London's Shubbak Festival, founded in 2011, has become the city's biggest celebration of the art and culture in the contemporary Arab world. This year's showcase runs from 11-26 July and includes music events, visual arts performances and exhibitions, film screenings, literary panel discussions, culture talks and family events in several venues in the British capital.
This year marks the 65th birthday of celebrated Palestinian filmmaker Michel Khleifi, and the festival has invited him to curate the film festival program. Under the banner of "A Homage to Michel Khleifi", the filmmaker has selected a series of films, many from his own works, that explore depictions of Arabs and the Arab world in European cinema.
Filmmaker Michel Khleifi (inst-jeanvigo.eu)
Visions of Palestine featured three seminal documentaries followed by a panel discussion featuring Tariq Ali, Michel Khleifi, Peter Kosminsky (The Promise) and Ilan Pappé.
Festival screenings of Khleifi's notable films included Fertile Memory (1980) Ma'loul Celebrates its Destruction (1985) Canticle of the Stones (1990) and his Palestinian road trip film Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2003), in collaboration with Eyal Sivan.
Khleifi's 1987 film Wedding in Galilee (also known as عرس الجليل trasliteration Urs al-Jalil ), for which he received the International Critics Prize, Cannes and the André Cavens Award, has also been screened.
A still from Khleifi's 2003 Palestinian road trip film Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (Shubbak Festival)
Interview (in Arabic) : Michel Khleifi was at Royal Film Commission in February 2015 as a Jury Member at the Rawi Screenwriters Lab, and to screen his film "Zindeeq".
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