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Loyola Student Peace Initiative Hosts 3rd Annual New Orleans Palestinian Film Festival

Loyola press release - November 3, 2017

The New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee (NOPSC) in association with the Loyola Student Peace Initiative proudly announce the lineup for the 3rd annual New Orleans Palestinian Film Festival (NOPFF), which rolls this weekend. Featuring films never before screened in New Orleans, NOPFF kicks off Friday, Nov. 3 with a Black-Palestinian Solidarity Panel at the First Unitarian Universalist Church and runs Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4 and 5 in the state-of-the-art Nunemaker Auditorium at Loyola University New Orleans.

The NOPFF was created to address New Orleans’ need for factual representation of life under occupation and the struggle for equity in Palestine and the Israeli-Occupied Territories. The festival aims to educate and entertain through a critical international lens.

“Placing special concerns for the oppressed and creating dialogue for peace is essential to the ongoing mission of the students at the Loyola University of New Orleans, says Loyola senior and Student Peace Initiative president Thanh Mai. “The Student Peace Initiative is pleased to cosponsor an event that seeks to educate and celebrate Middle Eastern Culture while working towards promoting peace.”

Opening night features “No Man’s Land,” a film by Rebecca Pierce of Jews of Color, Sephardi, and Mizrahi (JOCSM). Pierce follows Black Panther Reuven Abergel and his story of struggle against anti-Mizrahi state violence in Israel.

Saturday’s highlights include film festival darling “Gaza Surf Club” and multi-award-winning filmmaker Iqbal Mohammed’s “Three Minute Warning,” winner of Best Human Rights Film at the 16 Jaipur International Film Festival.

The star of Sunday’s lineup is the internationally acclaimed and decorated film “Roshmia,” the story of an elderly Palestinian refugee couple in a final standoff with the Israeli authorities to maintain their lifestyle in the last natural valley in Haifa. Following the screening, NOPFF attendees are invited to join a conversation with special guest Fady Khoury, a senior lawyer with Adalah specializing in civil and political rights.

“I’m involved in both Loyola campus activism and New Orleans community organizing, so I’m thrilled that we’re hosting the New Orleans’ Palestinian Film Festival,” said Baasel Syed, Loyola Student Peace Initiative and NOPSC member. “I know the Loyola community is going to respond to these powerful stories, and I look forward to dialogue and discussion on the future of dignity and peace in Middle East next.”

Loyola students -- and all attending students -- qualify for the NOPFF student discount, which means individual features are a steal at $5 and an all-festival pass is a bargain $25. The all-festival pass includes Friday’s opening night dinner & panel kickoff event, as well as all nine titles throughout the weekend. NOPSC is committed to inclusion and education, and event organizers stated no one will be turned away from a lack of funds. Tickets may be purchased here.

Highlights of the 2017 NOPFF:

Ambulance A raw, first-person account of the last war in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Mohamed Jabaly, a young man from Gaza City, joins an ambulance crew as war approaches, looking for his place in a country under siege, where at times there seems to be no foreseeable future. While thousands of pages are published on the recurring violence in Gaza, the stories behind them remain hidden. Not this one.

No Man’s Land follows Moroccan Jewish activist Reuven Abergel as he leads a tour of Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem. Using the historical landscape of the city, Reuven recounts the history of Mizrahi Jews from the Middle East and North Africa.

Three-Minute Warning In Palestine, a 14-year-old girl called Mariam cares for her disabled mother. One night, an Israeli "knock-on-roof" bomb is dropped onto their building, allowing them three minutes to escape before it is demolished.

Find the full lineup here.

The mission of the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee (NOPSC) is to foster equitable, sustainable, and intersectional community action to support the freedom and empowerment of Palestinians in Palestine and in the Greater New Orleans area.

Baasel Syed, member of the Student Peace Initiative, is a sophomore studying BioPhysics at Loyola University of New Orleans. He hopes to attend medical school and ultimately help craft more equitable International Health Policy.

Thanh Mai, President of the Student Peace Initiative, is a graduating honor student studying philosophy, history, and political science at Loyola University of New Orleans. After spending her college years engaging students on topics of peace, she hopes to pursue a doctorate in Philosophy and continue to contribute to the conversation on peace.