September 29, 2016 syffadmin

Programming Note (2016)

Following on the heels of our successful, sold out first year, the Syria Film Festival returns this year with a full three nights of thought-provoking films, special guests and engaging discussions. Judging by the steep increase in the number of films made about Syria from last year to this year, we can say with certainty that a greater number of filmmakers worldwide have focused their lenses on Syria and the conflict.

As the Syrian war approaches a near apocalyptic crisis level, Syrians have been escaping the terror of war in all directions. This year’s program highlights the stories of Syrian refugees and their attempts to find safety and a new life in various corners of the world, including films from Canada, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, and South Africa.

Each of the films we have selected tells a story of migration and the struggle to redefine oneself in a new environment. Our opening night film “After Spring” offers a window into the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Our carefully chosen night of short films on the second day of the festival presents a selection of personal stories from around the world, told in a variety of formats. We close the festival with “The Crossing,” a film that follows a group of Syrian friends as they make the dangerous journey across the sea to safety. Taken together, the films in this year’s program produce a strong picture of resilience in the face of upheaval and uncertainty.

It is our hope that in the near future we can present a festival of films that focuses on stories of reconstruction and a free, democratic Syria.

Aisha Jamal
Head of Programming