Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 International Diaspora Film Festival, Nov 1-6

The 11th International Diaspora Film Festival gets underway starting tonight in Toronto. The opening event is An Evening with Deepa Mehta followed by a free screening of Bollywood/Hollywood which will be introduced by the writer/director Mehta.

The IDFF explores themes of migration, immigration, and cultural diversity by showcasing works of both established and emerging filmmakers. The festival pays special attention to independent Canadian filmmakers from ethnic minorities.

This year's theme is "Wave of Change." Other themes and highlights are Burmese NightCan Muslims and Jews Ever be Friends (Again)?Children of ViolenceDutch DreamingGaza Women Film festivalHere or There?, and a Spotlight on Muslim and Arab Women's Stories.

The festival continues until Sunday November 6. All screenings and events will be at Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave. at St. George St.) and Carlton Cinemas (20 Carlton St. at Yonge St.).



11th International Diaspora Film Festival

The 11th Annual International Diaspora Film Festival (IDFF) will be held in downtown Toronto from 1 to 6 November, 2011.  The theme of the IDFF for 2011 is WAVE OF CHANGEwith films reflecting the political, social, and cultural changes the world has witnessed over the past year. The film program contains an exciting mix of genres, including comedy, drama, and documentary. Film screening locations are Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave. at St. George St.) and Carlton Cinemas (20 Carlton St. at Yonge St.). Please check the IDFF website for more information: http://diasporafilmfest.com/

You can also find us on FaceBook (International Diaspora Film festival 2011) and follow us on Twitter @diasporafest.

Highlights of the 11th IDFF:

An Evening with Deepa Mehta: A two-part evening event is being presented by the University of Toronto Cinema Studies Institute in association with IDFF. Part one of the event (open by invitation only) includes screening of clips from Deepa Mehta’s upcoming project Midnight’s Children , adapted from Salmon Rushdie’s novel, which will be followed by a Q&A session.

Part two of the event (a free event open to the public on a first come first served basis), will include Deepa Mehta presenting her acclaimed Bollywood-Hollywood followed by screening of the film.

Spotlight on Muslim and Arab Women’s Stories Thanks to a partnership with Ryerson University IDFF is able to offer free screenings of six films, short and feature, as well as a talk by the renowned scholar, Dr. Ella Shohat (Professor, Departments of Art & Public Policy and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies at New York University) to follow the screening of Forget Baghdad . Do not miss the Canadian Premiere of Les Secrets by controversial Tunisian filmmaker Raja Amari (Satin Rouge)

Can Muslims and Jews Ever be Friends (Again)? : Three films will be screened in which this controversial subject is the underlying premise.  David , a Toronto Premiere, is the story of a young Muslim boy who is mistaken as a Jew by the Jewish community of Brooklyn. A genuine friendship grows between Daoud (David) and Yoav (one of the Jewish boys) and Yoav’s family. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. Playoff – also a Toronto Premiere – is the latest work by acclaimed Israeli filmmaker, Eran Riklis (Syrian Bride, Lemon Tree), about a friendship between an Israeli basketball coach and a Muslim Turkish woman in 1970s Germany (co-presented with Toronto Jewish Film Festival). In Kaddish for a Friend, a Canadian Premiere, directed by Leo Khasin (Germany), a teenage Palestinian refugee in Berlin develops an unlikely friendship with a Holocaust survivor.

Burmese Night : In celebration of the first anniversary of the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laureate leader of Burmese people for democracy, IDFF has organized the event which will include a screening of two documentaries, both Canadian Premieres, Lady of No Fear and Burmese Dreaming . This event is hosted by award winning author Karen Connelly, creator of two bestsellers “Lizard Cage” and “Burmese Lessons, A Love Story”.

Gaza Women Film Festival : Two years ago, a group of Palestinian female filmmakers got together to organize a festival of themselves in a culture overtly dominated by men and in a city where no cinema exists! They rented a basketball field, sewed a white curtain for use as a screen, and presented their creations. The festival quickly became a world-wide sensation. In recognition of their courageous efforts, IDFF has partnered with GWFF to bring a selection of films from this festival to Toronto.  Co-presented with Toronto Palestinian Film Festival.

Here or There? : The underlying theme of a few films at this year’s IDFF is that the characters are living between two worlds: their homeland and their new home! Almanya , winner of two German Oscars for Best Screenplay and Best Film, a Toronto Premiere, is a heartwarming comedy-drama that tells the story of three generations of Turkish immigrants in Germany. Multi-award winner Amin (by one of IDFF’s favorites – Montreal-based Iranian-Canadian Shahin Parhami), documents the life of Amin, a young and talented musician from Qashqai tribe in Iran who is studying music in Ukraine. Unforgettable scores! Shahin Parhami will be attending this Toronto Premiere screening for a Q/A session. David Dusa is probably the most diasporic filmmaker at this year’s IDFF! David was born in Hungry, grew up in South Africa, spent his adulthood in Sweden, currently lives in France, and has made his film about the Green Movement of Iran. Flowers of Evil tells the story of a romance between an affluent Iranian girl who has fled Iran after the 2009 election and an Algerian-French young man. IDFF’s Iranian connection this year continues with Golshifteh Farahani, the Iranian rising star of French cinema playing Siba, an Iraqi Kurdish girl in search of her fiancée in Paris in If You Die, I’ll Kill You

Children of Violence :
 A few short and feature films visit the subject of children as the victims of conflict in their societies. Do not miss the excellent short Checkpoint by Ruben Amar and multi-award winning Before Your Eyes

To reserve tickets please email info@diasporafilmfest.com

Full film descriptions and schedule available on our website www.diasporafilmfest.com

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