"Oriented" film explores Palestinian gay life in Tel Aviv

oriented, a film about Palestinian gay life in Israel

Join friends of The Markaz and Muslims for Progressive Values when we view the hit documentary ORIENTED from director Jake Witzenfield, about the lives of three gay Palestinian men, Khader, Naim and Fadi living in Tel Aviv. The director will join us for a post-screening discussion, moderated by Ramy Eletreby, plus after-party. At The Markaz, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., LA 90035 (between La Cienega & Fairfax), street parking.

Reservations online below or call 323.413.2001 (RSVPs strongly recommended as sitting is limited). $10 advance/$12 at the door.

Tel Aviv has long been home to one of the Middle East's most vibrant LGBTQ communities, though the struggles of many living in the shadows is still an unfortunate reality as depicted by a new documentary called Oriented.

An intriguing look at the juxtaposition between the personal and political, Oriented shows viewers what it's like to be gay in the Middle East, as many still grapple with the myriad familial and societal pressures that encourage them to stay hidden. The documentary focuses on three Palestinian friends living in Tel Aviv, Khader (a Muslim living with his Jewish boyfriend), Fadi (a "Palestinian nationalist confronted by guilty Jewish love") and Naim (a man who must come out to his family); over a 15-month period, we follow the charismatic trio as they navigate their personal lives in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of summer 2014.

It's also worth noting that the title is a brief acknowledgment to Edward Said's concept of "orientalism," which first-time director Jake Witzenfeld says is a nod toward his own identity as a Westerner (Witzenfeld is British but lives in Tel Aviv). However, it's clear that a significant portion of the film is also dedicated toward addressing related misperceptions, as Khader says early on that "the west has monopolized concepts of liberalism and of being out of the closet." 

And though the film originally started as an apolitical project, it's inevitably remade itself into an intimate profile of the actual people living through this all, the ones who "hope that people recognize us and our desire to be recognized, and just know that we exist in this big mess." [Event description from Paper] [Read Variety article.]

Watch the official Oriented trailer.

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About the Cast and Crew

KhaderKhader is a Tel Aviv “It Boy” and provocateur from a prominent Muslim mafia family from TelAviv’s neighbouring Arab suburb of Jaffa. An aspiring journalist and producer, he lived for many years in the heart of Tel Aviv with his "Jew-ish" boyfriend David and their Dalmatian, Otis. Today he has returned to Jaffa and is an outspoken activist for Palestinian culture in Tel-Aviv.

FadiFadi left his Christian community in a northern Israeli town to pursue his dream of becoming a nurse. He feels that his new freedom is marred by the guilt of his nation’s tragedy. Fadi's passionate nationalism is challenged when he falls in love with an American Jew fighting in the Israeli Defense Forces. Today, Fadi has transcended his inhibitions and is living with his long-term Jewish boyfriend, Nadav.

NaemNaeem describes himself as a Palestinian, vegetarian, and feminist. Like Fadi, Naeem comes from a Christian family in northern Israel. His time in Yafo inspired him to confront his family’s expectations and be honest with his loved ones about his sexual identity. Today, Naeem is busy about town living the life of a hedonistic 20something and enjoying his new found personal liberation.

Jake WitzenfieldJake Witzenfeld is a British film director and producer. Born and raised in Essex, England, Jake graduated from theUniversity of Cambridge with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he relocated to Tel Aviv where he discovered the story that became ORIENTED. Jake co-founded a creative agency and has launched an international production company with 10 projects in development, both documentary and scripted. ORIENTED is Jake’s debut film.


Ramy Eletreby is a Muslim Arab-American writer, performer, and applied theatre artist based in Los Angeles, California. He directs and facilitates original artistic projects in collaboration with communities throughout Southern California. His writings have appeared on The Huffington Post, Queerty, KCET, and the award-winning blog Love Inshallah. His short story "The Ride" appears in the ground-breaking anthology, Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy. Ramy recently developed "The Ride" into a solo theatre piece, which he premiered this past January at the Whitefire Theatre as part of its annual Solofest, the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast. 

  • May 14, 2016 at 8pm – 11pm
  • The Markaz, 5998 W. Pico Blvd LA 90035
  • $10.00 USD
  • 5 people are going
  • Lynne Mangione



Will you come?

$365.00 Patron Membership for 2 - annual, special benefits
$120.00 Markaz - Family Membership (for 2) - annual dues
$60.00 Markaz Basic Membership for 1 - annual dues
$10.00 General Admission-Advance Reservations ($12 at the door)

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