Queens of Syria

+ Message To.. + on silence

+Live Reading
+Post-Screening Discussion
+Syria / Syria / USA (local)

Saturday, 10/1 at St. Anthony Main Theatre
5:00 p.m.

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Queens of Syria / ملكات سورية

Yasmin Fedda
documentary feature / theater / refugees
70 mins / 2014
Jordan / UAE / UK
Arabic with English subtitles
Minnesota premiere

Queens of Syria tells the story of fifty women from Syria living in exile in Jordan. In 2013, they came together to create and perform their own version of The Trojan Women, an Ancient Greek tragedy about the plight of women in war. What followed was an extraordinary moment of connection across millennia. The women, born in 20th-century Syria, find a vivid mirror in the play. The stories of the queen, the princesses, and ordinary woman who were uprooted, enslaved, and bereaved by the Trojan War resonate with the present-day Syrian situation, and the performers use the play’s narrative to reflect upon their own stories. The end result is this touching film.


Festivals and Awards
*Black Pearl Award, Best Documentary Director from the Arab World, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, UAE, 2014
*Special Mention from UNHCR, Human Rights Film Festival, Tunisia, 2014
*Best Documentary, International Festival of Women’s Film, Morocco, 2015
*UNHCR/CONARE Director’s Prize at Cinemigrante Festival, Argentina, 2015

Yasmin Fedda is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose BAFTA-nominated films have screened at numerous international festivals including Sundance and Edinburgh IFF. Her previous films include Milking the Desert (2004), Breadmakers (2007), A Tale of Two Syrias (2012), and Siamo Toranti /We are Back (2013). Her most recent film, Queens of Syria, won the Black Pearl award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2014. She has a PhD in Transdisciplinary Documentary Film and is a co-founder of Highlight Arts, an organization that works with artists in times of conflict.

Message To… / …رسالة إلى

Rami Hassoun
experimental short / performance  / dance
15 mins / 2016
France / Switzerland
Minnesota premiere

This shocking and spectacular short film combines poetry, dance, and film to call attention to the human rights violations in Syria, particularly the war’s effect on women. Impossible to ignore, the stunning cinematography and talented performances demonstrate the economic greed and extortion that accompanies the unending conflict in the Middle East, to which the world turns a blind eye.


Festivals and Awards
*Short Film Corner, Cannes Film Festival, France, 2016
*Los Angeles CineFest, USA, 2016

Rami Hassoun is a Franco-Syrian director and choreographer born in 1989. He discovered dance at the age of 10, working in contemporary, hip hop, and flamenco, on projects and internships with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, Alexandre Del Perugia and Popin Pete. Hassoun has created several film and dance projects, including You Don’t Fit for Freedom (short film 2012), VERTIGE (short film 2013), Election (dance show 2014), and MoonSaif (dance show 2015), and is currently the artistic director of Hassoun Dance Company.  

on silence

Andrea Shaker
experimental short / photography / poetry
12 mins / 2016

on silence is an experimental short film that evokes mourning for the loss of home and homeland, inspired by the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis. Through spoken word, the filmmaker reflects on how images, moving and still, mediate our understanding of others’ trauma, creating an illusion of intimacy through the safety of distance.

*Altered Aesthetics Film Festival, St. Paul, USA, 2016

Andrea Shaker is a professor of art at the College of St. Benedict | St. John’s University. She earned her BA in Government and International Relations from Georgetown University and her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. As an Arab American, her films, photographic artwork and writings draw from an exploration of the tension between a lived understanding of home and an imagined ancestral homeland.

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