Middle East Film Festival 2019


Middle East Film Festival 2019


Middle East Film Festival 2019

The 2019 Middle East Film Festival, running from 10-16 January at Golden Village VivoCity is presented by the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore, and supported by the Singapore Film Society.

Director’s Foreword

The Middle East is in the news every day, and usually not in good ways. Singaporeans sometimes feel they know the region almost as well as they know American politics. Repetition brings familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt.

To step out of the news cycle and enter the imaginative world of experience in the region, the Middle East Institute at NUS is pleased to present the Middle East Film Festival 2019. We bring to Singapore award-winning movies from across the region that will surprise, delight, intrigue, provoke, challenge and amuse audiences.

While Iran features in the headlines as a place full of mullahs and missiles, what high school feels like there will strike audiences as both familiar and surprising, in Ava. Michael Jackson shows up in Egypt in Sheikh Jackson, when his death provokes a crisis of faith in a cleric who had idolised him as a child.

Near Christmas in Nazareth, a wedding forces an estranged father and his hipster architect son from Rome to spend the day together, bickering as they go around handing out invitations. Wajib director Annemarie Jacir blends the political and the personal with a deft touch, even as she proves yet again that “family drives you crazy”.
Turkey (The Wild Pear Tree), Lebanon (The Insult), Israel (Antenna) and Kazakhstan (The Road To Mother) beckon as well at our Festival, featured in films that are just as compelling.

Hang the news, come to the show!

Tickets are available from 27 Dec 2018 at www.gv.com.sg


In today’s Beirut, an insult blown out of proportion finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media circus surrounding the case puts Lebanon through a social explosion, forcing Toni and Yasser to reconsider their lives and prejudices.

10 Jan (Thurs): 7.30pm (By Invitation only),

14 Jan (Mon): 9.15pm


Abu Shadi is a divorced father and a school teacher living in Nazareth whose daughter is getting married. Shadi, his architect son, arrives from Rome after years abroad to help his father in hand delivering the wedding invitations to each guest as per local Palestinian custom. As the estranged pair spends the day together, the tense details of their relationship come to a head, challenging their fragile and very different lives.

11 Jan (Fri): 6.50pm,

12 Jan (Sat): 4.20pm


In June 2009, the news of Michael Jackson’s death took the world by storm, affecting many people, especially an Islamic cleric whose nickname was “Jackson” during his school days. But what does a preacher have in common with the King of Pop? More importantly, can he now go back to his normal life, or will his memories and relationships with his loved ones raise the most prominent question in his mind: Is he the Sheikh, Jackson, or both?

11 Jan (Fri): 9.30pm,

14 Jan (Mon): 7.00pm


Two brothers realise their 80-year-old father has gone bonkers due to a cellular antenna that his neighbour has installed on his roof. They find themselves involved in a personal crisis that is threatening to break up the family. The result is a complex and touching portrait of a vibrant family that is still dealing with the shadows of their father’s past as a Holocaust survivor.

12 Jan (Sat): 7.00pm,

15 Jan (Tue): 9.20pm



Spanning nearly nine decades from the 1930s to the present, this sweeping yet personal epic follows several generations of a Kazakhstan family through war, famine, collectivisation, separation and the determination of the clan to remain united. Focusing on a young man who is separated from his mother by war and journeys through harrowing experiences from childhood into adulthood without her to protect him, it is ultimately a stirring drama about the power of maternal love.

13 Jan (Sun): 4.00pm

 AVA (PG13)

Ava’s life has been dictated by rules. Coming of age in Iran, she faces pressure to conform to the expectations of her parents, school and friends. When Ava learns that her parents were once flagrant rule-breakers themselves, she begins to rebel against the very foundations of her society.

12 Jan (Sat): 9.15pm,

15 Jan (Tues): 7.00pm



Sinan is passionate about literature and has always wanted to be a writer. Returning to the village where he was born, he pours his heart and soul into scraping together the money he needs to be published, but his father’s debts catch up with him. From the Cannes Palme d’Or-winning director of Winter Sleep and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.

13 Jan (Sun): 6.50pm,

16 Jan (Wed): 6.30pm

Tickets are available from 27 Dec 2018 at www.gv.com.sg

Concessions are available only at the box-office at GV cinemas with valid concession card. Ticket price excludes any booking fee for online purchases.

Event Details

Golden Village Vivocity 1 Harbourfront Walk, #02-30 VivoCity, Singapore 098585

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About the Speaker(s)