Africa, the Middle East
...and current home: Beirut, Lebanon.
Programming for the Festival since:
Secret film love:
The Night of the Iguana (1964), directed by John Huston, based on the Tennessee Williams screenplay, starring Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and Richard Burton. Everything about this film is stellar. From Huston’s direction to the performances, dialogue, lighting, set design.... It’s a classic gem. I could watch it once a week and still be moved with the same measure of intensity.
Should have seen it by now but haven’t:
Most of the Midnight Madness films — I know I have missed out on tremendous experiences!
Favourite television series:
The groundbreaking Homicide (an under-recognized classic), The Wire (I still find it fabulous), and Breaking Bad (I am predictable).
Your secret Toronto begins...
Kensington Market’s vintage shops have wondrous treasures.
Africa, the Middle East
Rasha Salti, an independent film and visual-arts curator and writer, joined the Festival in 2011. She served as a film programmer and creative director for the New York–based ArteEast, where she directed two editions of the biennial CinemaEast Film Festival. Rasha has collaborated with a number of organizations, including the Musée Jeu de Paume in Paris, SANFIC in Santiago de Chile, and Tate Modern in London.
Beats of the Antonov
Director Hajooj Kuka immerses us in the world of the Sudanese farmers, herders and rebels of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions, who defiantly celebrate their heritage and tend their lands in the face of a government bombing campaign.
Tracing the emigrations of his family over more than half a century, this riveting documentary epic from acclaimed expatriate Iraqi filmmaker Samir pays moving homage to the frustrated democratic dreams of a people successively plagued by the horrors of dictatorship, war, and foreign occupation.
Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait
The astonishing collaboration between exiled Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed and young Kurdish activist Wiam Simav Bedirxan distills footage from thousands of clandestine videos to create a shattering, on-the-ground documentary chronicle of the ordeal being undergone by ordinary Syrians in the ongoing civil war.
Following the recent jihadist takeover of northern Mali, a proud cattle herder comes into fateful conflict with the fundamentalist rulers of the provincial capital, in this luminous, lyrical and poetic drama from the great African filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako.