The International Festival of Films on Art to Open Its 38th Edition with the Film We Are Not Princesses by Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam
The International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is pleased to announce that the documentary film We Are Not Princesses by the American and Syrian filmmakers Bridgette Auger and Itab Azzam will open its 38th edition, which will take place from March 17 to 29 in Montreal and March 20 to 29 in Quebec City.
The film gained international attention after being chosen as an official selection in some of the world’s largest film festivals such as Doc NYC, the Boston Film Festival, SF DocFest and the Buenos Aires Film Festival. We Are Not Princesses follows the story of Syrian women in a refugee camp in Beirut as they put on a production of Sophocles’ play Antigone. This foray into their universe reveals their own inner turmoil and their deep and transformative attachment to the play. Inspired by their production, the women speak honestly and courageously about their lives, and also begin to reflect on their experiences and to rediscover a forgotten happiness. This sensitive film, interspersed with dreamlike animations in order to preserve the anonymity of certain participants, gives a voice to these exiles whose spirits are marked by both generosity and fatalism.
“The directing is beautiful and makes for an outstanding film. It sheds light on the lives of these Syrian refugees who draw courage and strength from Sophocles’ tragedy, a work that echoes their own stories,” says Philippe U. del Drago, Executive Director of FIFA.
Making its Quebec debut, this moving film, faithfully telling the story of dreams that vanished in the political turmoil of the Middle East, will be screened in Montreal on Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30 PM at Cinéma Impérial. The film will also open FIFA’s 2020 edition in Quebec City on Friday, March 20 at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) at 7 PM. The film will be shown in Arabic with English subtitles. Additional screenings on Thursday, March 26 at 5:30 PM at Cinéma Cineplex Odéon Quartier Latin in Montreal.
While living in a Beirut refugee camp, four Syrian women plunge into Sophocles’ legendary play, Antigone. This documentary, making its Quebec premier, is a colourful and moving account of the women’s journey: with courage, integrity and inspiration, they reflect on the course of their lives and rediscover forgotten joys. This finely wrought film, intertwined with dreamlike and poetic animations, highlights the bravery of four women in the face of displacement.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
Bridgette Auger is an artist and filmmaker who has spent more than 12 years living and working in the Middle East. Through photography and video, she covered the Arab Spring in Egypt and Libya as well as the refugee crisis caused by the war in Syria for publications such as Die Zeit, The Guardian and The New York Times. She has a degree in Photography and Imaging from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a Master in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz. She was a 2016 BAVC (Bay Area Video Coalition) National MediaMaker Fellow and a 2017 IFP Labs Doc Fellow. She is based in Jackson, Mississippi.
Itab Azzam is a Syrian filmmaker based in London. She won a BAFTA in 2018 for her production work on the BBC Two series Exodus: Our Journey to Europe as well as a British Broadcast Award and a Liberty Human Rights Award. She has acquired wide-ranging experience in television, notably as part of the team behind BBC Four’s Syrian School. She produced the play Antigone of Syria and co-founded Sabbara, a social enterprise that promotes female empowerment by providing women with economic opportunity and psychological support. She also co-founded the Open Art Foundation, a charitable artistic organization that works with marginalized communities around the world.
SCREENING SCHEDULE AND TICKET INFORMATION
Opening night at Cinéma Impérial, Montreal: Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30 pm
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS
Opening night at MNBAQ, Quebec City: Friday, March 20 at 7 pm
The full program for FIFA’s 38th edition will be unveiled on February 18, 2020.