Consuls general from six countries will attend opening reception Nov. 16 at Rice Media Center
Six contemporary movies from Egypt, Israel, Italy, France, Greece and Turkey will be screened at the Mediterranean Film Festival at Rice University Nov. 16-19. Consuls general from the six countries represented at the festival will attend the opening reception at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Rice Media Center, where the films will be shown.
Admission is free, and all films will be screened with English subtitles.
The festival begins with the 2011 Greek film “Nicostratos Le Pelican” at 7 p.m. Nov. 16. Directed by Olivier Horlait, the film tells the story of Yannis, a 14-year-old boy who lives on a pristine Greek island with his father. Since the death of Yannis’ mother, the boy’s relationship with his father has deteriorated. During the summer of Yannis’ 14th birthday, his encounter with a pelican named Nicostratos and a 15-year-old girl named Angeliki changes his life.
A double feature Nov. 17 will include the 2006 Turkish film “Ice Cream, I Scream” at 7 p.m. and the 2008 French film “Khamsa” at 9 p.m. Yüksel Aksu directed the Turkish film about Ali, an ice cream salesman in Mugla who tries to survive fierce competition from the giants of the multinational ice cream industry. Karim Dridi directed the French film about a young boy, Khamsa, who flees from his foster family and returns to the gypsy camp where he was born 13 years ago. He spirals down into delinquency after his best friend, Coyote, meets Rachitique, a small-time crook.
A double feature will also be presented Nov. 18. First up is the 2004 Israeli film “Turn Left at the End of the World,” directed by Avi Nesher, at 5 p.m. The movie focuses on families who emigrate from India to Israel in the late ’60s to seek a better life in what they believe to be the first outpost of the West in Asia. Instead, they are sent to a new settlement, in the middle of the desert, populated mostly by Moroccan Jews. An inevitable cultural clash takes place between the two communities — the Indians who consider themselves British and the Moroccans who see themselves as French. The 2006 Egyptian film “The Yacoubian Building,” reported to be the highest-budgeted film in the history of Egyptian cinema, will be shown at 7 p.m. Directed by Marwan Hamed, the movie is based on the novel of the same title by Alaa Al Aswany and presents a scathing portrayal of modern Egyptian society since the revolution of 1952. The setting is downtown Cairo, where the titular apartment building serves as both a metaphor for contemporary Egypt and a unifying location in which most of the primary characters either live or work and in which much of the action takes place.
The 2010 Italian film “La Passione” concludes the festival at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. Director Carlo Mazzacurati’s movie tells the story of a film director who reluctantly agrees to set up and direct Good Friday celebrations in a small Tuscan town. The film alternates between comedy and caricature of hill-town life. The contrast of art vs. what’s popular, religion vs. pragmatism and talent vs. passion lifts this movie beyond its simple premise.
The Mediterranean Film Festival is co-sponsored by Rice University’s Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts, Rice’s Multicultural Community Relations in the Office of Public Affairs and the consulates general of Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy and Turkey. They plan to hold this event annually.
The Rice Media Center is located near Entrance 8 at the intersection of Stockton Street and University Boulevard. For a map of parking lots on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St., visit http://www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.
For more information on the film festival, visit http://film.rice.edu/Events.aspx.