The Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) runs from September 29 - October 7. Online 'about' info for the festival includes:
The Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to bringing Palestinian cinema, music, cuisine and art to GTA audiences. TPFF was conceived in 2008 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Al-Nakba.
The 5th season launch party includes a debkeh (traditional Palestinian dance). It will feature the Layaleena Debkeh Group. Video of the Layaleena Arabic Cultural Debkeh Group here.
A special focus of this year's festival is Arab film under the title Arab World Perspectives. Egypt takes center stage with the award winning Microphone. The accompanying program notes include the description: "Completed on the eve of the remarkable youth-led revolution that ultimately ousted President Mubarak last year, Microphone captures the rarely filmed arts scene in one of Egypt’s most vibrant cities."
A personal favorite Habibi will also be screened. It draws on the famous Arabic folk tale of Layla and Qays, the tragic story of star-crossed lovers sometimes compared with Romeo and Juliet. Link to a trailer of the film - here.
The award winning documentary The War Around Us screens on September 29th at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. Ayman Mohyeldin and al-Jazeera's Sherine Tadros were the only journalists for English-language news media inside Gaza during the Israeli Operation Cast lead. The event promo describes The War Around Us as "... a riveting and introspective film [that] chronicles the bonds of friendships under stress, the ethics of journalism in conflict and above all, the resilience of humans during war. With never-before-seen footage and testimonies reported from one of the most besieged places on earth, the film bears witness to how Gaza changed these two journalists forever."
Link to the trailer for The War Around Us - here.
This year's festival includes a concert - Fall of the Moon: An Homage to Mahmoud Darwish - featuring Marcel Khalifé with the Al Mayadine Ensemble. Khalifé is a celebrated Lebanese composer, singer and oud player. In 2005 he was named UNESCO Artist for Peace. Some of his songs feature the words of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, one of the better known being Jawaz-al-Safar (passport).
Marcel Khalifé in concert: