Letters of Love (LOL) from the Middle East to South Asia: a Film Series

In this bonus conversation, film scholar Samhita Sunya previews a trio of blockbuster Middle Eastern comedies that will enjoy their official US theatrical premiers at the Virginia Film Festival. For more, visit http://virginiafilmfestival.org/film-guide/ “Letters of Love (LOL) From the Middle East to South Asia: A Film Series of Contemporary Genre Comedies in U.S. Theatrical Premieres” Description by Samhita Sunya: The “LOL” series will mark the second-ever US screenings - and the official US theatrical premieres! - of all three films. The package showcases three witty blockbusters from a region that is all-too-often conflated with footage of war, authoritarianism, crises, and patriarchal/sexual violence. In an attempt to resist a reductive conflation of the Middle East solely with violence, on the one hand, and to highlight the varied filmmaking and film-viewing practices in the region, on the other, this sidebar brings to VFF three zany, popular transregional comedies that have not been screened in the US prior to the special preview presentation of the package, which I curated at Yale University this last April. Each film is a comedy whose action takes place across the Middle East and South Asia, as they self-reflexively - and lovingly - pay homage to global genres (stoner comedy, road movie, gangster comedy) as well as the longstanding presence and popularity of Bollywood films in the Middle East Series sponsored by Virginia Film Festival, UVA Institute for Humanities & Global Cultures, and UVA Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures. Films: Road to Kabul - Stoner comedy. Brahim Chkiri / 2012 / Morocco / Arabic with English subtitles Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BFlqo0zKIw Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 7:15 PM Violet Crown 6 & 7 Tickets - http://virginiafilmfestival.org/films/road-to-kabul/ Bir Baba Hindu (An Indian Godfather) - Gangster comedy. Sermiyan Midyat / 2016 / Turkey / Turkish with English subtitles Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7V9qqmYF7w Saturday, Nov 3, 2018 2:00 PM Alamo Drafthouse Cinema 5 Tickets - http://virginiafilmfestival.org/films/indian-father-bir-baba-hindu/ Gahim Fel Hend (Hell in India) - Musical comedy. Moataz Eltony / 2016 / Egypt / Arabic with English subtitles Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0C3DM69NPs Thursday, Nov 1, 2018 8:45 PM Newcomb Hall Theatre Tickets: http://virginiafilmfestival.org/films/hell-india-gahim-fel-hend/


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