Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival debuts early March

On 11 March 2009 at 8 pm, the Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival will make its debut at the world-renowned Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As one of the few Palestine film festivals to take place in the Midwest of the United States, the Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival will surely bring attention to the growing number of films made about and by Palestinians.

The Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival brings you an array of comedy, drama, fiction, non-fiction, features, shorts, and experimental films, which all showcase the diversity and strength of Palestinian cinema. These films represent the true nature of Palestinians and the Palestinian narrative, in stark contrast to the bias and stereotypes that mainstream news and media present. The breadth of the stories and the emotions expressed in these films know no bounds.

The opening night feature film, Salt of This Sea (Dir. Annemarie Jacir), starring acclaimed spoken word poet Suheir Hammad, screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, and was Palestine’s official submission to the 81st Academy Awards. It is also known to be the first feature-length fictional film to be written and directed by a Palestinian woman.

Other films in this year’s line-up include Laila’s Birthday (Dir. Rashid Masharawi), Driving to Zigzigland (Dir. Nicole Ballivian), Carried by the Wind (Dir. Adam Sebire), Hardball (Dir. Suha Arraf), Make A Wish (Dir. Cherian Dabis) and Slingshot Hip Hop (Dir. Jackie Salloum), which was an official selection at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

In light of the recent tragic events that took place in Gaza, the Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival will be donating part of the proceeds from ticket sales to the established charity United Palestinian Appeal.

The Ann Arbor Palestine Film Festival debuts on 11 March 2009 at 8pm and runs until 14 March 2009. For more information on film schedules and tickets, please visit: