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Date Palm Film Festival

Press Release 14 August 2006
Date Palm Film Festival

This year’s Date Palm Film Festival comes at an opportune time, giving us a look at other, more humane aspects of life in the Middle East than those we are shown in the daily news.

Festival organiser Nadra Zarifeh says the seven feature films, two documentaries and two short films from the Middle East and North Africa that are being shown at the Festival in Wellington, beginning September 6, give a colourful cross-section of the daily life, joys and cares of people about whom many New Zealanders know very little.

The highlight of the festival is Bosta, which was last year’s box-office hit in Lebanon. This uplifting musical-love-road movie follows a dance group that travels through Lebanese towns in an old school bus to perform and introduce their dance to the public.

Ironically, made before the current Hizballah-Israeli strife, Bosta was intended to show the rebuilding of Lebanon. Proceeds from the screening of Bosta will go to help victims of the current humanitarian crisis there.

The programme also includes A New Day in Old Sana’a, which is a riveting first-ever feature from the ancient capital of Yemen; The Last Moon, a tender historical Palestinian feature set during the Turkish Empire; and a special feature and two shorts from post-Saddam Iraq.

As these films are unlikely to come back to Wellington, Nadra encourages cinemagoers to take this opportunity to see some of them.

(The week long Date Palm Festival starts at the Paramount on Wednesday, September 6 until Wednesday 13 September. It includes films from Yemen, Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt and Palestine. Programmes will be available from cafes, libraries and the Paramount)

Date Palm Film Festival
Cultural Awareness Trust
New Zealand

Date Palm Film Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of Wellington City Council, Christchurch City Council, Lion Foundation, The Delicious Lebanese Snack co., SASSI Solutions Ltd, Trust House Charitable Trust, Christian World Service, Lisa’s, Paramount and Regent on Worcester.


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