"Tel Aviv on Fire"—Special Director's Screening

tel aviv on fire directed by sameh zoabi with kais nashef lubna azabal

On Monday, July 29 at 7 pm The Markaz and Cohen Media Group present a special director's screening of Sameh Zoabi's new satire, Tel Aviv on Fire, with support from the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. A Q & A with the director follows the screening moderated by actor-producer Waleed Zuaiter ("Omar", "The Men Who Stare at Goats", "London Has Falling"). Tel Aviv on Fire opens August 2nd at select theaters.

The screening is free to the public upon advance reservations (two people per RSVP only) below, and takes place at the Silver Screen Theater, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave, WeHo 90069. Parking is available at the PDC or across the street in the WeHo library parking structure.

Community sponsors include the Hollywood Bureau of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and LA Jews for Peace. 

A production grunt on a popular Palestinian television show in Ramallah, Salam (Kais Nashif) is a 30-something Jerusalamite who has to cross a checkpoint each day to get to work. Tel Aviv on Fire is popular among both Israeli and Palestinian viewers, and upon discovery that Salam works on the show and is close to its star (Lubna Azabal), Assi—an over-zealous border officer—decides he's going to have a roll to play in the series' storyline—especially after Salam tells him that he's a writer on the show. When Assi insists that his ideas be incorporated into the action if Salam wants to pass the checkpoint everyday, the hapless Salam ingratiates himself with the show's star and begins to develop a new identity as a writer. Obviously, nothing goes as planned.
Watch the trailer.

director Sameh Zoabi (photo © Jordan Elgrably)Sameh Zoabi was born in Iksal, a town near Nazareth, and graduated from Tel Aviv University with a double major in film and literature. Palestinian to the core, but also Israeli, each of his films (Man Without a Cell Phone, Under the Same Sun) have meditated on the challenges and contradictions inherent in this dual identity. Tel Aviv on Fire may be a sunny satire, but it nonetheless grapples with the thorniest of issues—from the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza to the future of Jerusalem and the fate of the Palestinian people.

Waleed ZuaiterWaleed Zuaiter is a critically acclaimed international actor and producer.  He produced and starred in Omar, from writer/director Hany Abu-Assad.  The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2014 Academy Awards representing “Palestine,” and won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival (2013), Best Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2013), and many other accolades around the globe. Upcoming for Waleed is a supporting lead as Syrian President ‘Amin Al-Hafez’ in Gideon Raff’s miniseries for Netflix/Canal+, The Spy, opposite Sacha Baron Cohen; and the lead in a series headlining the cast of Freemantle/Euston Films’ Baghdad Central, to be released later this year on Channel 4/UK. In television he is well known for roles such as ‘Samir Abboud’ in Netflix’s Altered Carbon, ‘Vincent’ on USA’s Colony, ‘Mohammad El Tunis’ on Fox’s Prison Break, and ‘Kaseem Mahmoud’ in the hit series House of Cards.  In film Waleed has held recent roles such as ‘Sami’ in Here and Now, ‘Charlie’ in Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women, and ‘Kamran Barkawi’ in Babak Najafi’s London Has Fallen.

The Markaz & The Markaz Review continue to represent the Middle East/North Africa with arts, cultural programs and online content that humanizes our diverse communities. To donate, please send your tax-deductible contribution in the form of a check to The Markaz/MPV, 1626 Wilcox Ave, Suite 702, Los Angeles CA 90028. Or donate online. Thank you!

  • July 29, 2019 at 7pm – 9:30pm
  • Pacific Design Center, Silver Screen Theater, 8687 Melrose Av, WeHo 90069
  • Alfred Madain


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