WFF ALTERNATIVE PROJECTIONS #5: SIMON SHAHEEN – A MUSICAL JOURNEY by Tarik Benbrahim + Bonus Short: THE PAYOFF

Stuck indoors? The Woodstock Film Festival is sharing short and full-length films curated by our alum filmmakers, programmers, industry friends, and staff for you to stream from the comfort of your home. With so many festivals and movie theaters shuttering across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting independent filmmakers is more important than ever. So sit back, cozy up, and enjoy a cinematic escape from quarantines and hand sanitizer shortages!

SIMON SHAHEEN: A MUSICAL JOURNEYBY TARIK BENBRAHIM
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

Tarik Benbrahim is a New York-based filmmaker. He has directed and produced documentaries and works of fiction in North America, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He has worked with Vanessa Redgrave (LETTERS FROM NEW YORK TO SARAJEVO, 1996), Jerry Shcatzberg (WRITERTHE GIRL WHO PLAYED GO, Michael Moore (BOWLING FOR COLUMBINEFAHRENHEIT9/11 French subtitles). Tarik subtitled the 2004 re-release of THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS(1966) for Rialto pictures and for the Criterion Collection release of the film. He also interviewed director Abbas Kiarostami in 2009 for the Criterion Collection release of the film CLOSE UP(1990). 

Tarik is currently developing COFFEE: HISTORY IN A CUP, a documentary about the history of coffee around the world and the stories and lives of coffee farmers. Tarik is also an accomplished Oud player and musician. He has performed with Simon Shaheen, Walter Thompson, Butch Morris and Henry Threadgill’s Zooid (Pulitzer Prize Award for music 2016).

ABOUT THE FILM:

This film goes behind the scenes with Palestinian icon and musical virtuoso, Simon Shaheen, one of the most significant and celebrated Arab musicians of his generation. Since childhood, Simon Shaheen’s artistic hunger and dynamic personality have helped him move from his native Palestine to cross cultural boundaries. He won a music scholarship from Columbia University in New York and later settled in the United States.

But he looked to Palestine, the land of his birth, and to other parts of the Middle East, for the next generation of Arab musical talent. This film shows a series of Skype auditions with Shaheen in the US and his potential students in Ramallah.

SIMON SHAHEEN: A MUSICAL JOURNEY was the official kickoff event for the 2019 Woodstock Film Festival. The film’s sold-out screening was followed by a live performance by Shaheen and several musical guests.

WATCH HERE:

THE PAYOFF

BONUS SHORT BY TARIK BENBRAHIM:

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