Thursday, February 17, 2011

TIFF announces new programmer for Africa and Middle East

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the appointment of a new programmer for films from Africa and the Middle East. 

Rasha Salti has programmed previously for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and CinemaEast Film Festival. She joins a strong, highly-regarded team of programmers at TIFF, one of the world's top festivals and the world's largest public film festival.

Be sure to catch some of TIFF's ongoing events at the Bell Lightbox in honour of Black History Month. This weekend on Sunday February 20 at 3:30pm, there will be a free screening of short films by African-Canadian filmmakers in Lightbox's Cinema 4. Many of the filmmakers will be in attendance and a reception follows.

This free screening is part of a series of free events taking place at Lightbox on Sunday and Monday, February 20-21.

Toronto – Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, announced today that Rasha Salti has been appointed Festival programmer for African and Middle Eastern Cinema. Salti, a seasoned independent film and visual arts curator and writer, brings to the Festival her experience as programmer for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and CinemaEast Film Festival, and as curator of various programmes and exhibitions, including retrospectives on Arab and Syrian Cinema.  
“Rasha Salti’s knowledge, wealth of experience and passion for cinema make her an asset to the Festival,” said Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “Fluent in Arabic, French and English, her understanding of both the aesthetic ambitions and social realities of filmmakers in the Middle East and Africa made her our ideal candidate. I look forward to introducing her as part of the TIFF team at the upcoming Pan-African Film Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso."

Rasha Salti is an accomplished programmer, curator and writer. She was the film programmer and creative director of the New York based ArteEast where she directed two editions of the biennial CinemaEast Film Festival.  She co-curated The Road to Damascus, with Richard Peña, a retrospective of Syrian cinema; Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s until Now, with Jytte Jensen, showcased at the MoMA in New York; and the 10th edition of the Sharjah Biennial for the Arts, with Suzanne Cotter and Haig Aivazian. Salti has published written works on film aesthetics, as well as social and political commentary.

The 36th Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 8 to 18, 2011.

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