SYFF’s (Syria Film Festival) vision is to showcase the aspirations and convey the struggles of Syrians. Our mission is to build bridges, inspire conversations and engage audience in thoughtful debates on social justice, human rights and global citizenship. We strive to support young talents in film and arts and enrich Toronto’s vibrant multicultural identity.
Syria is the home of ancient civilizations. Its capital, Damascus, is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world. Today, Syria is the center of the largest humanitarian crisis in recent history.
Syrian artists, intellectuals, and filmmakers lived under suffocating censorship for over four decades. After the Syrian uprising began over four years ago, Syrian artists began to find spaces to practise their art. Today, they play a vital role in telling the harrowing and oftentimes untold tales of the Syrian crisis.
Our annual non-profit film festival run by dedicated volunteers aims to give a voice to the brave filmmakers. They often risk their lives and sometimes even the lives of those they love to capture important footage and document stories that would otherwise never reach the public.
Syria Film Festival (SYFF) is a registered non-profit organization in Ontario, Canada. This year SYFF will launch with a series of short and features films as well as documentaries about Syria and its people. The festival will take place on November 13-15, 2015, in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
For more information on the festival and venue please Download the Flyer
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Do you know that Damascus is also called the “City of Jasmine?” It’s known for its beautifully decorated streets with jasmine hugging every wall and creating scented streets and sidewalks.
- Opening Night: Friday, Nov 13th 7:30 PM
- Second night: Saturday, Nov 14th 7:30 PM
- Closing night: Sunday, Nov 15th 7:30 PM
“QUEENS OF SYRIA” (feature) A moving portrait of fifty Syrian women living in exile in Jordan, who come together to create and perform their own version of Euripides’ Ancient Greek drama “The Trojan Women.” The play’s narrative provides a vivid mirror of their own experiences in the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women like them from another time, uprooted, enslaved, and bereaved by the Trojan War.
Our opening night screening is followed by a Q& A with Syrian actor Jay Abdo.
“GOAL TO SYRIA” A short animation depicting the heroism of the Civil Defence volunteers, a Syrian humanitarian rescue organization.
Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective www.
“MORNING FEARS, NIGHT CHANTS” (short) : The film tells the story of an unlikely revolutionary. A young, sheltered woman no longer shares her parents believes and cannot settle for the regime’s narrative of the war. Amongst the youth of the revolution, she finally finds a purpose. She decides to “defect” from her family, and joins the revolution — singing songs of courage and freedom in support of the demand for change.
Co Presented by:
Jayu Film Festival www.jayu.ca
“HIDE AND SEEK” (short) A Spanish film crew travels to Lebanon to shoot a”Hide and Seek” game in a Syrian refugee camp, blurring the lines between themselves and the ‘actors’ in this experimental documentary.
“50 FEET FROM SYRIA” Hisham Bismar, a successful Syrian-American hand surgeon living a comfortable life in the US, decides he cannot continue to watch online images of wounded Syrian refugees flow across international borders. He decides to fly to Turkey to help the victims of Syria’s revolution from across the border. 50 Feet From Syria is a snapshot in time that captures the human cost of the Syrian civil war.
WARNING: the film is very graphic in nature and displays injured/severed body parts.
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Dr. Hisham Bismar and Skye Fitzgerald from “50 Feet from Syria.”
50 Feet from Syria
“DIASPORA” (short) Through the lens of the media, Anders Gatten explores what the idea of ‘home’ has become for Syrian refugees who have escaped to Jordan and the implications of this large scale exodus.
“NOT WHO WE ARE” (feature) The stories of five Syrian women lead us through the “refugee experience” as it impacts every aspect of their lives. Although these women come from different socio-educational backgrounds, they share the uncertainty of an unstable situation in Lebanon. They share their experiences of displacement and loss, and in the process, their strength and resilience shines through.
Amnesty International REEL AWARENESS Human Rights Film Festival www.aito.ca/reelawareness
Fairlawn Av. United Church, www.fairlawnchurch.ca Lifeline Syria www.lifelinesyria.ca Toronto Palestine Film Festival www.tpff.ca
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Anders Gatten from “Diaspora”
There are two ways to donate to SYFF:
Cheque: Please make a cheque payable to Syrian Film Festival and mail to the address below:
605-200 Robert Speck Parkway Mississauga, ON, L4Z1S3
Crowdfunding Campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/syria-film-festival/x/4127037#/story
Syrian Film Festival Pre-Fest Screening (FREE!)
Ahead of our three-day festival in November, join SYFF for a special screening of “Our Terrible Country.” The film documents the perilous journey of Syrian intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh and young photographer Ziad Homsi through Syria at a time when the country edges towards the brink of total chaos.
Our special guest speaker for the evening will be a Syrian ِAuthor to talk about his reflections on the film.
The screening is free to the public. Tickets can be reserved online two days before the event. Unclaimed tickets will be available at the door.
- When: Sunday, 18 October 2015 from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM (EDT)
- Where: 215 Spadina Ave – 4th Floor, Whole Connector Room Toronto, ON M5T 2C7 – View Map
Co-Presenting with the Toronto Palestine Film Festival
We are incredibly excited to be co-presenting “Letters from al Yarmouk” at the Toronto Palestine Film Festival. Sept 27th is dedicated to refugees and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for People’s Journalism.
The film trailer for “Letters from al Yarmouk” can be viewed here:
Find TPFF program here:
Buy Your Tickets online at www.tpff.ca.
Co-Presenting with the Toronto Goethe Film Festival
We are incredibly excited to be co-presenting “After Spring Comes Fall” at the Toronto Goethe Film Festival.
Find TGFF program here:
Syrian Film Festival Launch
What: Syria Film Festival Launch Evening
When: Friday Oct 2nd at 6:30-8pm
Where: BrightLane Inc.
Address: 545 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1E3
Tickets: $10 at syfflaunch.eventbrite.ca
The first annual Syria Film Festival is hosting a preview film screening and fundraiser event on Friday, October 2, focusing on women’s rights and freedom. The event will promote and raise money to support the main program of Syria Film Festival this November 13-15.
The launch will also feature a talk by Syria Film Festival’s Film Consultant: Aisha Jamal and few surprise speakers! BrightLane is proud to be the Festival’s newest partner, offering its space for this event. The screening will conclude with a live auction of Syrian crafts and artistic collectibles.
All are welcome to attend.