services to neighboring areas. The second floor at Pi is a private party room, accommodating up to 40 people and is ideal for birthdays, business meetings and other gatherings. There is also a hookah patio outside where you can enjoy different flavors of the best hookah in town.

Vist the website at http://www.pionsunset.com/

About Check-in & Reservations

All screenings are free of charge and open to the public, except for the screening of The Green Wave which is restricted to USC students, faculty and staff ONLY. The theater will be OVERBOOKED to ensure capacity and the RSVP list will be honored on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no reserved seating. Please bring a photo ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 30 minutes prior to showtime.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd. and is free on Sundays.

This program is generously sponsored by

For more information about upcoming programming and events offered by Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative, please visit their website.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu
Phone: 213.740.2330