Cannes Critics' Pick Opens Toronto Palestine Film Festival

Toronto Palestine Film Festival

The festival's headliner this year is Amreeka, an acclaimed film that - I can assure you - has been oversimplified in the cookie-cutter feelgood trailer above. The Toronto Palestine Film Festival is hosting the Canadian premiere of the film on Saturday, September 26th at the Bloor, following great reviews, nods at Sundance and the Director's Fortnight FIPRESCI (international critics) Prize at Cannes.

In Amreeka, middle-aged Muna has lost her husband to a thinner woman. And when she least expects it, a green card arrives in the mail. After passing through one checkpoint too many, she decides to seize the "opportunity" and sets off to the U.S. with her teenage son, Fadi, landing in small town Illinois. The promise of a better life is not looking so good when Muna is broke, can't move out of her sister's house, and has to take a job at White Castle. Amreeka director Cherien Dabis is one of many filmmakers on the TPFF roster in town for a post-screening Q&A.

LIFT and the Worldwide Short Film Festival are co-presenting a programme of shorts on Wednesday, September 30th at the Revue Cinema. In this set, The View takes place in one take from a sniper's point of view. We listen to his musings as he watches a couple in a room from the building across the street.

Laila's Birthday on closing night, Friday, October 2nd, is another highlight, a slice-of-life piece about a cab driver in the Palestinian territories who encounters an infuriating number of distractions on his way home for his daughter's birthday.

The 2nd edition of the Toronto Palestine Film Festival continues throughout the week, along with an art exhibit at the Beaver Hall Gallery (29 McCaul St.), a film & food brunch on Sunday, September 27th (93 Harbord Street), and panel discussions.

See the TPFF website for listings.


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