Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2007 starts April 14

Chicago Palestine Film Festival runs from Saturday April 14 to Thursday April 26 at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF) is proud to present its 6th annual festival which will take place at the Gene Siskel Film Center from April 14-April 26. Our shortlist for 2007 includes fifteen films by twenty-one Palestinian and eight other filmmakers. We value the opportunity to engage in discussions with experts and artists, so this year’s festival also includes several distinguished special guests.

On Saturday, April 14, we will present the Chicago premiere of Leila Khaled: Hijacker by Palestinian filmmaker Lina Makboul from Sweden. This challenging and surprising film is at once a portrait of Khaled, who in 1969 made history by becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane, and an exploration of the filmmaker’s understanding of her Palestinian identity. Special guest Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, will deliver a keynote address immediately after the screening. Professor Dabashi is the founder of Dreams of a Nation, a Palestinian Film Project, dedicated to preserving and safeguarding Palestinian Cinema.

On Saturday, April 21, As’ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley will speak after a shorts program that includes Palestine, Summer 2006, a film project initiated by the Palestine Film Collective. It is an entertaining compilation of three-minute works by thirteen different film and video artists creating evocations of Palestine.

On Sunday, April 22, Jennifer Bing-Canar, coordinator of the Israel-Palestine Peacebuilding Program of the American Friends Service Committee, will lead a discussion after the film Encounter Point. The film follows Palestinian and Jewish individuals bereaved by political violence as they take risks in the face of personal agony and social pressure to attempt reconciliation and dialogue.

On Wednesday, April 25, filmmaker Tariq Nasir will speak after his film Belonging, which tells a very personal story of loss experienced by his mother during the Great Depression in the U.S. and by his father when they are driven from their home in Palestine at gunpoint in 1948.

The full details of our schedule and program can be seen on the Siskel Film Center web site and our own web site.

In the past, the Chicago Palestine Film Festival has offered a second venue with additional films during its festival. We will not be offering this second venue during our festival this year. Later in Summer 2007, we will be sharing the long-awaited documentary SlingShot Hip Hop by Jackie Salloum. Our event will feature performances by the hip hop artists in the film. Please keep in touch with CPFF for more details on this exciting program.

The last year has not been easy for Palestinians and others in the region. Israel carried out a massive assault on Lebanon during the war in July-August 2006 and similar attacks on civilians in the Gaza Strip earlier in the year. The United States and the European Union imposed unprecedented sanctions in Spring 2006 on Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, which have resulted in widespread hunger and medical crises the Gaza Strip whose population is over 80 percent refugees. Many Palestinians who carry passports from North American and West European countries have also been prohibited by Israel from re-entering their homeland. Despite these and other hardships, Palestinian and solidarity filmmakers have given us a magnificent group of films to share with our audience in Chicago.

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF) is an independent, not-for-profit, nonsectarian project based in Chicago that exhibits and promotes films by Palestinian directors and films about Palestine. CPFF is dedicated to presenting a film festival that is open, critical, and reflective of the culture, experience and vision of the filmmakers.

The Festival began in 2001 and continues to be organized by a group of dedicated volunteers. We are supported by a local community of individuals, small businesses, and organizations. The Chicago Palestine Film Festival is a program service of the Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society, a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

CPFF 2007 Official Selections

  • Belonging 2006, Tariq Nasir, Palestine/Jordan, 68 min.
  • Checkpoint Bethlehem 2006, Søren Lind, Denmark, 22 min.
  • Encounter Point 2006, Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha, USA, 85 min.
  • Goal Dreams 2006, Maya Sanbar and Jeffrey Saunders, USA, 86 min.
  • Good Morning Qalqilia (Sabah El Khair Qalqilia) 2006, Dima Abu Ghoush, Palestine, 26 min.
  • Happy Days 2006, Larissa Sansour, Denmark/Palestine, 3 min.
  • It’s Not A Gun 2006, Hélèna Cotinier and Pierre-Nicolas Durand, France, 67 min.
  • Kemo Sabe 2005, Rana Kazkaz, USA, 13 min.
  • Leila Khaled, Hijacker 2005, Lina Makboul, Sweden, 58 min.
  • Make A Wish (Itmanna) 2006, Cherien Dabis, Palestine, 12 min.
  • Open Heart 2006, Claire Fowler, Great Britain/USA/Palestine, 22 min.
  • Palestine Blues 2005, Nida Sinnokrot, USA, 80 min.
  • Palestine, Summer 2006 2006, Various directors, Palestine, 35 min.
  • Soup Over Bethlehem (Mloukhieh) 2006, Larissa Sansour, Denmark/Palestine, 10 min.
  • Two Hands 2006, Fabio Wuytack, Belgium, 13 min.

Related Links

  • BY TOPIC: Film Reviews & Features
  • Coverage of previous years’ Chicago Palestine Film Festival