ARAB FILM FEST TULSA
Curated by Contemporary Arab Film, Literature, and Art Organization Mizna
Organized by Tulsa Artist Fellow Moheb Soliman
Hosted by Circle Cinema and Tulsa Artist Fellowship
Thursday, November 3 – Sunday, November 6, 2022
10 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104
The full lineup for Arab Film Fest Tulsa, with trailers, ticket sales, and details about receptions and guests, can be found at circlecinema.org/afft
Mark your calendars for the return of Arab Film Fest Tulsa! After a successful debut last year, the festival returns for a second year presenting acclaimed contemporary dramas, docs, and shorts from Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, as well as Afghanistan and Somalia—overlapping nationalities with more recent immigrant and refugee communities in the US. The festival also brings director Ariel Nasr for a virtual Q&A after his doc The Forbidden Reel about the embattled Afghani film scene; festival curator Michelle Baroody for pre- and post-film public engagement; Shawkat’s cuisine at the opening reception plus DJ; and local star Native chef Nico Albert as speaker at the Palestinian doc Foragers through stimulating intersections around indigeneity, food sovereignty and sustainability, followed by her organization Burning Cedar Indigenous Foods catering the closing reception.
Hosted by Tulsa’s only independent, nonprofit theater Circle Cinema, curated by the award-winning Arab American arts organization Mizna, and supported by the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the festival is organized by Tulsa Artist Fellow Moheb Soliman, whose background includes previous program direction at Mizna and interdisciplinary poetry and public art work at Gilcrease Museum, Walker Art Center, and others. The collaboration seeks to share a range of contemporary Arab and Southwest Asian & North African (SWANA) voices with Tulsans of all backgrounds, showcasing a deeply underrepresented world of film reflecting a multiplicity of concerns and contemporary lives.
“This festival isn’t just a celebration of the wealth of current indie Arab film. It’s also in a way a small celebration of Tulsa’s ever-growing cultural diversity and curiosity, where we have the institutions and audiences to have all kinds of experimental projects like Arab Film Fest Tulsa. I’m excited to be a part of this juncture and to be able to bring Mizna’s work to our community,” says Moheb Soliman. Chuck Foxen of Circle Cinema further states, “Arab Film Fest Tulsa is the perfect opportunity for the city to share in these culturally rich and vibrant works from Arab filmmakers. Movies have the power to bring communities together, and Moheb, Mizna, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship are the ideal partners to make this happen. We hope Tulsans from all walks of life will join us for an enriching festival.”
Films include: MEMORY BOX (Lebanese Oscar entry), BOY FROM HEAVEN (Egyptian Cannes favorite), FORAGERS (Palestinian doc), THE BLUE CAFTAN (Moroccan Cannes favorite), THE FORBIDDEN REEL (PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN Afghani doc), and THE GRAVEDIGGER’S WIFE (Somali drama).
All-access festival passes provide access to 6 film programs for $30 with a special Mizna gift and priority seating 15-minutes before showtime. Individual film tickets are $8. PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN for The Forbidden Reel! Tulsa Artist Fellowship is committed to arts accessibility and ticket subsidy is available for audience members experiencing hardship. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Mizna, curators of Arab Film Fest Tulsa, is a critical platform for contemporary literature, film, art, and cultural production centering the work of Arab and Southwest Asian and North African artists. For more than twenty years, we have been creating a decolonized cultural space to reflect the expansiveness of our community and to foster exchange, examine ideas, and engage audiences in meaningful art. Named City Page’s Nonprofit of the Year in 2020 and a Regional Cultural Treasure in 2021, we publish Mizna, an award-winning SWANA lit and art journal; produce the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, the largest and longest running Arab film fest in the Midwest; and offer classes, readings, performances, public art, and community events, having featured over 400 local and global writers, filmmakers, and artists. For more information, visit mizna.org.
Moheb Soliman is a poet and interdisciplinary artist from Egypt and the Midwest whose work is often oriented issues of nature, modernity, belonging, and identity, often taking form in performance, installation and video which he has strived to present through a wide range of art spaces and public infrastructure, from the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit to the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and Great Lakes National Lakeshores. Moheb’s has been a Tulsa Artist Fellow for the past three years and previously has been supported by the Joyce Foundation, Forecast Public Art, Pillsbury House, Banff Centre, and Grand Marais Art Colony among others. He has published writing with Split Rock Review, Walls Divide Press, MnArtists, Mizna, Buffalo Runs, Three Plum Review, and forthcoming with Red Bird Press and Coffee House Press, which in 2021 will put out his first book of poetry, HOMES, about the Great Lakes bioregion/borderland. This has been a focus of his work for the past decade as a site encompassing many tensions from the perspective of a homegrown immigrant—a domestic homogeneous Midwest yet foreign with Canada, sublimely wild yet highly industrialized and populated, and central to the continent’s history yet quintessentially maligned as a watery flyoverland fragmented by borders. Moheb has degrees from The New School for Social Research and the University of Toronto and currently splits his time between Minneapolis and Tulsa.
Circle Cinema’s mission is to use film to foster understanding and appreciation of the diversity of the human experience and create community among the viewers in the restored historic Circle Cinema. As a part of meeting that mission, Circle Cinema seek to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment where community members with diverse views and experiences can come together to enjoy films, events, and other programming. Circle Cinema values a safe experience for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sex or sexual orientation, age, religion, or disability. Your guest experience is our priority. If you see anyone engaging in harassment or unsafe behavior, please contact a member of our team.
Established in 2015, Tulsa Artist Fellowship was created as a place-based arts initiative by the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), that addresses pressing challenges for contemporary artists and arts workers living in and joining the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A central part of the Fellowship’s initiative is to bring, enliven, and participate in Tulsa’s growing and thriving arts community. TAF supports contemporary artists across all mediums and is committed to celebrating diversity in all its forms and freedom of expression.