May 4, 2017
Film: “Tickling Giants”

Free speech is not settled law,
and democracy is not easily won

 

Elvehjem Building L150
455 N Park St
University of Wisconsin-Madison
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT

Please join the University of Wisconsin-Madison Middle East Studies Program for a showing of Tickling Giants, a powerful story of the “Jon Stewart of Egypt” and the price of laughter in the Mideast (LA Times).

There will also be a short graduation ceremony for certificate students afterward.

ABOUT THE FILM
In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef creates the satirical show, “Al Bernameg,” which quickly becomes the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode. But, in a country where free speech is not settled law, his show becomes as controversial as it is popular. Despite increasing danger, Bassem employs comedy, not violence, to comment on hypocrisy in media, politics, and religion. Tickling Giants follows the “Al Bernameg” team as they discover democracy is not easily won.

October 6, 2016
Film: Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!

UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center
Red Gym – 2nd Floor
716 Langdon St, Madison, Wisconsin
7:30 pm

Sponsored by UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine.

Film screening of the documentary Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!, which follows queer activists fighting against Israeli pinkwashing propaganda in their community, providing a strategic primer on intersectional social justice activism.

After the film we will have a friendly discussion about how queer issues and Palestinian issues intersect, and the different opinions and thoughts on the film.

GoFundMe Request by Rafah Filmmaker Fida Qishta

Fida Qishta, who visited us in Madison in 2014 and 2015 to show her powerful first film Where Should the Birds Fly, has been in film school in California. She is looking for donations to help fund her thesis film Equally Damaged. Please consider a donation via the gofundme link or check. As of today, she is still in need of $2,000.

We still have copies of Where Should the Birds Fly for sale, and one that we can loan for showings. If anyone is interested, let me know.

Thanks,
Barb O.

Dear friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I’m almost done with my Master program in Film and Media Production and will be graduating in September.

I’ll start filming my final thesis film Equally Damaged on July 22nd. Please check my go fund me campaign and give it a kick. Share it, and send it to your friends and mailing list.

https://www.gofundme.com/247ak64

If you’d like to send a check please make it out to me and send it to:

    Fida Qishta
    3409 West Alameda Ave, Apt B
    Burbank, CA 91505

Best, Fida


Director Statement
Growing up in Palestine is pretty hard. A Mid-East conflict zone, every day was a challenge, even life in my close-knit neighborhood was subject to conflicts and destruction. The landscape was constantly changing as homes and streets were destroyed. I always wondered, when I was young, what could make people stop killing each other. I realized as I grew up that the war machine is like a bubble, each side is separated from the other, and neither one is willing to acknowledge the other’s point of view. As a child, I thought the whole world was like my neighborhood. The first time I traveled, it opened my eyes to the world, and I saw things differently from when I was growing up. I felt cheated of normality. This is why I wanted to make a film that shows the damage that conflicts and wars cause on both sides that are involved. People in front of or behind the gun are damaged, and that is what I want to get across with this film. War and conflict can strip away humanity, and yet I believe that love and forgiveness are possible and worth fighting for.

Please help me fund the production of Equally Damaged. I will submit it as my master’s thesis project at the New York Film Academy and will enter it in film festivals. The film is a short , it will run 15-30 minutes. With the resources of the New York Film Academy, I can make Equally Damaged for $10,500.

Thank you to all of you.
Best, Fida

*****************++*****************
“You are far more powerful than you have ever imagined.
If you accept this knowledge and base your actions on it, you will be happier than ever before.
You will be able to do things you have only dreamed of doing and achieve anything you want in life.” Ibrahim ElfiqiI (Elfiky)

March 15, 2015 Rafah Filmmaker Fida Qishta at First United Methodist Church

(See Funding Campaign for Filmmaker Fida Qishta)

Sunday, March 15
First United Methodist Church
Fellowship Hall
203 Wisconsin Avenue
Madison [Map]
7:00 pm

Join us for “Dessert and a Movie” at this year’s Rachel Corrie commemorative event with Rafah filmmaker Fida Qishta and her ground-breaking Where Should the Birds Fly? The event is free and open to the public, but donations to cover costs will be appreciated. Desserts, including baklawa, and coffee and tea will be served. Please RSVP to dwallbaum (at) gmail.com with the number of attendees.

March 16 will be twelve years since Rachel Corrie was crushed to death in Rafah by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to stop the demolition of the Nasrallah family home. Just last week, the Israeli Supreme Court confirmed a lower court decision that the Israeli army bears no responsibility for her death; for more info and a statement from Craig and Cindy Corrie visit the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. Portions of Where Should the Birds Fly were filmed in and around the area where Rachel died.

Don’t miss your chance to see this powerful film and meet the remarkable woman who made it.

Co-sponsored by the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison, First United Methodist, Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg, and Pilgrims of Ibillin.

Fida Qishta will also be showing Where Should the Birds Fly? in the Janesville area at

    Milton United Methodist Church
    241 Northside Drive, Milton, WI [Map]
    Sunday, March 15 at 1 pm

There will be a discussion with Fida after the film, and refreshments will be served. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Sponsored by the Milton United Methodist Church and the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

From the film’s web site:

Where Should the Birds Fly? is the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade of this tiny enclave. It is the story of two young women, survivors of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Mona Samouni, now 12 years old and the filmmaker, Fida Qishta, now 27, represent the spirit and future of Palestinians.

The film is a visual documentation of the Goldstone Report. But it is so much more. It reveals the strength and hope, the humanity and humor that flourishes among the people of Gaza. Few films document so powerfully and personally the impact of modern warfare and sanctions on a civilian population.

The film itself breaks the blockade. Filmmakers in Gaza have never had the opportunity to make a full length, professional documentary of their reality. Fida Qishta, born and raised in Rafah, Gaza, began her filmmaking career as a wedding videographer, and soon moved on to working with international human rights observers in Gaza, documenting day to day life under siege. Her commentary on the siege was published in The International Herald Tribune. Her video reports of Operation Cast Lead were published widely including in the UK newspaper The Guardian and in their weekly news magazine The Observer.

Fida founded The Life-Maker’s Centre, Rafah, Gaza. She was the manager and a teacher at this free facility for 300 children affected by war. The center continues to provide a safe place to play and offers counseling and English language tutoring.”

March 13, 2015
Rafah Filmmaker Fida Qishta at the Memorial Union

Friday March 13
Memorial Union
UW-Madison Campus
6:30 pm [Map]

Gaza film-maker Fida Qishta will speak and show her groundbreaking film “Where Should the Birds Fly”, the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade of this tiny enclave.

Sponsored by UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine, with support from the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

For more info: Facebook — UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine
Film trailer: Where Should the Birds Fly