Film fest spotlight: Toronto Palestine Film Festival

Here are some highlights of the fest of Palestinian cinema, music, food and art taking over the Lightbox until Sunday

The end of TIFF is merely the kickoff of Toronto’s fall festival season. No sooner has the last of the popcorn been swept out of the Lightbox than the Toronto Palestine Film Festival sets up shop there.

Here’s what you need to know:

What: Toronto Palestine Film Festival (

When: Thursday (September 20) – Sunday (September 23).

Where: TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King West)

What to see: Now in its 11th year, the four-day festival offers Toronto audiences a chance to catch up on films they missed at earlier festivals – like Erika Cohn’s The Judge (September 22, 9 pm) and Annemarie Jacir’s Wajib (September 23, 6:45 pm) from TIFF 2017, or Christy Garland’s What Walaa Wants (September 21, 8:45 pm) and Assia Boundaoui’s The Feeling Of Being Watched (September 23, 4:15 pm) from Hot Docs 2018.

New films on offer include Cam Christiansen’s Wall (September 22, 1:30 pm), an animated documentary about the playwright and screenwriter David Hare’s visit to the border wall that divides Israel and Palestine, and Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives (September 22, 6:45 pm), a fascinating doc about an agricultural research centre forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon after the Syrian revolution – a complex effort that required help from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic.

Non-theatrical programming includes the free panel Centre-Stage: The Rise Of Arab Women On Film Saturday at 12 pm – featuring director Razan AlSalah (whose short Your Father Was Born A 100 Years Old, And So Was The Nabka is screening at the festival with The Judge on Saturday night), producer Rula Nasser (The Last Friday) and critic and programmer Kiva Reardon in conversation about the new wave of female talent in front of and behind the cameras – and the annual Sahtain! Palestinian brunch, this year happening Sunday morning at Hale Coffee in the Junction. Tickets for the brunch must be purchased in advance you can get yours here.

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