John Greyson and Tarek Loubani

Concern Over TPFF Board Member John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani in Egypt

The Safe Return of TPFF Board Member John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani from Egypt

John Greyson and Tarek Loubani

The Toronto Palestine Film Festival (TPFF) is concerned for the safety of TPFF advisory board member Professor John Greyson, and Dr. Tarek Loubani who were arrested by Egyptian authorities on August 16th, 2013 on unknown charges.

Professor Greyson was accompanying Dr. Loubani to the Gaza Strip to do preliminary research on a film project to be set in the region. Dr. Loubani was working on a medical training collaboration between the University of Western Ontario and al-Shifa hospital, the main hospital in the Gaza Strip.

Canadian and Egyptian authorities should be aware of Professor Greyson’s and Dr. Loubani’s dedication to humanitarian work in their fields. In addition to being an admired university professor and award-winning filmmaker, Professor Greyson has played an integral role in the festival as an advisor for the last five years, providing us with invaluable programming guidance and support. Professor Greyson has used his skill, art and reputation to spotlight human rights issues in Canada and abroad, including the plight of Palestinians.

Dr. Loubani is a well-respected emergency room doctor at the University of Western Ontario and a member of Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care. He has worked tirelessly to provide volunteer medical care in conflict situations such as Gaza, and for refugees in Canada.

The Toronto Palestine Film Festival calls on the Canadian government and Egyptian Embassy to urgently assist in securing the immediate safety and prompt release of Professor Greyson and Dr. Loubani.


Dania Majid, Programmer/Media Liaison (TPFF related inquiries).

Media Inquiries regarding John Greyson and Tarek Loubani should be directed to Justin Podur: 416-407-7795 or


TPFF Presents: New Directions in Indigenous Cinema – September 16th, 2014

The Wanted 18, a Palestinian film, will be screening at TIFF 2014

The Wanted 18, a Palestinian film, will be screening at TIFF 2014

Join us at a special pre-festival event – a conversation with TIFF programmers Jesse Wente and Rasha Salti on indigenous cinema. Our esteemed panelists will explore themes related to Aboriginal and Palestinian cinema and its role in reflecting identity and relaying the narratives of colonized peoples. The conversation will be moderated by professor, author and filmmaker Ali Kazemi.

Co-presented with:

ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

York Graduate Film Program

Date: September 16, 2014

Time: 7:00pm-9:00pm (doors 6:30)

Venue: Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St (Bathurst Subway)

FREE event and open to the public. Please RSVP through our Facebook event.

Click here for screening times of the Palestinian and Arab films screening at TIFF (most programmed by Rasha Salti) and support these excellent works.


Last Chance for the TPFF Early Bird Special!

The Toronto Palestine Film Festival TPFF10 Card Early Bird Special is almost over!

The Last day for the Early Bird Special is August 30th so there are less than 5 days left for the TPFF 10 Card Early Bird Special!

The TPFF 10 Card is a discount card which can be redeemed for 10 admission tickets to regular TPFF film screenings. From now until August 30th, the TPFF 10 Card is selling for $50! That means each great TPFF film you see will be only $5 a ticket.

Tickets are subject to availability – a TPFF 10 Card does not guarantee tickets for the screening of your choice. Note: to gain admission to a screening you must first obtain a ticket.

For information on how to redeem your TPFF 10 Card click here to order yours online! For the complete program and information on how to buy tickets visit our Program page. To buy tickets online click here.

We have a few more surprises for you so stay tuned to our newsletters and our Facebook and Twitter (#TPFF2013) pages.

Hany Abu-Asad's Omar

The Reel Palestine: Conversation with Palestinian Filmmakers at TIFF

We are very honoured to have Rasha Salti, curator, writer and TIFF Programmer for African and Middle Eastern Cinema as the evening’s moderator.

This forthcoming edition of TIFF, four Palestinian feature films will be showcased. To celebrate the incredible achievement of Palestinian cinema, the Toronto Palestine Film Festival proudly presents:

The Reel Palestine: Conversation with Palestinian Filmmakers at TIFF


Hany Abu-Asad (dir. Omar, Paradise Now, Rana’s Wedding)

Mais Darwazah (dir. My Love Awaits Me by the Sea,Take me Home)

Rani Massalha (dir. Giraffada; TPFF 2013: Elvis of Nazareth)

Date: Monday, September 9th 2013

Time: 7:00pm – 9pm (Reception at 6:30pm)

Venue: University of Toronto, Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave. (St. George Subway)

Join us for this unique opportunity for an open conversation with esteemed, award-winning Palestinian film talent. Also present at the event will be:

Waleed Zuaiter (producer and supporting actor, Omar)

Adam Bakri (lead actor, Omar)

Rula Nasser (producer, My Love Awaits Me by the Sea)

With Special Mention to: Rashid Masharawi (dir. Palestine Stereo; TPFF 2013: Picasso in Palestine; TPFF 2009: Laila’s Birthday)

Co-sponsored by Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto.

This event is free of charge and open to the public.

This special night is not to be missed!

Visit TIFF for more details and screening times for the Palestinian films and other Arab films playing at the festival. Support these excellent works.

TPFF 2013 takes place from Sept 28-Oct 4, 2013. For our complete program and to purchase tickets to TPFF visit Tickets will also be sold at the event.


Arab World Perspectives 2013: They Were Promised the Sea

TPFF’s 2013 Arab World Perspectives Presents: Kathy Wazana’s They Were Promised the Sea

Venue: Jackman Hall, AGO

Date and time: October 2, 2013 at 9:00PM

Trailer: Click here

TPFF’s Arab World Perspectives program shines a cinematic light on another part of the Middle East. This year, TPFF will focus on Morocco, specifically its former Jewish inhabitants and the friends and neighbours they left behind. Shot in Morocco and Israel-Palestine, Toronto filmmaker Kathy Wazana’s film is part historical investigation, part poetic/musical essay on loss and longing and the possibilities of coexistence. Wazana sets out to discover why hundreds of thousands of Jews left Morocco in the 1960s, believing their Arab homeland had become enemy territory. What she found was a country still grieving the loss of its Jewish population. The film uncovers a forceful series of events that put an end to 2000 years of Jewish-Arab coexistence and exposes the political manoeuvres that led to the mass exodus of Jews from their ancestral homeland to Israel, and to the dispossession and exile of the Palestinian people. Musical collaborations and dramatic landscapes are the backdrop for this journey into the suppressed history of Arab Jews.


TPFF 2013 Showcase: Art Based Films

Our first night at the Art Gallery of Ontario begins with the opening of our annual TPFF Art show, entitled: With Love From Palestine.

The first screenings on Monday September 30th, focus on these very same themes of art and theatre in occupied Palestine.

At 7pm we screen Picasso in Palestine directed by Rashid Masharawi which documents efforts to exhibit a real Picasso painting in a Ramallah gallery. Find the full synopsis on our program page here.

At 9pm we screen Art/Violence, where directors Batoul Taleb, Mariam Abu Khaled, and Udi Aloni employ a mix of interviews, theatrical scenes, archival footage and animation to document the dedication of a young, active generation of Palestinian artists. Find the full synopsis on our program page here.

Great news! Director Udi Aloni will be in attendance!

Udi Aloni is a writer, artist and filmmaker whose work explores the discourse between art, theory, and action. His art projects have been presented in numerous museums and galleries including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the ICA in London.
In 2009, Aloni began working at the Cinema Department of the Freedom Theatre in the Jenin Refugee Camp.

For more information see our full program here.

Though I know the river is dry

TPFF 2013: Walls and Borders

Our Tuesday October 1st 9pm screenings are all about mobility, walls, and borders.

“Infiltrator” is the Israeli term used to describe Arabs who “unlawfully” enter Israel. Palestinian visual artist, Khaled Jarrar, uses a handheld camera to intimately capture heart-pounding and heart-breaking footage of these “infiltrators” for his award-winning documentary. The film bravely takes viewers on the dangerous voyage made daily by Palestinians who risk injury, capture or death in order to access employment, medical care, relatives or places of worship on the other side of the Wall. Jarrar foregoes commentaries and narration in his film, allowing instead the montage of harrowing scenes of Palestinians going over, under and through the Wall to expose the inhumanity and absurdity of this illegal barrier, and reveal the perseverance of those who surmount it. Find the full synopsis on our program page here

Our short, “Though I Know the River is Dry”, directed by Omar Robert Hamilton (founding member of the Mosireen Collective in Cairo) and starring Kais Nashif (Paradise Now), the film tells the story of a man’s tormented return to Palestine. On his journey through the country he relives the trauma of his past and the motivation that sent him to America – a better life for his unborn child; and faces the guilt of leaving his activist brother behind along with his responsibility to remain and confront the occupation. Find the full synopsis on our program page here

Great news! Director Omar Robert Hamilton will be in attendance!

Omar Robert Hamilton is an independent filmmaker, producer of the Palestine Festival of Literature and a founding member of the Mosireen Collective in Cairo

See our full program here


TPFF Talks: The Art of Revolution

Film, video, art and theatre have played an important role in Middle Eastern revolutions and resistance of the occupation. Join us as we explore the role art plays in societies struggling for change with our guests:

Omar Robert Hamilton, an independent filmmaker, producer of the Palestine Festival of Literature and a founding member of the Mosireen Collective in Cairo.

And Udi Aloni, an artist, writer and filmmaker who also worked with the Cinema Department of the Freedom Theatre in the Jenin refugee camp.

This event is free and will be held on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm at Beit Zatoun, (612 Markham Street).

For more information about the TPFF 2013 Program please check out our program.

Be sure to check out this event on Facebook.


Nakba Commemoration: The Great Book Robbery



TPFF Nakba Commemoration: The Great Book Robbery

Join the Toronto Palestine Film Festival in commemorating the Nakba with a special screening of The Great Book Robbery. This screening will take place on May 15th at 7pm at Beit Zatoun (612 Markham Street).

The documentary chronicles one of the untold stories of the Nakba (the dispossession of the Palestinian people that came with the creation of Israel in 1948). As Palestinians were expelled from their land, librarians from Israel’s National Library followed the militias as they forced their way into Palestinian homes. An estimated 70,000 books were seized and labelled ‘AP’ (Abandoned Property). Officially, the Israelis labelled this as a ‘cultural rescue operation’ but for Palestinians it was ‘cultural theft’. In 2008, an Israeli PhD student stumbled across documents in the national archive that revealed the full extent of the ‘collection’ policy

After the screening, TPFF will host a discussion with a member of the film’s team about the efforts being made to reunite Palestinians with their stolen property. This event is free but please RSVP to our Facebook event here.

You can watch the trailer for The Great Book Robbery here.



The Toronto Palestine Film Festival Presents our closing night show: Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours

A World Not Ours: Director Mahdi Fleifel’s first documentary feature is inspired by his own identity as a Palestinian refugee. This captivating film immerses us in the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon – hastily built in 1948 to absorb refugees from the Nakba, it now houses more than 70,000 refugees in one square kilometre. Fleifel spent his childhood in the camp before his family immigrated to Denmark. After their departure, Fleifel and his family regularly visited Ain el-Helweh, which he captured in a video diary. His conversations with three generations of family and childhood friends still living in the camp provide an uncensored take on life as a refugee.

This screening takes place tonight (October 4, 2013) at 7pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 1. For the complete TPFF program or to purchase tickets please visit our Program page.