Middle East Now

Middle East Now 2014

The Middle East returns to the spotlight in Florence from 9 to 14 April 2014 with the 5th Middle East Now, an international festival of cinema, documentaries, contemporary art, talks and events, conceived and organised by the cultural association Map of Creation. The festival will take place at the Cinema Odeon, the Cinema Stensen and other locations in the city. The 2014 festival will present a rich calendar of 52 films (of which 23 short films, and a total of 45 Italian debuts as well as some European debuts), including feature-length films, documentaries, animation films and short films. The festival takes us on an engaging journey to the “hottest” countries and peoples in the Middle East, which is increasingly at the centre of attention in politics and the international media. The stories, people, important issues and current events in the most recent film productions from Iran, Iraq, Kurdistan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, the Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Syria, Bahrain, Algeria and Morocco introduce us to the culture and society of these countries, going beyond the prejudices and stereotypes with which they are often represented.

Among the highlights of the film calendar, the festival presents the first ever retrospective on HANY ABU-ASSAD, one of the most talented and acclaimed Palestine directors, once nominated for an Oscar for his film “Paradise Now”. The director will be in Florence for the Italian debut of his latest film, Omar – the thriller that won the “Jury Prize” at Cannes and is nominated for a 2014 Oscar as Best Foreign Film – and for the showing of some of his most famous works (The 14th Chicks, Rana’s Wedding, Paradise Now, and the documentaries Nazareth 2000 and Ford Transit). Hany Abu-Assad will be in Florence for the duration of the festival.