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  • Angela Allyn

Gene Siskel Film Center to Host 21st Annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival May 7 - 21

Films include Palestine’s Official Oscar submission, THE STRANGER, and Mounia Akl’s multigenerational film, COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF), the world’s longest consecutively running Palestine film festival, enters its 21st year of bringing Palestinian stories to audiences throughout Chicago. From May 7 to 21, 2022, the festival returns to full capacity, showcasing eight films at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, CPFF’s long-standing partner and host. The festival will also have a virtual component.

This year’s selections offer a variety of topics and highly acclaimed films, both feature-length and shorts, including: Ameen Nayfa’s El Gouna Film Festival award-winning adventure-drama, 200 METERS; Mounia Akl’s COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON featuring a multi-generational cast including famed Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri; TALLAHASSEE, directed by Darine Hotait, a short film highlighting how family dynamics influence how mental health is addressed; FARHA, directed by Darin J. Sallam, a film meant to remind the audience of Palestinian experiences in 1948; and Palestine’s submission to the Academy Awards, drama film, THE STRANGER, directed by Ameer Fakher Eldin.

In addition, the CPFF is hosting a special first-edition event for the long-anticipated work-in-progress film RETURN TO RAMALLAH, directed by Ziad Foty, followed by an interactive discussion with Foty and producers Ahmed Mansour and Dina Emam in person. Limited seating is available for this screening.

“We are excited to showcase the work of Palestinian directors, producers and actors on the big screen as CPFF envisions a festival that is inclusive of various film genres, from featured dramas to documentaries and a wide-range of short films,” said CPFF Executive Director Dr. Nina Shoman-Dajani. “The stories of Palestinians under occupation and in the diaspora are diverse, and there is no better place to showcase these stories than in our festival lineup.”

“It is always such a pleasure to welcome CPFF back to the Film Center,” said Rebecca Fons, Director of Programming at the Gene Siskel Film Center. “This year’s CPFF feels especially celebratory, as the programming is as robust and plentiful as it was pre-2020, while at the same time, the curation has expanded and evolved. CPFF celebrates both established storytellers, while also introducing attendees to new artists, and offers audiences an incredible opportunity to see films that represent the diversity of Palestinian cinema and storytelling - films they truly cannot see anywhere else.”

Tickets will be available for sale on April 25 at the Gene Siskel Film Center website or in person at the box office (164 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60601). Tickets cost $12 for general admission and $6 for Gene Siskel Film Center members. Advanced ticket purchases are recommended.

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