Each year, TIFF presents fixed and new thematic side programs during the festival. «100 percent ARABICA! Can anything be 100 percent?» is a new side program of the year curated by TIFF in collaboration with the Tromsø-based Palestinian filmmaker Mohamed Jabaly.
The program offers films that tell stories of hope, resilience and empowerment in an ever-changing reality in the Arab countries.
— We were very happy when Mohamed came up with the idea of an Arabic sidebar at TIFF. It is a large geographical area that has produced a lot of exciting films in recent years, both feature films and documentaries. The films in the program seeks to process war, colonialism and oppression. There is an international and new generation of filmmakers who also have a connection to Europe through having been in exile or asylum, and then having returned to their home countries with an investigative perspective. They dig into serious themes, but still with a touch of feel-good and hope, says festival- and program director of TIFF Lisa Hoen.
The world's 22 Arab countries all have their own unique cultures, but one thing in common: the language. In this sidebar, TIFF asks the question: Can we also be united through film and the language of film?
— Wherever you go in the Arab world, you share the language with those around you. The landscape is huge, and so is the cinematic landscape and the stories being told. Highlighting both the differences within the Arab world, but also what we have in common, can give a wider understanding of our lives than what we read on the news. Although I am Palestinian, it was important for me to include narratives from more perspectives than just mine. The more we see, the more we understand, the more we explore, the more we discover, and film is a medium that allows us this, says Mohamed Jabaly.
Festival- and program director Lisa Hoen adds:
— Mohamed has a connection to the Arab world, and he saw a trend of a new generation of filmmakers who told new stories of hope, resilience and empowerment. Many of the filmmakers in this year's program are young, they have a need to put things into words and use the film medium as a tool to deal with their situations. I think that is precisely why it is so important to show a program like this right now, says Hoen.
In the sidebar «100 percent ARABICA! Can anything be 100 percent?» the audience will meet young Arab filmmakers who challenge cinematic boundaries, reclaim forgotten stories and present new perspectives.