info@alleghenywest.org
806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Indie Iranian Film Examines Friendship, Belief and Tradition

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

Facing Mirrors

Wednesday, August 21st
7:00 pm

A low budget film set in contemporary Iran, Facing Mirrors explores an unlikely and daring friendship that develops despite social norms and religious beliefs. It is the first narrative film from Iran to feature a transgender main character.

Facing Mirrors

Although Rana is a traditional wife and mother, she is forced to drive a cab to pay off the debt that keeps her husband in prison. By chance she picks up the wealthy and rebellious Edi, who is desperately awaiting a passport to leave the country. At first Rana attempts to help, but when she realizes that Edi is transgender, a dangerous series of conflicts arises.

Rana is forced to comprehend a different reality—a task that requires reexamining all that she believes in and the traditions she values.

The film’s director, Negar Azarbayjani, won the 2012 Grand Prix at the Paris LGBTQ film festival for her work.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Feature Film Centering Somali Refugees – Followed by Panel Discussion

City of Asylum (2018)

A Stray

Monday, August 5th
7:00 pm

A Stray tells the story of one young man’s journey for belonging.

Adan, the protagonist of A Stray, is the quintessential guy who can’t catch a break. His common refrain, introduced in the first scene: “I’m a Somali and a Muslim, no one’s gonna hire me.” The film follows Adan through the vibrant, and difficult, world of Somali refugees in Minneapolis. This city, and the people in it, are rarely seen in contemporary American films.

A Stray

The film, hailed by the New York Times as “visually striking,” shines a light on what it means for some of the most marginalized Americans to find their place in this country.

A Stray was a critical darling at both the SXSW and BAMcinemas film festivals, and received laudatory reviews in the New York Times. It stars Barkhad Abdi, a Somali-American actor famous for his starring role, alongside Tom Hanks, in Captain Phillips.

This screening is presented in partnership with the Muslim Women’s Association of Pittsburgh, and will feature a moderated panel discussion with Hamza Perez, Youth Director at The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, Haji Muya, Somali refugee and freelance filmmaker, Suad Yusuf of Global Minds Initiative, and graduate student Ilham Abdi, born to Somali refugees.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Stirring Film Features One inspirational Senegalese Girl

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

Saturday, June 29th
3:00 pm

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil) is a luminous portrait of Sili—a twelve year old paraplegic girl in Dakar.

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

“A masterpiece of understated humanity” – The New York Times

Against the wishes of street boys, Sili is determined to be a street vendor of “Le Soleil,” the national newspaper of Senegal. It is at once a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the street children of Dakar and to the individual’s capability for transforming her situation.

This film will be presented in Wolof with English subtitles. Run time: 49 minutes.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

One of “The 14 Best Queer International Films of 2018”–Indiewire

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

A Moment in the Reeds

Wednesday, May 29th
7:00 pm

Set on the quiet and secluded shores of a Finish lakeside, A Moment in the Reeds tells an intense emotional story of a young Finnish man who embarks on a whirlwind love affair with the Syrian refugee his father has hired to help renovate their summer home.

A Moment in the Reeds

“This gay love story defies borders … [the] chemistry in the film is palpable.” – The Advocate

A response to an absence of queer narratives in Finnish cinema, this film is among the first queer feature films made in the country. Viewing Finland from the perspectives both of an immigrant and an emigrant, the film casts the long-marginalised voices of sexual and ethnic minorities center-stage.

Weaving themes of national identity, queerness, and outsiderness into an engaging and steamy drama, this is a story about the search for a place to call home.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

A Documentary About a Woman Who Became a Word

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

Tchindas

Wednesday, April 24th
7:00 pm

As Randy Gilson is to Northside’s Randyland … Tchinda Andrade is to Carnival on Cape Verde. She is legendary for her creativity, making displays and costumes from scant resources.

And just as “Randy” (no last name needed) is one of the most loved and well-known people on the Northside, “Tchinda” became one of most beloved and celebrated women in Cape Verde.

Tchindas

And – here is where the story gets especially interesting – when Tchinda came out as transgender in 1998, she became even more popular. Her name inspired a term (affectionate not derogatory) used by locals to name queer Cape Verdeans. They are called “Tchindas.”

The documentary won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award and screened at the New York African Film Festival earlier this year. It’s also made a star of its protagonist.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Award-winning Sundance Documentary on the Trans Experience

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

America in Transition

Sunday, March 31st
2:00 pm

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, ReelQ presents a screening of “Where is my Refuge,” episode 4 of the award-winning Sundance documentary series America in Transition. This screening will be followed by a Skype discussion and Q&A lead by the subject of the documentary episode, Nina Chaubal.

America in Transition

America in Transition is an award-winning, Sundance-backed documentary series exploring relationships, family and social issues with trans people of color across the United States. Each episode explores one person’s story in depth, tackling intersectional issues such as HIV criminalization, living as trans in the South, family acceptance, trans exclusion from the military and immigrant detention.

Episode 4: “Where Is My Refuge” follows the story of Nina. After growing up misunderstood in India, Nina fell in love with another trans woman in the Bay. Together, they built a suicide hotline by road-triping across small town America and connecting with thousands of trans people. But her life changed in an instant. When Arizona authorities stopped her for being brown, they then refused to release her insisting that her marriage – and therefore her immigration status – was invalid. In the month since her detention, Nina’s been caught in legal limbo, afraid she’ll be forced to leave the country where she’s saved so many lives.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Five Fingers for Marseilles Brings the Spaghetti Western to South Africa

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Monday, March 18th
7:00 pm

Twenty years ago, the young Five Fingers posse fought for the rural town of Marseilles against the brutal oppression of Apartheid South Africa.

Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers forever changed.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

“Here, saloon doors are blazoned with crosses, villains wear white shawls instead of black hats and freedom fighters shoot peashooters rather than pistols. In stylish and entertaining fashion, “Five Fingers for Marseilles” looks over the South African countryside and finds fresh vistas for the western genre.” – New York Times

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, and returns seeking peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers brotherhood stand again?

Reserve Your Free Tickets

“A TV film to be long remembered” – New York Magazine

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Autobiography of
Miss Jane Pittman

Monday, February 4th
7:00 pm

This screening marks a rare opportunity to see the beloved and ground-breaking 1970s television film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, winner of nine Primetime Emmy Awards and a BAFTA nomination. Lead actress Cicely Tyson herself won two Emmy Awards for her unforgettable portray of Jane Pittman.

The Autobiography of Jane Pittman

Beginning during the racial turmoil of 1960s Louisiana, former slave Jane Pittman granted an interview to Ernest Gaines, a persistent journalist.

The film is based on a novel that Gaines subsequently wrote, telling the remarkable story of Pittman’s life. Her emancipation from slavery at the end of the Civil was only the beginning of an arduous and heartbreaking odyssey, which ended at the age of 110 with her participating in the Civil Rights movement.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

Oscar-Nominated Animated Feature

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Breadwinner

Saturday, January 5th
3:00 pm

The Breadwinner is an Academy Award and Golden Globe animated feature nominee. It tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under Taliban rule in war-torn Afghanistan in 2001 – where women are not allowed to leave home without a male accompanying them.

When her father is wrongfully arrested, there is no one to earn money or even shop for food. Parvana make a life-changing decision and disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her and ultimately risks her life trying to discover if he is still alive.

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is by no means a simple-minded kidpic; rather, it directly confronts the misogyny and chauvinism of contemporary Afghanistan, while powerfully suggesting that storytelling is both a means of coping and a solution for change.” – Variety

Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, The Breadwinner is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories and their potential to unite and heal us all.

 

Reserve Your Free Tickets

“Is civilization possible in a nation where discrimination has such deep roots?”

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Sweet Country

Monday, October 22nd
7:00 pm

Based on true events, Sweet Country makes brilliant use of the Australian outback of the 1920s as the setting for a hard-hitting story that satisfies as a character study as well as a sociopolitical statement.

Set in 1929 Australia, this film follows Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man who works for a preacher in Australia’s Northern Territory. When Harry (a bitter war veteran) moves into a neighboring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates, culminating in a violent shootout in which Sam kills Harry in self-defense.

Sweet Country

“This shrewdly observed story asks another question: Is civilization possible in a nation where discrimination has such deep roots?”—Washington Post 

As a result, Sam becomes a wanted criminal for the murder of a white man and is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A hunting party led by the local lawman Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track Sam down. But as the true details of the killing start to surface, the community begins to question whether justice is really being served.

Reserve Your Free Tickets