Elham is a young, divorced Iranian woman. Seeking to find herself after a near-fatal beating by her husband, she finds solace and salvation in the water and soon makes her mark as a formidable endurance swimmer. In the fight of her life, Elham faces political, religious, and personal obstacles in search of her goal: the Guinness World Record for swimming the longest distance with hands bound.
"1982" is a life-affirming coming-of-age tale set at an idyllic school in Lebanon’s mountains on the eve of a looming invasion. It unfolds over a single day and follows an 11-year-old boy’s relentless quest to profess his love to a girl in his class. As the invasion encroaches on Beirut, it upends the day, threatening the entire country and its cohesion. Within the microcosm of the school, the film draws a harrowing portrait of a society torn between its desire for love and peace and the ideological schisms unraveling its seams. In his debut feature, director Oualid Mouaness delivers an ode to innocence in which he revisits one of the most cataclysmic moments in Lebanon's history through the lens of a child and his vibrant imagination. The film demonstrates the complexities of love and war, and the resilience of the human spirit.
In a mountain town, where corn and poppies grow, the girls wear boyish haircuts and have hiding places underground to escape the threat of being stolen. Ana and her two best friends grow up together, affirming the bonds of their friendship and discovering what it means to be women in a rural town marked by violence. Their mothers train them to flee death, to escape those who turn them into slaves or ghosts. They create their own impenetrable universe, but one day one of the girls doesn’t make it to her hiding place in time.
During the Syrian civil war, the district of Yarmouk, home to thousands of Palestinians, became the scene of dramatic and ferocious fighting. Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege) is a film that follows the destiny of civilians during the brutal sieges, imposed by the Syrian regime, that took place in the wake of the battles. With his camera, Abdallah Al-Khatib composes a love song to a place that proudly resists the atrocities of war.
On the Arabian Peninsula in the 1930s, two warring leaders come face to face. The victorious Nesib, Emir of Hobeika, lays down his peace terms to rival Amar, Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow Belt. In return, Nesib adopts Amar’s two boys Saleeh and Auda as a guarantee against invasion. Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown into young men. Saleeh, the warrior, itches to escape his gilded cage and return to his father’s land. Auda cares only for books and the pursuit of knowledge. One day, their adopted father Nesib is visited by an American from Texas. He tells the Emir that his land is blessed with oil and promises him riches beyond his wildest imagination. Nesib imagines a realm of infinite possibility, a kingdom with roads, schools and hospitals all paid for by the black gold beneath the barren sand. There is only one problem. The precious oil is located in the Yellow Belt.
Exiled artist and poet Mustafa embarks on a journey home with his housekeeper and her daughter; together the trio must evade the authorities who fear that the truth in Mustafa's words will incite rebellion.