Mizna Arab Film Fest coming April 14-15 to Pellegrene Auditorium

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April 3, 2018

Film ImagesIt’s the “Best of the Arab Film Festival” coming to the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.

The 2018 Mizna Arab Film Fest will be held April 14-15 at Pellegrene Auditorium, SJU. It begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 14, with additional films shown at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The festival continues at noon Sunday, April 15, with additional films shown at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., sandwiched around a panel discussion at 4:45 p.m. at the Centenary Room (room 264), Quadrangle Building, SJU.

“Best of the Fest” is presented by the St. Paul-based Arab American organization Mizna, which is a forum for Arab American film, literature and art. Mizna produces the annual Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, and the movies being shown at “Best of the Fest” are culled from previous Twin Cities Arab Film Festivals.

Andrea Shaker, professor of art at CSB and SJU, will have her short experimental films shown at 5 p.m. April 14. She will also be part of a director’s roundtable discussion April 15.

The event is open for any and all who are curious about Arab/Arab American/Muslim experiences.

Mizna hopes film can connect people to one another’s stories and generate empathy in a powerful way. The Film Fest is “a rare critical and creative context for learning and discussion about people groups very much under the spotlight together reflecting on current issues like xenophobia and Islamophobia that we’re increasingly facing here as well as nationally and world-wide.”

Here is the April 14 lineup:

2 p.m. – “The Wanted 18,” directed by Amer Shomali;
5 p.m. - Short experimental films by Andrea Shaker, professor of art at CSB/SJU, with post screening discussion with Michelle Baroody, curator of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival;
7:30 p.m. – “As I Open My Eyes,” by Leila Bouzid.

Here is the April 15 lineup:

Noon – “A Man In Our House,” directed by Henry Barakat;
3 p.m. - “Mariam,” directed by Faiza Ambah, followed by “Rumee,” a collection of documentary shorts directed by Hamse Warfa, Halima Aden, Suud Olat and Mohamed Warsame;
4:45 p.m. - A Director’s Roundtable discussion, featuring Shaker, Olat, Warsame and Rola Nashef, with food and refreshments.
6 p.m. – “Detroit Unleaded,” directed by Nashef.

Tickets are $10 for individual screenings ($6 for seniors or low-income individuals), or $30 for a tour pass that allows you to see all the films. CSB/SJU students and other students are free with a valid I.D.

The project is made possible through the Knight Foundation’s St. Paul Arts Challenge, and the Minnesota State Arts Board with assistance from the CSB/SJU Art Department. Other community partners include the St. Cloud Film Festival, Paramount Center for the Arts, #unitecloud, St. Cloud State University and North Star Press.