Global Programs | Palestinian Film Festival in Chile

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14-Jan-15
In June 2014, the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) at Columbia University, the Columbia Global Centers | Latin America (Santiago), the Center for Arab Studies at the University of Chile, and the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program collaborated to present the first annual Palestinian Film Festival in Santiago, Chile, at the Cineteca Nacional (Centro Cultural La Moneda).

This weeklong festival, which ran from June 23 to 29, featured iconic works from Palestinian cinema, which has emerged as a globally influential artistic force. Following in the footsteps of other Palestinian international film festivals in Madrid, London and Boston, the inaugural Santiago Festival aimed to engage Latin American audiences with filmic depictions of Palestinian history and culture. The theme of the program was “Cinema and Exile.” Eight feature films and five short films were screened; twelve of these premiered for the first time in Chile.

The festival opened with addresses by the festival’s curator, Noemí Artal (University of Chile—Center for Arab Studies), Vice President for Columbia Global Centers Safwan Masri, and the dean of Columbia University School of the Arts, Carol Becker. A screening of Omar (2013) followed. Waleed Zuaiter, the film’s producer and the actor who plays the character Agent Rami, led a discussion after the screening of the film, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

School of the Arts Film Program alumna Cherein Dabis (’04), also participated in the festival with a discussion that followed the screening of her film Amreeka. The film, which tells the story of a Palestinian family living in post-9/11 Chicago, premiered at Sundance in 2009 and won the Fipresci Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.