x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

A taste of Middle East Now in Florence, Italy

Middle East Now, running from April 9 to 14, features a full week's programme of film screenings, exhibits, food tastings and talks on the region's contemporary culture.

The Lebanese rock band Mashrou'Leila will perform at the Middle East Now festival in Florence later this week. Courtesy Middle East Now
The Lebanese rock band Mashrou'Leila will perform at the Middle East Now festival in Florence later this week. Courtesy Middle East Now

A film, art, music and food festival focused on the region will be held in Florence, Italy, this week.

The fifth edition of Middle East Now, running from April 9 to 14, features a full week’s programme of film screenings, exhibits, food tastings and talks on the contemporary culture of the Middle East and North Africa.

Highlights include a concert by the Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila (their first performance in Italy), a retrospective of the works of the Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad, whose Oscar-nominated film Omar will open the festival, and an exhibition by the photographer Edoardo Delille on the biggest Iranian community in Italy, which happens to be in Florence.

The Dubai-based Brownbook magazine will screen its series of video portraits starring regional personalities from the world of arts and lifestyle. The magazine will also participate in a talk titled Creativity in the Contemporary Middle East: Video, Graphics, Food and Design.

The film programme features 52 titles, including the Syrian director Talal Derki’s Sundance-winning film Return to Homs, the Sanad-backed My Sweet Pepper Land, which screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival last year and was directed by the Iraqi-Kurdish filmmaker Hiner Saleem, and several short films from Qatar, organised in collaboration with the Doha Film Institute.

The Jordanian photographer Tanya Habjouqa will also exhibit her latest work, Occupied Pleasures, which chronicles rare moments of respite for Palestinians living under arduous political and economic conditions.

An installation titled Middle East Cuisine Books, curated by the architecture collective Archivio Personale, will showcase a selection of the best culinary titles from the region.

• For more information, visit www.middleastnow.it

jgabrillo@thenational.ae