Toronto Palestine Film Festival kicks off today

Sep 22, 2016 | Arts

By Reagan McSwain

Human Rights and film are merging for the 9th annual Toronto Palestine Film Festival starting tonight at Tiff Bell Lightbox.

Opening film 3000 Nights by Palestinian director Mai Masri is kicking off the festival.

Inspired by a true story, a pregnant Palestinian woman is falsely accused of a crime and sent to an Israeli prison where after giving birth chained to a bed, she struggles to protect her child behind bars.

In an interview with Reuters Arabic, Masri said the film was shot in a real prison, without any decor as a way of preserving the films authenticity.

“The film’s background sounds are a real reflection of the voices you really hear in jail. For example, the cell doors being shut, the jingle of iron chains, and so on. I believe that these sounds gave the film multiple dimensions.”

At the festival, film buffs can expect to see more than just what’s on-screen.

Venues across the city are hosting the fest, which will also showcase Palestinian music, art and food. Following the opening night film, the festival is hosting a concert with spoken-word artist Rafeef Ziadah at Lula Lounge.

A free panel discussion with various artists, Saturday will delve into their experiences of art censorship and share their views on boycotts.

A free art exhibition will also be set up at Bell Tiff Lightbox throughout the event featuring video works by Larissa Sansour in Pop art Palestine.

The festival runs through to the end of the weekend.