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COMPLICATING FAMILIES: BEST-OF-FEST SHORTS PROGRAM
Wednesday, November 24
Screening the week of Thanksgiving, this series is a selection of the best short films from Mizna’s 2021 Arab Film Festival. Including Darine Hotait’s Tallahassee, the audience award winner for best short film, these fan favorites each demonstrate the complexity of family and belonging, and they explore the importance of communities, both made and inherited.
Tallahassee (2021, DCP, 22m, USA, English) dir Darine Hotaiit. Narrative short. On the day of her release from a psychiatric facility, Mira, an Arab American woman, attends her grandmother’s 90th birthday — only to discover that her sister Lara has lied to the family that she was on a trip to Florida. Tallahasse is the winner of the 2021 TCAFF audience award for best short!
Life on the Horn (2020, DCP, 25m, Somalia/Austria/Germany, Somali with English subtitles) dir Mo Harawe. Narrative short. While a son takes care of his dying father, the surrounding countryside grows empty. Neighbors are in the process of moving out as the young man delivers a load of sand to a long since abandoned construction site. Only its owner remains, hanging on to a prayer chain, his last mainstay.
Mariam (2020, DCP, 12m, USA, English and Arabic with English subtitles) dir Reem Jubran.Narrative short. Zaid, a young Arab-American amateur drag queen, has to confront his conservative father and Alzheimer’s grandfather about his identity.
The Departure (2020, DCP, 25m, Morocco/France, Arabic and French with English subtitles) dir Saïd Hamich Benlarbi. Narrative short. Morocco, 2004. Adil, aged 11, spends the summer playing with his friends and waiting for his idol, Olympic runner Hicham El Guerrouj, to compete in his last Games. The arrival of his father and older brother from France for a few days will mark him forever.
Al-Sit (2020, DCP, 20m, Sudan/Qatar, Arabic with English subtitles) dir Suzannah Mirghani. Narrative short. In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman living abroad. Nafisa’s grandmother Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her own plans for Nafisa’s future. But can Nafisa choose for herself?