Middle East Now it will be from 4 to 9 October 2022, at the Cinema La Compagnia, at the Cinema Stensen and in other Florentine spaces, with a multiform program of events, including cinema, documentaries, art, exhibitions, music, food, meetings and cultural projects. this is a festival that has always been characterized by a strong attention to current events, to the narration of the newest and most vibrant phenomena of the cultures and societies of the contemporary Middle East, which today more than ever need to be explored.

38 premiered films, awarded at the best international festivals, for a film journey that touches all the countries of the Middle East: strong stories, characters, the hot topics of current affairs in the most recent titles from Lebanon, Iran, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Israel , Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. A program that makes the cultures and societies of these countries known to the public, with a perspective that tries to go beyond the prejudices and clichés with which they are often represented.

A 13 edition with many special screenings, in which directors and guests invited to Florence will be the protagonists to present the films and explore them with the audience in the hall, with also an online program in the Pi Compagnia virtual room in collaboration with MyMovies.

Middle East Now organized by the cultural association Map of Creation, with the artistic direction of Lisa Chiari and Roberto Ruta, the contribution of the Tuscany Region as part of the Tuscan Contemporary Senses Program for Cinema, Municipality of Florence, Fondazione CR Firenze, with the support of the Why Group the Best Hotels Firenze, Niels Stensen Foundation, Museo Novecento Firenze, MyMovies, Ponte 33, in partnership with MeltinConcept, and other local and international institutions and partners.

We are constantly looking for a home. The house is a universal concept and has many dimensions. It can be a family, a partner, a child or a close friend. Home where you were born or any other place other than where you were born. He can be on the sidelines, nonconformist and rebellious. One can find home in culture and in the past, in being and in becoming. It is found in spirituality and language, in the visible and in the invisible. We are constantly looking for a home, for a sense of familiarity, which pushes us towards self-discovery, imposes questions of belonging and identity.

The program of this edition will present the works of artists and directors from the Middle East who use their creativity to express the innumerable meanings and interpretations of the concept of Home.

Also in this edition, Iranian cinema occupies a special place in the festival program, all the more due attention in these difficult and dramatic days that once again involve this country. Among the Italian premiere titles, the feature film IMAGINE (2022) by Ali Behrad, which will be present at the festival, a debut film that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, in which a taxi driver falls in love at night with a woman who cannot to have, played by star Leila Hatami, a dream tale that tells a love story that plays with fantasy and imagination. And two more beautiful shorts such as the award-winning doc THE DOLL by Elahe Esmaili (2022), in which a 35-year-old father agrees to the marriage of his 14-year-old daughter, a decision that triggers a heated confrontation in the family between very different perspectives and values. , and THE BARTER by Ziba Karamali, Emad Araad (2021) starring Parsa, a thirteen-year-old boy, who is trying to hide a secret from his father, for a Farhadi-style thriller.

The opening film of this edition comes from Palestine and sees the return to the festival of the great director Hany Abu-Assad with his latest thrilling thriller HUDA’S SALON (2021), a spy story based on real events that sees a woman blackmailing a young mother turning her into a spy, and reveals a society poisoned by the betrayal and intrigues that come with the occupation. Jalal Masarwa, a young Palestinian actor among the protagonists of the film, will arrive in Florence.

The film of the final evening will be Iranian, winner of the Best Film and Best Actor Award in the Horizons section at the last Venice Film Festival, and fresh candidate for the Academy Awards: WORLD WAR III by Houman Seyed, an extraordinary film, which with the urgency of a thriller and the clarity of a fairytale, it presents the grueling but compelling story of how a victim of life learns to imitate his oppressors.

MIDDLE EAST NOW 13 – In Florence from 4 to 9 October