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Youssef Chahine Tribute Tops the Bill at the Arab American National Museum's 2008 Arab Film Festival

posted on: Oct 22, 2008

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The legendary Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine will be remembered with a special program at the 2008 Arab Film Festival November 14-16, 2008. It’s the fourth annual film festival presented by the Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Michigan.

Chahine, who died last summer at age 82, left behind a monumental body of work beloved by Arab World moviegoers but unfamiliar to most other audiences, despite international critical acclaim.

The 2008 Arab Film Festival proudly presents two Chahine classics – from 1958 and starring Chahine himself, The Cairo Station, winner of the Golden Bear Award at the ’58 Berlin International Film Festival; and The Destiny, from 1997, a Palme d’Or nominee at the Cannes Film Festival (Package D, noon & 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16).

Captain Abu Raed (Package C, 8:50 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14) is the first film ever submitted by the kingdom of Jordan in response to an invitation from the Academy Awards for its Best Foreign Language Film category. This 2008 film took the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and just won the $100,000 grand prize for best dramatic feature at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis. Its director, Amin Matalqa, received Variety’s Middle East filmmaker of the year award during Abu Dhabi’s Middle East International Film Festival.

Slingshot Hip Hop (Package A, 7:20 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14) braids together the story of young Palestinians living in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank as they discover hip hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. Featured artists include DAM (who played a red-hot show at a recent AANM Global Thursdays performance), PR (Palestinian Rapperz), Abeer and Mahmoud Shalabi. This film was an official selection at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. New York-based director/producer/editor Jackie Salloum leads a post-film discussion.

Following Slingshot Hip Hop at 9:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, festival goers are invited to continue their exploration of issues raised by festival films during Kunafa Night. For just $5, movie lovers can enjoy conversation along with freshly brewed coffee and from Masri Sweets in Dearborn, fresh kunafa – a tasty cheese pastry topped with a flaky crust and an infused syrup.

The complete schedule appears below.

Each of the festival’s five film packages includes a short subject and a feature-length film (except Package D, which includes two Chahine features); tickets for individual packages are $6 for Museum Members and $7 all others. A Weekend Festival Pass is available for $25 for Museum Members; for $35, non-members get the weekend pass plus a one-year individual Membership to the AANM. Tickets for Kunafa Night are $5.

Festival goers are encouraged to purchase advance tickets and Weekend Festival Passes – available online ONLY at www.arabamericanmuseum.org – to ensure seating. No advance tickets or passes are available for sale by phone or in person. Tickets and Weekend Festival Passes will be for sale at the door during the festival.

All screenings take place in the 156-seat Auditorium on the Museum’s Lower Level. The festival schedule is subject to change.