After the screening of our Queer Lens program at the 25th Arab Film Festival, our director of film programming, Yasmina Tawil, sat down with two of the participating filmmakers, Reem Jubran and Saleh Saadi, to discuss their work and the representation of LBGTQ+ stories on screen.
REEM JUBRAN is a writer/director working between Palestine and Los Angeles, California in short and feature narratives. She is pursuing an M.F.A. in Directing/Writing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television where she is directing her own short films after having worked two years as assistant director on Palestinian narrative features. She is inspired by women-led stories, flammable cultural taboos, and her identity as a transnational filmmaker. Her first feature in-development, “Sou-Sou '' was selected for Producer's Spotlight at the Palestine Pavilion, Cannes 2020 Marche du Film. She has a B.A. in Film Studies from UC Berkeley.
Reem's film MARIAM (boxd.it/uCf8) is about Zaid, a young Arab-American amateur drag queen has to confront his conservative father and Alzheimer's grandfather about his identity on an average night gone terribly wrong.
SALEH SAADI is a Palestinian director and writer from Basmat Tab'un, born on July 6th, 1998.
Saleh’s first short film Borekas (2020) was part of the Official Selection of the Palm Springs International ShortFest (2021), and Outfest (2021).
His second short film A'lam (Flag), which he wrote, directed, and acted in, is in its post-production process (2021).
Saleh's film BOREKAS (boxd.it/vxo2) is about a father who gives his son a ride to the airport. The car stops working on the way, providing them with an opportunity to reconnect.
Filmed by Mike Mazzotta at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, CA.
Watch both films online as part of the Queer Lens program at the 25th Arab Film Festival from November 19th to the 28th