Local(ish): 5 Short Films + Discussion with Filmmakers



St. Anthony Main Theatre 3 Sat, Sep 28, 2019 4:00 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$12.00
Student (Box Office Only):$10.00
Senior (Box Office Only):$10.00
Film Info
Program:Twin Cities Arab Film Festival
Culture & Society
Runtime:58 min


Of Our Youth
Directed by Samiera Abou-Nasr | 15 mins | 2017 | USA

A man wanders through the city on a quiet night. After stopping for take-out, he crosses paths with a stranger and is compelled to start a conversation.

Festivals and Awards:
Twin Cities Film Festival, USA, 2017
Interrobang Film Festival, Des Moines, USA 2017

Sameira Abou-Nasr is a Minneapolis based film director and writer. Her passion for connecting the world through common themes and emotions within humanity is reflected in each of her projects. In the film, “Of Our Youth”, audiences are swept through a night of temporary companionship between two lonely and directionless people sitting at the crossroads of life. She frequently collaborates with creative partner JC Calubayan through their art collective, Young Architect.

Turath aw Hadara
Directed by Qais Assali & Jose Luis Benavides | 18 mins | 2019 | USA
English and Arabic with English subtitles
Minnesota premiere

Culling various archival collections, original footage, and conversations with an ex-Playboy Bunny as well as the Arab community of Dearborn, Michigan, this video charts the often-overlooked history of costuming, Orientalism, and minstrel Arab-facing—a history which is inherent, though invisible, to our discussions of American racism—in order to question the limits of our awareness and understanding of culture and civilization.

Nice Legs
Directed by Qais Assali & Jose Luis Benavides | 11 mins | 2018 | USA
English with Arabic and English subtitles
US premiere

Sharing in the trauma of Mexico's stolen lands in 1848 and the 1948 Nakba in Palestine, two artists film their strange journey to Springfield, Illinois, where a military museum keeps guard over Santa Anna's wooden leg in its odd fortress as a macabre trophy of US global imperialism.

Qais Assali (b. 1987, Palestine) is an artist, designer and educator. He works with photography, video, installation, lecture performance, archives, and graphic design, seeking to engage and subvert national geopolitical power dynamics. His interdisciplinary work stages questions between site and the body in relation to his own identity and locale in order to debunk surrounding metaphoric contested geographies.

Jose Luis Benavides (b. 1986, Chicago, IL) is an artist, writer, and educator. He has worked as a teaching artist at various institutes in Chicago, and has also taught within the Cook County jail system. Benavides’s experimental documentary, Lulu en el Jardín, was an official selection of Chicago’s 2018 Collected Voices Film Festival. His video art and archival-based works have shown at The Logan Center for the Arts in 2018 and The Nightingale in 2017.

Youth in Dearborn | The Story of Rana & Mahdi
Directed by Andy Madeleine | 10 mins | 2019 | USA
English and Arabic with English subtitles
Minnesota Premiere

The story of Rana and Mahdi, two exceptional senior athletes pursuing scholarships at Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan, a.k.a. "Little Lebanon”—the town with the highest percentage of Arab Americans in the US. Practicing Muslims, Rana and Mahdi are paving the way for young Arab American athletes.

Festivals and Awards:
Traverse City Film Festival, US, 2019

Andy Madeleine is a filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan, currently working between Los Angeles and New York. His first foray into filmmaking was an attempt to challenge the banality of growing up in the suburbs of Detroit—borrowing his parents’ 8mm tape camera and enlisting friends to act in a series of poorly written sketches. His latest documentary Above Below Sea Level premiered at Louisiana International Film Festival in 2017.

Two Truths and a Lie
Directed by Sarah Abdel-Jelil | 4 mins | 2016 | US / UK / Mauritania
English and Arabic

A film created during the artist’s undergraduate studies in class on essay-films in 2016. After coming to the realization that she was afraid of creating personal films, she created this film to work through her anxieties about returning to see her extended family.

Sarah Abdel-Jelil is a dancer/choreographer/filmmaker based in Minneapolis. She grew up in eight countries and has currently found home in Minnesota.

Twin Cities Arab Film Festival

Mizna and MSP Film Society present the 14th Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, screening more than thirty contemporary films from Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as those from local Arab filmmakers.

Browse Twin Cities Arab Film Festival