Africa, the Middle East
...and current home: Beirut, Lebanon.
Programming for the Festival since:
Secret film love:
The Night of the Iguana (1964), directed by John Huston, based on the Tennessee Williams screenplay, starring Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and Richard Burton. Everything about this film is stellar. From Huston’s direction to the performances, dialogue, lighting, set design.... It’s a classic gem. I could watch it once a week and still be moved with the same measure of intensity.
Should have seen it by now but haven’t:
Most of the Midnight Madness films — I know I have missed out on tremendous experiences!
Favourite television series:
The groundbreaking Homicide (an under-recognized classic), The Wire (I still find it fabulous), and Breaking Bad (I am predictable).
Your secret Toronto begins...
Kensington Market’s vintage shops have wondrous treasures.
Africa, the Middle East
Rasha Salti, an independent film and visual-arts curator and writer, joined the Festival in 2011. She served as a film programmer and creative director for the New York–based ArteEast, where she directed two editions of the biennial CinemaEast Film Festival. Rasha has collaborated with a number of organizations, including the Musée Jeu de Paume in Paris, SANFIC in Santiago de Chile, and Tate Modern in London.
A Single Word
In this meditative and elegiac portrait, Senegalese filmmakers Khady and Mariama Sylla record the tales of their grandmother, a griot (storyteller) who is one of the last repositories of their culture’s oral tradition.
Beats of the Antonov
Director Hajooj Kuka immerses us in the world of the Sudanese farmers, herders and rebels of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions, who defiantly celebrate their heritage and tend their lands in the face of a government bombing campaign.
Investigating the gruesome murder of a cabinet minister's daughter, a special investigator and a local police detective find themselves knee-deep in political corruption and conspiracy, in this sizzling noir thriller set in post-apartheid South Africa.
Tracing the emigrations of his family over more than half a century, this riveting 3D documentary epic from acclaimed expatriate Iraqi filmmaker Samir pays moving homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by the horrors of dictatorship, war, and foreign occupation.
Murder in Pacot
In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, a middle-aged Port-au-Prince couple come face to face with the stark contradictions of Haitian society when they are forced to rent out their villa to a foreign aid worker and his enterprising local girlfriend.
The Narrow Frame of Midnight
The intersecting destinies of three people — a Moroccan-Iraqi writer searching for his brother, the lover whom he left behind, and a young orphan on the run — create an incisive and unsettling portrait of a land riven by violence and fundamentalism.
In his first fiction feature, director Philippe Lacôte refracts the fraught and blood-drenched history of the Ivory Coast through the story of a young man’s twenty-year journey from country boy to political militant to assassin.
Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait
The astonishing collaboration between exiled Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed and young Kurdish activist Wiam Simav Bedirxan distills footage from thousands of clandestine videos to create a shattering, on-the-ground documentary chronicle of the ordeal being undergone by ordinary Syrians in the ongoing civil war.
Stories Of Our Lives
Created by the members of a Nairobi-based arts collective — who have removed their names from the film for fear of reprisal — this anthology film that dramatizes true-life stories from Kenya’s oppressed LGBTQ community is both a labour of love and a bold act of militancy.
In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.
Following the recent jihadist takeover of northern Mali, a proud cattle herder comes into fateful conflict with the fundamentalist rulers of the provincial capital, in this luminous, lyrical and poetic drama from the great African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako.
After surviving a car crash in the middle of Lebanon’s isolated Beqaa Valley, an amnesiac man finds himself held hostage on a local farm that doubles as an illegal drug-production facility.
The Wanted 18
Through stop-motion animation, drawings and interviews, directors Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan recreate an astonishing true story from the First Palestinian Intifada: the Israeli army’s pursuit of eighteen cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared "a threat to the national security of the state of Israel."
PLEASE NOTE: The 5:30pm screening (Scotiabank 14) of The Wanted 18 on Friday, September 12 has moved to 5:00pm (Scotiabank 13).