Posted by on October 24, 2012 in Blog

By Vieshnavi Rattehalli

Fall 2012 Intern

The seventeenth annual Arabian Sights Film Festival begins this Thursday, October 25th and runs through November 4th, screening ten films from a diverse set of countries including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. The films will be screened at one of the two following locations: The Embassy of France at 4101 Reservoir Rd NW and The National Geographic Society at 1600 M St NW. All films will be screened with English subtitles. As in past years, an Audience Award for favorite film will be presented.

The films being screened this year are Asma’a, El Gusto, Heels of War, How Big is Your Love, Omar Killed Me, The Reluctant Revolutionary, The Rif Lover, Sea Shadow, The Source, and Taxi Ballad. In addition to the screenings, the film festival includes several special events such as an opening night wine and cheese reception at the Embassy of France with the screening of The Source, receptions at the Embassy of Algeria on Friday evening and at the Embassy of Egypt on Sunday evening, and Q&A sessions with the directors of Sea Shadow, El Gusto, and Heels of War.

Tickets are $12 per person per screening and can be purchased online through MissionTix up to one hour before the first show. For those wishing to purchase tickets over the phone, MissionTix is available weekdays from 10 AM – 5 PM at 410-982-0799 or toll-free at 1-888-996-4774. Tickets are cash or check only at the door. The Festival Pass is a package of 9 tickets for $95, but does not include opening night tickets. Instructions on purchasing a Festival Pass can be found here.

For those looking to contribute actively to the festival, volunteer opportunities include manning Ticket Sales and Will Call, ushering and crowd control, and Audience Award ballot collection and tabulation. Volunteers will be compensated with a free t-shirt and a ticket to one regular screening of choice. The volunteer application form is here.

Arabian Sights is organized in collaboration with the National Geographic Museum, which is currently hosting an exhibition entitled “1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization,” a showcase of scientific and cultural achievements from the Muslim world since the 7th century to the present day. The purchase of a ticket to any of the Arabian Sights films includes a promotional code for a discounted rate on entrance to the Golden Age exhibition. The code can be redeemed while purchasing tickets online or over the phone for any date through February 3, 2013.

The film festival would not have been possible without the hard work of Shirin Ghareeb, the Arabian Sights Festival Director and Programmer, as well as the coordinating assistants, graphic designers, webmaster, theater managers, and volunteers, among others. The film festival is sponsored by several notable organizations including the University of the District of Columbia, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, the Embassies of Algeria and France, and the National Geographic Museum. A complete list of the sponsors is available on the festival’s website here.

The full film schedule with descriptions is available here. If you have further questions, please call the Arabian Sights hotline at 202-234-3456.

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