UW Honors College to Host First Middle East Film Festival April 13-14

Six films will be screened during the University of Wyoming Honors College’s first Middle East Film Festival Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14. The two-day event is free and open to the public.

Three different films will be screened each day from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. in the Agriculture Building auditorium. Breakfast will be served at the April 13 program, and appetizers will be available for the April 14 event.

A question-and-answer session with directors and a film critic will follow each film -- most will be through Zoom. Oualid Mouaness, a Lebanese director based in Los Angeles, will attend in person as the special guest of the festival. He will answer questions after the screening of his film “1982” and will offer a master class for UW students Monday, April 15, at 11 a.m. in Room 123 of Coe Library.

Ahmad Nadalizadeh, a first-year Honors College assistant instructional professor who specializes in the study of Middle Eastern films, organized the event.

“This exciting festival of films from the Middle East provides an opportunity to learn more about a complex and fascinating region of the world from the perspective of Middle Eastern storytellers themselves,” says Peter Parolin, UW Honors College dean. “Watching films outside of the Hollywood tradition helps us see the world a little differently and think anew about what movies can achieve.”

Films to be screened Saturday, April 13, with times and short synopses, are:

-- 10:30 a.m.: “The Chess of the Wind” (1976). Lost for more than 40 years and restored as part of American director Martin Scorsese’s world cinema project, the Iranian film features a conflict between the remainders of the first lady of a noble house for taking over her heritage after she dies. Mohammad Reza Aslani directed the film. He will answer questions at 12:15 p.m.

-- 3 p.m.: “Osama” (2003). Golden Globe Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film. The film shows the impact of the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan on the life of a preteen girl. Siddiq Barmak directed the film. Director Kaveh Moeinfar will answer questions at 4:45 p.m.

-- 7 p.m.: “Tooman” (2020). In the film, once big money enters the picture, things go sour for a gang of friends who are passionate about soccer, horse racing and gambling. Morteza Farshbaf directed the film. He will answer questions at 9 p.m.

Films to be screened Sunday, April 14, with times and synopses, are:

-- 10:30 a.m.: “Costa Brava, Lebanon” (2021). Winner of the Audience Award at the 2021 London Film Festival. The film tells the story of a Lebanese family that escapes the pollution of Beirut by seeking refuge in a utopian mountain home. Mounia Akl directed the film. She will answer questions at 12:15 p.m.

-- 3 p.m.: “Taste of Cherry” (1997). The first Iranian film to win the Palme d’Or at the famed Cannes Film Festival, it follows a man as he drives around the hilly outskirts of Tehran, seeking someone who is up for his task. Abbas Kiarostami directed the film. Movie critic Godfrey Cheshire, former New York Film Critics Circle chair, will attend the UW Honors College film festival and will discuss Kiarostami’s film at 4:45 p.m.

-- 7 p.m.: “1982” (2017). Lebanon’s official entry for the 92nd Academy Awards. The film demonstrates the complexities of love and war and the resilience of the human spirit. It revisits one of the most cataclysmic moments in Lebanon’s history through the lens of a child and his vibrant imagination while an invasion encroaches on Beirut. Mouaness will discuss his film at 9 p.m.

For more information about the film festival, email Nadalizadeh at anadaliz@uwyo.edu or Parolin at parolin@uwyo.edu.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications
Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-2929
Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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