Festival du film de femmes nord-africaines

Festival du film de femmes nord-africaines

The Wellesley College Art Department and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center are very pleased to announce the North African Women’s Film Festival, which will take place at Wellesley College’s Collins Cinema, November 6th through 10th. The festival will present six programs of four features and seven short films from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. In addition, we will host two roundtable discussions with the festival guests. Opening and closing receptions will be held.

Attending guests:
Director Raja Amari of Tunisia will present her films, « Satin Rouge, » and « One Evening in July. » Raja Amari was born in Tunis and trained for many years as a dancer at the Conservatoire de Tunis. She also studied Romance Languages with an emphasis on Art History at the University of Tunis and completed her film studies at Paris’s Formation et Enseignement pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son (FEMIS), where she directed two short films. « Satin Rouge » is her first feature length
film. Producer Dora Bouchoucha Fourati of Tunisia will discuss issues and questions surrounding production and distribution of films by North African directors. Educated in Tunisia, France and England, Dora Bouchoucha Fourati has long been connected with the production and promotion of Arab and African films. In 1995, she founded the Tunisian production company Nomadis Images. Included in her repertoire of projects are the production of the films « Silences of the Palace » and « The Season of Men » by Moufida Tlatli, « Satin Rouge, » « One Night in
July, » and « Avril » by Raja Amari, and « Sabrya » by Abderrahman Sissako. She also organizes a script workshop « SUD ECRITURE, » with renowned
script doctors. In addition, Dora Bouchoucha Fourati has been the organizer of major international events such as Michael Jackson’s « History of the World Tour » and the Journés Cinematographiques de
Carthage (JCC), an international Arab and African film festival.
Anissa and Yasmina Bouziane will present two of their short films: « Ali
Baba: Hollywood and Paris at Their Best » and « Le Regard. » Anissa holds
an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia University, a Certificate in
Film from New York University, and a BA from Wellesley College. She
worked for several years as a Staff Developer, teaching writing in
public schools of Harlem, Queens, and the South Bronx. In addition to
working as an independent filmmaker, she is the author of the soon to be
released novella, Fragments from a Transparent Page.
Yasmina Bouziane holds an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in
Photography and Video, a Certificate in Film from New York University, a
BA from Hampshire College, and is a graduate of the Whitney Museum of
American Art Independent Study Program in New York City. Additionally,
she studied Art History and Film Theory at La Sorbonne in Paris, France.
Director Tania Kamal el Din of Egypt will present her short film,
« Hollywood Harems. » Tania Kamal el Din is an independent filmmaker,
videographer, and writer. Her films and videos have been screened in
several venues and festivals throughout the world. Kamal el Din’s work
focuses on the Middle East and women’s issues. She received her MFA in
Visual Arts and is now a lecturer at the University of California at San
Diego.
Director Laila Marrakchi will present her short film, « Lost Horizon. »
Born in Casablanca, Laila Marrakchi was educated at the University of
Paris III where she received a DEA in Cinema and Audio-Visual Studies.
In 2000, she directed « Lost Horizon, » which won awards at several
international festivals, including the prize for the Best Short Film at
the 2000 Torino Film Festival. In 2001, she made two documentaries for
television.
Director Tahani Rached of Egypt will present her film, « Four Women of
Egypt. » Born in Cairo, Egypt, Tahani Rached studied at Montreal’s Ecole
des Beaux-Arts for two years before working with community groups and
then turning to cinema. She began her cinematic career in 1973 with
« Pour Faire Changement, » a documentary. Since then, she has directed
nearly 20 films and videos.
Director Djamila Sahraoui of Algeria will present her film, « The Other
Half of Allah’s Heaven. » Born in Algeria, Djamila Sahraoui studied
humanities in Algiers and then studied film at the Institut des Hautes
Etudes Cinematographiques (IDHEC) in Paris. Since 1975, she has lived in
France and was made the laureate of la Villa Medicis in 1997 as a result
of the success of her documentary works.
Director Moufida Tlatli of Tunisia will present her film, « The Season of
Men. » Moufida Tlatli was raised in Tunisia. After graduating from the
editing department at IDHEC in 1968, she went back to live in Tunisia in
1972. Her name appears on the credits of many of the most important Arab
films made from 1970 to 1990. In 1993, she directed her first feature
film, « The Silences of the Palace, » which gained her international
acclaim as a director. The film was selected for the « Directors
Fortnight » at Cannes 1994 and received a « Special Mention » for the
Camera d’Or award. « The Season of Men » is her second feature film.
Please contact May Haduong at mhaduong@yahoo.com or (617) 513-3089 for
interview possibilities. Tapes and images are also available.
Opening Night:
Special Performance by Anissa M. Bouziane
Filmmaker and writer Anissa M. Bouziane will read passages from her work
in progress, Fragments from a Transparent Page. Wednesday, November 6 at
7:30 pm
Satin Rouge, by Raja Amari (France/Tunisia, 2002, 91min, 35mm)
Wednesday, November 6 at 8 pm Thursday, November 7 at 9 pm
A widowed Tunisian seamstress takes an unlikely journey of
self-discovery in writer-director Raja Amari’s sumptuous and sensual
« Satin Rouge. » While investigating a suspected liaison between her
headstrong teenage daughter and a cabaret musician, young widow Lilia
becomes drawn to an exotic nightclub netherworld of Rubénesque belly
dancers and nocturnal pleasure-seekers.
** Winner – New Directors Showcase Award – Best New Director
** Winner – Audience Award 2002 Maine International Film Festival
** 2002 Seattle International Film Festival
Director Raja Amari present.
Short Films Program One:
The Other Half of Allah’s Heaven, Djamila Sahraoui (Algeria, 1996,
52min, 35mm) Lost Horizon, Laila Marrakchi (Morocco/France, 2000, 12min,
35mm) Hollywood Harems, Tania Kamal el Din (Egypt, 1999, 24min, video)
Thursday, November 7 at 7 pm Friday, November 8 at 9:30 pm
Through interviews with female Algerian independence fighters, Djamila
Sahraoui’s film « The Other Half of Allah’s Heaven » tells the story of
the rise of reactionary politics that targeted women’s lives in the
restructuring of social life in Algeria. The Islamist movement prominent
in civil life in Algeria since the war has resulted in serious
instability in women’s lives, giving men extremely unfair economic and
social advantages. The female freedom fighters for Algerian independence
find themselves now fighting for their personal freedom within Algeria.
« Being a woman in Algeria means living between pain and hope. » « The
Other Half of Allah’s Heaven » is about the past and present struggles of
Algerian women in their own words. It includes archival footage from the
revolutionary days and the battles of the 1970s over family code laws.
**Best Documentary prize at the 1996 Milan Festival of African Cinema
**First Prize for Documentary, FEPASCO 1997 **First Prize at
Clermont-Ferrand, France « Traces de Vies » **First Prize UNECA, Nairobi,
Kenya
« Lost Horizon, » a beautifully filmed short, follows Abdeslam’s final
hours in Tangiers as he prepares to leave his lover, Rhimou, and his
country for a questionably better life on the other side of the horizon.
Aboard a clandestine vessel on his way to Spain, he reminisces about
Rhimou, his country, and about what he is leaving behind.
« Hollywood Harems » by Tania Kamal el Din uses footage appropriated from
a wide range of Hollywood films to explore and deconstruct stereotypes
of women and challenge issues of gender,’Orientalism’, and Otherness.
Directors Djamila Sahraoui, Laila Marrakchi, and Tania Kamal el Din
present.
The Season of Men, Moufida Tlatli (Tunisia, 2001, 124min, 35mm) Friday,
November 8 at 7 pm Saturday, November 9 at 9:15 pm
Her marriage dissolved, Aicha, the heroine of Moufida Tlatli’s « The
Season of Men », leaves Tunis to take refuge on Djerba, the small
Tunisian island where she was born. Aicha hopes to recapture a
tranquility that she remembers from her childhood. Instead, the return
to her husband’s family villa, where she lived as a virtual prisoner for
more than a decade, awakens painful memories, not only for Aicha, but
for her two grown daughters, Meriem and Emna, who have accompanied her
to help care for their young autistic brother. Described by director
Moufida Tlatli as « a parallel story of two generations, » The Season of
Men » masterfully illuminates the contrasts between old traditions and
new ways of life, mixing memory and time, desire and loss.
** Best Actress – Namur 2000
** IMA Award 2000
** Special mention for Camera d’Or – Cannes Film Festival 2000
** First Prize, Feature Film – Torino International Festival of Women’s
Cinema 2001
Director Moufida Tlatli present.
Four Women of Egypt, Tahani Rached (Canada, 1997, 90min, video)
Saturday, November 9 at 4:15 pm Sunday, November 10 at 8:30 pm
« Four Women of Egypt » chronicles the tale of four friends against the
backdrop of tremendous political and social change in Egypt. These
extraordinary women – a teacher, a writer, an activist, and a politician
– testify about the tumultuous events through which they have lived over
the course of their long friendship.
** Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
** Feminale Women’s Film Festival, Köln, Germany
** Middle Eastern Studies Association Film Festival
Director Tahani Rached present on Sunday, November 10th.
Women’s Wiles, Farida Benlyazid (Morocco, 1999, 90min, 35mm) Sunday,
November 10 at 5 pm
Lalla Aicha, the daughter of a rich merchant, has a seemingly
unfortunate encounter with the King’s son one day while on her terrace.
What ensues is an exchange of verbal barbs, and, in time, a number of
incredible acts, the likes of which can only be matched in « Arabian
Nights. » Lalla Aicha eventually piques the prince’s interest and soon
gains his respect after testing his will. This film illustrates a battle
of the sexes, full of piquancy, imagination and intelligence.
Introduced by Anissa Bouziane.
Short Films Program Two:
One Evening in July, Raja Amari (Tunisia, 2001, 26min, 35mm) Perfumed
Garden, Yamina Benguigui (Algeria/France, 2000, 52min, video) Ali Baba:
Hollywood and Paris at Their Best, Anissa & Yasmina Bouziane
(Morocco/USA, 1993, 12min, video)
Le Regard, Anissa & Yasmina Bouziane (Morocco/USA, 1993, 12min, video)
Saturday, November 9 at 7 pm
Sunday, November 10 at 2 pm
« One Evening in July » reveals the subconscious motivations of an elderly
beautician, Saida, who makes up young women for their wedding nights.
The lingering bitterness Saida feels about arranged marriages leads her
to hope that the brides might change their minds. Plagued by the
universal feelings of fear and uncertainty on her wedding night, Miriam
appears to be the perfect prey. Even though nobody is forcing her to
marry, she is reluctant to step further.
« Perfumed Garden » is an exploration of the myths and realities of
sensuality and sexuality in Arab society, a world of taboos and of
erotic literature. This lyrical documentary discusses pre-marital sex,
courtship and marriage, familial pressures, private vs. public spaces,
social taboos (and the desire to break them), and issues of language.
** Best Documentary, 2001 Turin Women’s Film Festival (Italy)
** Best Documentary, 2001 Vues d’Afrique Film Festival (Montreal)
« Ali Baba: Hollywood and Paris at Their Best » is a compilation of images
taken in a three day time span from early and contemporary Hollywood
movies, as well as TV, that illustrates how little progression has been
made in the domain of representation of the supposed « other. »
Furthermore, these images and « deformations » have been used as
justifications for political policy. The sound track for « Ali Baba » is a
contemporary top 20 song, popular in both France and Canada, that
emphasizes the stereotypical image of over-sexualized, untamed,
titillating, and undulating Arab women’s bodies. Most importantly, « Ali
Baba » lays out and pokes fun at what American and French popular culture
seem to take as ultimate truths, reminding us constantly of Roland
Barthes’s famous phrase: « Representations are formations, but they are
also deformations. »
« Le Regard » explores the issues some videographers face as image-makers.
More specifically, it uses unconventional documentary filming techniques
to explore the « sight/cite/site » of a female Arab videographer. The
complexities of the socio-economic status of Arab women within
contemporary society are explored through the images of « Le Regard. »
Through the soundtrack, the viewer is confronted with the male/female
dynamic within this particular Arab society; part of the voice over is a
male voice telling the woman videographer what would be appropriate to
film. The audience is torn between what one is expected to see, what one
actually sees and what one is told to see.
Directors Raja Amari, Yasmina Bouziane and Anissa Bouziane present.
The festival is sponsored by the Davis Fund for World Cultures and
Leadership, the Wellesley College Committee on Lectures and Cultural
Events, Wellesley College Friends of Art, the Davis Museum and Cultural
Center and the Wellesley College Art Department.
Admission is free and on a first come, first served basis. The theatre
will open 20 minutes before each screening. Films are in their original
version with English subtitles.

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