Unfamiliar Scenes


The Main 3 Sat, Sep 30, 2017 11:00 AM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$12.00
Senior (Box Office Only):$10.00
Film Info
Program:Twin Cities Arab Film Festival



This eclectic selection of short films bring stories that are less commonly heard to the big screen by showing underrepresented groups, like the Nubians living in Egypt, and often unseen spaces, like the Western Sahara refugee camps. Additionally, many of the films include the stories of children displaced from their homes and use animation to envision history and invent the future. All films are Minnesota premieres.


Dir. Boubaker Boukhari
2016 | UAE | English | 12 min | Animation

SYNOPSIS: Karouma, a unique child, strives to fulfill his dreams. But first, he must leave his parents’ loving home and break out on his own.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Boubaker Boukhari studied fine arts in Algeria, where he learned animation. He has worked as a visual effects and he has organized arts and film festivals.


Dir. Rawan Rahim
2015 | Lebanon/France | 8 min | Animation

SYNOPSIS: Lilou is both sensitive and curious; she is also crippled by an unbearable shyness. When she receives the power to see into the past, she begins making connections with those around her.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Rawan Rahim was born in Washington D.C. to a Lebanese mother and an Iraqi father. She acquired a BA in art history and French literature from the University College London and studied illustration and design at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Lilou is her first film.


Dir. Ahmed Saleh
2016 | Palestine / Jordan / Germany | Arabic with English subtitles | 11 min | Animation

SYNOPSIS: Two young boys run away to play music in a war zone. The animated story is based on a tragic incident experienced by the director in Askar, one of the oldest Palestinian refugee camps.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Ahmed Saleh is a writer and director based in Germany. In 2016, Saleh completed a second master’s degree at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, during which he wrote and directed two short films and began writing his first feature.


Dir. Amer Albarzawi
2016 | Syria | Arabic with English subtitles | 4 min | Animation

SYNOPSIS: Yaman is a young inventor. His greatest invention is an incredible machine that transforms everyday tissues into an invention that helps him survive.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Amer Albarzawi grew up in Damascus. He has long loved music, theatre, and cinema and, after studying economics at the University of Damascus, he joined a theatre dance group. His animation works focus on human rights and have traveled to a number of festivals around the world.

Battalion to my Beat

Dir. Eimi Imanishi
2016 | Western Sahara / Algeria / US | Arabic with English subtitles | 14 min | Narrative

SYNOPSIS: A restless and rebellious teen feels confined by the restrictive duties of daily life in a Western Saharan refugee camp. She runs away to join the army, seeking to liberate both her people and herself.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Eimi Imanishi is a US/Japanese citizen who grew up in France. Her first narrative short film Battalion to My Beat (2016) was shot in the Western Saharan refugee camps in Algeria with a cast of refugees.


Dir. Mohamed Hisham
2015 | Egypt | Nubain with English and Arabic subtitles | 28 min | Narrative

SYNOPSIS: Shot in al-Nuba, Egypt, Jareedy, the first-ever Nubian language film, tells the story of a boy who faces his fear of swimming. Forming a bound with a local elder, he builds a boat and sails to an island in the middle of the Nile.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Mohamed Hisham was born and raised in Cairo. He has worked as an editor and a creative director. In 2010, he decided to become a documentary filmmaker, emphasizing social and political issues in Egypt and providing a space for unheard voices.

Five Boys and a Wheel

Dir. Said Zagha
2016 | Jordan / Palestine | Arabic with English subtitles | 20 min | Narrative

SYNOPSIS: A young father helps his son sort out a petty dispute with the neighbors. Friendly discussions quickly unravel, testing his values and his pride.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY: Said Zagha was born in Jerusalem. He studied film and English at Kenyon College in Ohio, and he is currently developing his first feature film, a thriller called The Girl.



Mizna's twelfth Twin Cities Arab Film Fest offers an eclectic program of compelling and provocative contemporary narrative, documentary, and short films made by Arab filmmakers from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Tunisia, and more.

Browse Arab Film Fest