The second International Yemeni Film & Arts Festival kicked off in Washington with two special preview events on April 1 and 2, followed by three days of film screenings and art exhibitions on April 15, 16, and 17. Our preview events were hosted by The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, while the Friends Meeting of Washington hosted our weekend-long art show and film screenings on the 15th through 17th.
Our art exhibition featured photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures by more than a dozen established and emerging artists. You can view photos of the event here.
FRIDAY, APRIL 1
Yemeni Threads: a presentation by Marjorie Ransom
2:00-6:00pm, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
Researcher and collector Marjorie Ransom presents traditional textiles and costumes from different regions within Yemen, and discusses the pieces’ artistic and social significance.
Textiles will be on display from 2:00 to 4:00pm; Ms. Ransom’s presentation will begin at 4:00pm.
Free | RSVP required
SATURDAY, APRIL 2
Selected short documentaries on architecture and crafts, 2:00pm, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
This special program, curated by the Yemen Peace Project and hosted by The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, highlights some of Yemen’s unique design and craft traditions.
Qudad: Re-inventing a Tradition, Caterina Borelli, 2004; 58 minutes.
This documentary follows a group of Yemeni masons as they restore a medieval mosque using ancient—and uniquely Yemeni—techniques. Through this project they not only renovate and protect a revered landmark, but also ensure that their rare craft will not be lost.
The Architecture of Mud, Caterina Borelli, 1999; 52 minutes.
This film documents the work of expert Yemeni craftsmen and the stunning architectural environment their traditional craft has shaped in Hadhramawt, where mud-brick skyscrapers tower over the landscape. This is a unique record of a rapidly-disappearing “vernacular architecture,” which demonstrates that as materials and techniques change, ways of life change with them.
No tickets required | Seating is limited
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
An Exhibition of Contemporary Art & Photography, opening reception, 5:00-9:00pm, Friends Meeting of Washington
Our unique exhibition features paintings, photography, and sculpture by established and emerging Yemeni artists. The show will run throughout the weekend, but at our opening reception on Friday evening you’ll have a chance to meet some of our featured artists, chat with YPP board members and special guests, and enjoy light refreshments, including authentic Yemeni coffee.
Fatima Abo Alasrar | Nada Abu Taleb | Bushra al-Fusail | Lyla Hasan
Salma Hasan | Arwa al-Hubaishi | Shehab Karman | Karam Kamal Abdul Malik | Yasmin Alnadheri
Talal al-Nagar | Mazher Nizar | Alex Potter | Luke Somers | Murad Subay | Rooj Alwazir
Free & open to the public | RSVP
Saturday, APRIL 16
The Mulberry House, Sara Ishaq, 2013; 65 minutes.
Filmmaker Sara Ishaq grew up in Yemen to a Yemeni father and a Scottish mother, and at age 17, decided to move to Scotland. Ten years later—in 2011—Sara returns to Yemen as a different person, geared up to face the home of her past and reconnect with her long-severed roots. But against all personal expectations, she returns to find her family and country teetering on the brink of a revolution. Sara’s previous documentary, Karama Has No Walls, was nominated for an Oscar in 2014.
In addition to The Mulberry House, we’ll screen selected short documentaries made by participants in last year’s Comra documentary training workshop, which was organized by Sara Ishaq and her colleagues from the Support Yemen media collective:
For a Loaf of Bread, Amal Al-Yarisi, 2015; 4 minutes.
A poignant short film about the struggles and dreams of a Yemeni child in a time of war.
Not Acting Anymore, Osama Khaled, 2015; 8 minutes.
This short documentary, a product of the Comra film camp, introduces viewers to Ahmed and Najmaddin, Yemen’s youngest filmmakers.
Yemen Ojrah, Mohammed Al-Ashwal, 2015; 6 minutes.
An uplifting short film about the abiding hope of a student-turned-taxi-driver, despite the trials and tribulations of driving a taxi around a war-zone.
Bachelors of War, Mohammed Al-Aghbri, 2015; 6 minutes.
A day in the life of two friends who were forced to send their wives and children abroad due to the war in Yemen. Although lighthearted, this documentary illustrates the underlying frustrations and worries of many young men in the face of unemployment, empty homes, and broken dreams.
5:00pm | Tickets $13 online, $15 at the door
Shake the Dust, Adam Sjöberg, 2014; 83 minutes.
From executive producer and rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones and journalist-turned-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg, this feature documentary chronicles the influence of breakdancing, exploring how it strikes a resonant chord in the slums, favelas and ghettos of the world and far beyond. Showcasing breakdancers in Yemen, Uganda, Colombia, and Cambodia, Shake the Dustis an inspiring tribute to the uplifting power of music and movement.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director via Skype.
7:00pm | Tickets $13 online, $15 at the door
Sunday, April 17
Selected short films, featuring:
Rise, Mohamed Samy, 2015; 15 minutes.
Produced by Aden Freerun, this moving short film captures the devastation wrought by Yemen’s ongoing war, and resilience of a group of young athletes who use their sport to reclaim their city.
Killing Her is a Ticket to Paradise, Khadija Al-Salami, 2013; 57 minutes.
Set in the city of Ta’iz, this documentary follows Yemeni activist Bushra al-Maqtari as she confronts the hostile response to her political writings from patriarchal forces.
Lost in Yemen, Sami Taresh, 2015; 6 minutes.
This experimental short captures the despair of Yemenis displaced from their homes by armed conflict.
Hope Always Remains, Dares Qaid al-Masaabi, 2015; 9 minutes.
This mostly-silent short film contrasts the pointlessness of factional conflict with Yemenis’ persistent hope for a brighter future.
A Broken Home, Abdurahman Hussain, 2015; 8 minutes.
Six months of an ongoing war have left the people of Yemen with a loss that is more difficult to recover than the destroyed property and infrastructure. With each extra day of war, the cracks in the Yemeni social fabric expand in a way that lessens Yemenis’ chances for peace and makes their Yemen a broken home.
The Color of Injustice, Abdurahman Hussain, 2015; 3 minutes.
This powerful short film pairs the words of renowned Yemeni poet Lutfi Jaafar Aman with images of war and loss, as well as resilience and hope.
The Melody of Our Alienation, Abdurahman Hussain, 2014; 4 minutes.
Through the words of the Yemeni poet Abdulaziz al-Maqalih and the breathtaking cinematography of Abdurahman Hussain, this mournful yet inspiring film pays homage to the eternal city of Sanʻa.
5:00pm | Tickets $14 online, $15 at the door
I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced. Khadija Al-Salami, 2015; 96 mins.
Winner of the top prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2015, this gripping feature film tells the story of Nojoom Ali, a little girl who made headline news in 2009 and became a symbol of the movement against forced and underage marriage. Subjected to physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her husband and mother-in-law, Nojoom escapes and attains protection from a compassionate judge.
7:00pm | Tickets $14 online, $15 at the door