The Arab Film Festival, which opens Friday at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Los Angeles and continues through Oct. 20, is the largest independent annual showcase of Arab films and filmmakers in the United States.
Founded in San Francisco in 1996, the festival is marking its seventh edition in Los Angeles. Besides San Francisco and L.A., it also visits Berkeley, Oakland and San Diego.
"Arab culture is a rich feast of cultures and textures, with many stories to tell," Jordan Elgrably, director of the Levantine Cultural Center, one of the local organizations supporting the festival, said in a statement. "The Arab Film Festival provides Americans with a bevy of feature films, shorts and documentaries. It's a unique opportunity to experience Arab culture and participate in conversations with directors."
Among the highlights of this year's event are the Jordanian romantic comedy "When Monaliza Smiled"; the drama "Tannoura Maxi" from Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates; the Lebanese drama "Blind Intersections"; and the Morocco-U.S. production "Casablanca Mon Amour"; which offers a Moroccan take on the relationship between Hollywood and the Arab world.
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