Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Blog

By Margaret Lowry

The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival opens this Saturday with a photography exhibit and reception featuring the work of Palestinian artist Samar Hazboun. The festival, which is entering its third season, aims to bring DC’s various communities closer together through art, and catalyze invigorating discussion about film and culture using the lens of Palestinian filmmakers as an entry point. The stories told through the festival are not necessarily about the Palestinian/Israel conflict, nor are they necessarily stories about Palestinians, but they are stories that reflect the dynamic formation of a transnational identity common to Palestinians and diasporic communities more generally.

Along with the photography exhibit, the festival will feature numerous feature and documentary films. Highlights of this year’s program include Annemarie Jacir’s newest film and Palestine’s 2013 Oscar entry When I Saw You and Fida Qishta’s powerful documentary Where Should the Birds Fly? which follows the experiences of two young women during Operation Cast Lead.

Short Films will be shown on Monday, September 30, at Sankofa Café and Friday, October 4, at the Goethe Institut. The Monday night program will include a reception and a dialogue between African American and Arab American film festival organizers. The dialogue aims to draw connections between identity, representation and empowerment amongst underrepresented communities in media.

DCPFAF runs from September 28 – October 5. For more information on the festival and information about programming and tickets you can visit their website at

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