Habibi Rasak Kharban (2011) - News Poster


Dubai Goes To Cannes Places Accent on Female Arab Directors

Dubai Goes To Cannes Places Accent on Female Arab Directors
Five films by the new generation of directors from the Arab world — four of them women — will be unveiled on Monday (May 22) at Dubai goes to Cannes, the Cannes Film Market’s pix-in-post industry showcase. They are supported by the Dubai film market which is the only bona fide movie mart in the Middle East.

— Moroccan director Leila Kilani will present her sophomore feature “Joint Possession,” set on the hills around Tangier where rapacious real estate developers are tearing up the landscape and a family must decide whether to sell a large plot of land on which their old manor house lies. Kilani’s debut feature, “On the Edge,” about four girls from Tangiers who peel shrimps by day and turn tricks at night, screened in 2012 at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

— Lebanese-American director Susan Youssef will present her sophomore work “Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf,” a coming-of-age drama about a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes Film Market Adds Haf, Vilnius, New Horizons, Thessaloniki to Pix-in-Post Showcases

Cannes Film Market Adds Haf, Vilnius, New Horizons, Thessaloniki to Pix-in-Post Showcases
The Cannes Film Market, the world’s biggest – and still growing – film industry meet, is raising the bar once more in industry initiatives, adding four new events to its 5th Goes to Cannes works-in-progress brand: FilMart’s Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf), Lithuania’s Vilnius Intl. Film Festival, New Horizon Polish Days and Greece’s Thessaloniki Intl. Film Festival.

The Marché du Film also added four more festival showcases last year to the Goes To series. In all, in the space of four years, from 2013’s inaugural single-event Bal Goes to Cannes, this year 10 festivals will showcase key movies at rough-cut, nearly always screened for the first time outside their own pix-in-post strands.

Haf also marks Goes to Cannes’ first Asian fest partner. As in 2016, the new additions target some of the world’s fastest growing regions, such as, undoubtedly, Asia (Haf), as well as buzzed-up national cinemas (Nhpd,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Watch: A Mother Must Survive a Harrowing Israeli Prison in Exclusive '3,000 Nights' Trailer

Watch: A Mother Must Survive a Harrowing Israeli Prison in Exclusive '3,000 Nights' Trailer
Read More: Toronto International Film Festival Unveils World Cinema Slate; Includes New Films From Athina Rachel Tsangari, Sion Sono and Anne Sewitsky Mai Masri's prison drama "3,000 Nights" will be competing in the World Dramatic Competition at Tiff this September, and it should be quite the fierce competitor if the harrowing trailer above is any indication. The drama stars Maisa Abd Elhadi ("Habibi") as Layla, a young newlywed Palestinian schoolteacher who is arrested after being falsely accused and sentenced to eight years in prison. After being transferred to a high security Israeli women's prison, she learns she is pregnant and encounters a terrifying world in which Palestinian political prisoners are incarcerated with Israeli criminal inmates. Through her struggles raising her son behind bars, and her relationship with the other prisoners, she manages to find a sense of hope and a meaning to her life.  Watch the exclusive "3,000...
See full article at Indiewire »

Habibi: On Demand, in Gaza, and in Virginia

To my readers, This is a letter from Susan Youssef, updating us on her film Habibi

Habibati | Darlings,

With the support of Sundance Artist Services , we have launched Habibi online . As a truly independent and international film, we chose Vimeo on Demand as the platform that best suits our film and audience. We are proud to have the support of the French Consulate in the Gaza Strip, so that I can attend and present Habibi in Gaza on December 18. Of course my attendance is still pending permissions, but we intend for the screening to happen with or without me. This will be my happiest moment of making this film: knowing that it finally screens in Gaza. I am absolutely thrilled to return to Virginia this week, to present the film at Old Dominion University . After my trip to Odu, I will be in NYC for a while , so please reach out to me if you are in town. Salamaat and thank you for all,

Susan Youssef

Director, Habibi

Follow me at Twitter - [At]susanyoussef

Join our Facebook group - Habibi Rasak Kharban
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Movies This Week: March 22-28, 2013

Hoo boy -- is it ever a busy week in Austin movie land! No less than 13 new movies are releasing in River City theaters, and among the usual forgettable and formulaic fare are a couple of standouts.

The Gatekeepers, a documentary about the Israeli security agency Shin Bet, is generating great critical buzz and is the Austin Chronicle's Pick of the Week. And don't judge the over-the-top dark comedy Spring Breakers by its title or trailer; this bikini-clad, candy-colored commentary about youthful excess is getting great reviews. (It will surprise no one that Spring Breakers tops my list of films to see this weekend. Social commentary? Copious youthful nudity? The Gatekeepers can wait a week.)

If none of the baker's dozen of new releases interests you (really, you should be a bit more adventurous), the Austin Film Society's Essential Cinema series is presenting the Palestinian import Habibi Rasak Kharban (Darling,
See full article at Slackerwood »

Baandhon wins Best Film Award at Bengaluru International Film Festival

Baandhon wins Best Film Award at Bengaluru International Film Festival
Jahnu Barua’s Baandhon has won the Best Film award in the Indian Films Competition at the Bengaluru International Film Festival that concluded today. Girish Kasaravalli’s Kurmavatara was awarded the Best Kannada Film Award while the Netpac Award for Asian Cinema went to Susan Youssef’s Habibi.

Baandhon received a Plaque and a cash prize of Rs 4 lakhs, to be distributed equally between the producer and the director. Produced by the Assam State Film (Finance and Development) Corporation Limited, the film is a statement pointing at the sole preys of terrorism- common man. The film opened the Feature film Section of Indian Panorama at the 43rd International Film Festival of India. It was also screened at the International Film Festival of Kerala and the Mumbai Film Festival earlier this year.

Kurmavatara that won Kasaravalli his 12th National Award was rewarded with a Plaque and Rs 2 lakhs, to be equally
See full article at DearCinema.com »

Review: Habibi Is An Earnest If Familiar Love Story

Susan Youssef's first feature Habibi is an earnest if not entirely impressive tale of forbidden love set in Israeli-occupied Palestine. While the film does stir and touch at appropriate moments, the threads of a tried-and-true narrative ultimately fail to come together into something noteworthy. Layla (Abd Elhadi) and Qays (Kais Nashif) are lovers who, at the opening of the film, have had their student visas revoked, and are thus forced to return to their respective families. Layla, an engineering student, comes from a somewhat well-off family that is attempting to arrange her marriage to a very wealthy doctor. Qays, a gloomy writer and poet, comes from a working-class home and works in construction. As the film progresses, Qays' lovesickness prompts him to steal away to...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Susan Youssef, “Habibi”

Nearly 10 years in the making, Habibi is the semi-autobiographical first feature from 2010 “25 New Face” Susan Youssef, a tale of forbidden love between two Palestinian students who find it impossible for their affection to overcome the rigid conventions of class in Palestinian life and Israel’s ironclad security regime. With Israelis and Palestinians again in actively violent conflict, the film couldn’t be more newsworthy, but Youssef’s low-budget aesthetic ingenuity (she couldn’t shoot in Gaza, but faked it admirably) and a remarkable performance from Maisa Abd Elhadi, as the young woman at the center of multiple circles of conflict (family vs. lover, tradition vs. modernity), should ultimately receive the bulk of attention.

As Layla, a university student whose academic career has been cut short after having her West Bank visa revoked by the Israeli authorities, Elhadi shows tremendous range and vulnerability as her character deals with her traditional but seemingly supportive family.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Bahamas Int'l Film Festival Announces Full Lineup: Bookended by 'Quartet' & 'Sapphires'

  • Indiewire
Bahamas Int'l Film Festival Announces Full Lineup: Bookended by 'Quartet' & 'Sapphires'
The Bahamas International Film Festival (Biff), running December 6-9, announced the lineup for its ninth edition. Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet" will open the festival and Australia's musical gem "The Sapphires" will close. Biff will feature 78 films from 26 nations, among them are 45 features and 33 short films -- all of which are making their Bahamian premieres. Films will compete in four competition categories: Spirit of Freedom: Narrative & Documentary; New Visions; and Short Film. The complete lineup -- including "The Iran Job," "Habibi," "Dead Man's Burden" and "Redlegs" -- is listed below: Spirit Of Freedom (Narrative) A.L.F. (France) Director: Jerome Lescure Apartment In Athens, Appartamento Ad Atene (Italy) Director: Ruggero Dipaola Chance (USA) Director: Evan Kaufmann Grassroots (USA) Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal Habibi (Gaza) Director: Susan Youssef ...
See full article at Indiewire »

Filmmaker Magazine & Ifp To Program Rerun Theatre, To Play “Girl Walk // All Day,” “Otelo Burning” & “Habibi” In November

Following on from the “25 New Faces” screening series that we have been organizing around the country, I’m very happy today to announce that Filmmaker and Ifp will be programming theatrical runs at the reRun Theatre in Brooklyn, starting on November 2. The first three films we will be showing at reRun are Jacob Krupnick’s crowdpleasing NYC dance movie Girl Walk // All Day (above), Sara Blecher’s South African drama Otelo Burning, and Susan Youssef’s Gaza-set love story Habibi.

We’re incredibly excited to be entering into this partnership with reRun and, through it, to continue what the magazine has been doing for 20 years, namely championing great — and often overlooked — cinema. In the very near future, we will launch an online form on the Ifp site which will facilitate filmmakers submitting their films for consideration for a theatrical slot at reRun, as it is our intention to cast a
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Self-Distributing Indie Filmmakers Get a Shot at a Theatrical Run Courtesy of Ifp and Brooklyn's ReRun Theater

  • Indiewire
Unknown independent filmmakers have a new opportunity to see their work shown in New York courtesy of the Independent Filmmaker Project’s Filmmaker Magazine editorial staff and Brooklyn’s reRun Theater. Ifp, Filmmaker and Dumbo’s reRun have banded together to program weeklong runs of films from self-distributing filmmakers; the first three titles to take advantage of the new initiative are Jacob Krupnick’s “Girl Walk // All Day” (Nov. 2), Sara Blecher’s “Otelo Burning” (Nov. 9) and Susan Youssef’s “Habibi” (Nov. 16). Ifp and reRun are throwing a kickoff event October 30 at 6pm at the reRun that is open to the public. Read More: Ifp Set to Run Ambitious New NYC Media Center in Dumbo to Create Jobs and Advance New Media Storytelling “In the reRun Theater, Ifp has found a partner equally dedicated to our core belief in nurturing diverse voices on the independent scene,” said Ifp executive...
See full article at Indiewire »

Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dubai International Film Festival Team to Highlight Arab Filmmaking

Film Society of Lincoln Center is partnering with the Dubai International Film Festival to create the Diff Focus program that will concentrate on Arab filmmakers. It'scomprised of 10 features, short-film selections, Q&As and panels and will run August 24-30. Among the films to be included are Susan Youssef’s love story “Habibi Rasak Kharban,” which gained support from Diff’s Enjaaz post-production fund and had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and Ali Mostafa’s “City of Life,” which opened the Gulf Film Festival. “We are delighted to present some of the best films from the Arab region, which we hope will give a flavor of the vibrancy and relevance of Middle Eastern cinema,” said Diff chairman Abdulhamid Juma. “We look forward to working with the Lincoln Center and hope this will be a long and prosperous partnership.” The films selected for the Lincoln Center program have been.
See full article at Indiewire »

'Tatsumi,' 'Habibi' Take Dubai Festival Honors

'Tatsumi,' 'Habibi' Take Dubai Festival Honors
Cologne, Germany -- Eric Khoo’s Tatsumi won best film in the Muhr AsiaAfrica competition and at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (Dec 7-14), while Susan Youssef’s Habibi took best film in the Muhr Arab section. Tatsumi, an animated biography of Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, is South Korea’s official entry for next year’s foreign language Oscar race. The film also won the best composer prize in Dubai for Khoo’s teenage son, Christopher. Other multiple award winners in Dubai were The Last Friday, directed by Yahya Alabdallah; Hakim Belabbes’ Boiling Dreams; Japanese comedy The Woodsman And The Rain from Shuichi

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Dubai International Festival Announces Award Winners and "Habibi" is Tops

Dubai International Festival Announces Award Winners and
After hosting the world premiere of the new "Mission Impossible" movie as well as a wide variety of films from Africa, Asia and the Arab world, the Dubai International Film Festival ended today with a closing ceremony that announced Palestinian film "Habibi Rasak Kharban" by Susan Youssef as the fest's winner of the Fipresci award and best Arab feature award. "Habibi"is a story of forbidden love and is the first feature set in Gaza in over 15 years. It's also the only Palestinian film release of 2011. A complete list of the fest's winners is below: Lifetime Achievement Awards: Gamil Ratib A. Rahman Werner Herzog The du People’s Choice Award: Als Der Weihnachtsmann Vom Himmel Fiel (When Santa Fell To Earth) by Oliver Dieckmann – Germany The annual ‘Prize of the International Critics’ for Arab films from the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci), the...
See full article at Indiewire »

Five Questions For “Habibi” Director Susan Youssef

When we chose Susan Youssef for our “25 New Faces” list in 2009, the Brooklyn born filmmaker of Lebanese and Syrian parents was in post-production on her feature Habibi, which she had been working on since 2002. “I’ve been working on the film for eight years, continuously,” she said. “I’ve never fought for something so hard before — I’ve defined my whole existence around this film.” Fortunately for Youssef, her work has paid off. Habibi premiered last month to strong response at the Venice Film Festival and now plays Toronto before heading to Dubai.

Based on an ancient Sufi parable, Habibi tells the tragic story of two young lovers in the Gaza Strip, Qays and Layla, who struggle to be together and express themselves through art in a restrictive culture. We asked Youssef about her long journey, how she finished her film, and her next project.

Filmmaker: When we last spoke to you,
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

[Tiff Review] Habibi

  • The Film Stage
A love letter stuck in limbo—forever undelivered, returned to sender, and lost in transit—the union between Layla and Qays can never be cemented. Caught in a world of oppressive forces from both occupiers of their land and the zealots perverting their religion, these two college students must contend with tradition in a generation ready to move forward. Theirs is a time where a Palestinian should be allowed to enjoy a film such as Rocky without being called a traitor or ally of the Zionists. In 2001, art should stand on its own as a way to live and breathe away from the stifled dreams of an anger-ravaged Gaza Strip lost and unable to find its way home.

Written and directed by Susan Youssef, Habibi Rasak Kharban [Habibi] is a contemporary retelling of the ninth century tragic love poem Majnun Layla. Legend has the work written by a poet driven mad
See full article at The Film Stage »

Toronto 2011. Discovery Lineup

  • MUBI
The Toronto International Film Festival has lined up 25 features for its Discovery program. All the descriptions that follow are from the festival. Additional notes and more are on the way.

Pablo Giorgelli's Las Acacias. A truck driver has been charged with transporting a woman on the long journey from Paraguay's border to the city of Buenos Aires. He is totally unprepared for the extra passenger that will accompany them, the woman's infant daughter Jacinta, whose penetrating gaze eventually disarms his gruff exterior. Subtle and poignant, Giorgelli's 2011 Camera D'Or winner is a movingly beautiful road movie highlighted by stunning performances. (See the Cannes roundup.)

Tomás Lunák's Alois Nebel. Stories from the past and present converge at a small railway in Billy Potok, a tiny village on the Czech-Polish border. The local dispatcher, Alois Nebel, is a loner who prefers old timetables to people and has hallucinations of trains passing
See full article at MUBI »

Tiff 2011 Finalizes Line-Up With New Films From Gus Van Sant, Dardennes and More

  • The Film Stage
After four separate announcements (here, here, here and here), the Toronto International Film Festival has rounded out their official line-up with the final slate. The big films from their Masters line-up includes Cannes favorites Le Havre, The Kid with the Bike, Once Upon A Time in Anatolia and Restless. We also getting the Sundance hit Pariah. Check out the last round of films below and head over here to see the entire schedule.


Almayer’s Folly (La Folie Almayer) Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France

North American Premiere

Somewhere in South-East Asia, in a little lost village on a wide and turbulent river, a European man clings to his pipe dreams out of love for his daughter. Working freely from Joseph Conrad’s debut novel, Akerman tells the story of a trader in 1950s Malaysia whose dreams of a Western life for his Malay daughter slowly lead to destruction. A quest for the absolute,
See full article at The Film Stage »

2011 Tiff: Debuts from Pablo Giorgelli, Haofeng Xu, Susan Youssef, Ruslan Pak, Tomas Lunak, Ryan O'Nan Included in Discovery Programme

Tiff's Discovery section is loaded with 25 features including World Premiere items in Dain Said's Bunohan, Ngoc Dang Vu's Lost in Paradise, Sebastián Brahm's Roman's Circuit, Emmanuelle Millet's Twiggy and Avalon from Swedish helmer Axel Petersén. Among the noteworthy mentions that are headed to Venice, they've got a must-see pair in Tomáš Lunák's Alois Nebel (see image above), Susan Youssef's Habibi, while I'll be keeping an eye out for Locarno preemed Ruslan Pak's Hanaan. From Cannes Directors' Fortnight section they've nabbed Karl Markovics' Breathing, Rúnar Rúnarsson's Volcano, Rebecca Daly's The Other Side of Sleep and they've got the Camera D'Or winner Las Acacias which played in the Critics' Week. An item that I thought was headed to Sundance but will instead show in Toronto is Ryan O'Nan's The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best and speaking of Sundance... Focus Features will use Tiff to showcase Dee Rees's Pariah.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Venice 2011 Lineup

  • MUBI
Dueling festival lineups! It seems that for every announcement for the Toronto International Film Festival lineup comes a competing (and often overlapping)  one from Venice.  Here we're collecting the finalized Venice lineups so far. (Above image: Philippe Garrel's A Burning Hot Summer.)


The Ides of March (George Clooney, USA) (opening night) 4:44 Last Day on Earth (Abel Ferrara, USA) Alps (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece) A Burning Hot Summer (Philippe Garrel, France) Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Germany/Spain/Poland) Chicken With Plums (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, France/Belgium/Germany) A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, Canada) Dark Horse (Todd Solondz, USA) The Exchange (Eran Kolirin, Israel/Germany) Faust (Alexander Sokurov, Russia) Himizu (Sion Sono, Japan) Killer Joe (William Friedkin, USA) Life without Principle (Johnnie To, Hk) Quando la notte (Cristina Comencini, Italy) Seediq Bale (Wei Desheng, Taiwan) Shame (Steve McQueen, UK) Terraferma (Emanuele Crialese, Italy) Texas Killing Fields (Ami Canaan Mann,
See full article at MUBI »
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