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Best Film Festival Houston 2009 - Houston Palestine Film ­Festival

The Houston Palestine Film Festival focuses on cinema that fights against what organizers call "reductively politicized depictions." Festival organizers, including the two founders, Houston-based Palestinian-Americans Iman Saqr and Hadeel Assali, present a slate of complicated, often surprising films about their motherland. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all part of the annual screenings, which are often accompanied by visiting actors and directors. But HPFF is more than just a once-a-year event. The festival recently partnered with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to bring films with a Middle Eastern flavor to Houston year round. This summer, filmgoers saw Laila's Birthday, accompanied by a podcast interview with the director, and Amreeka, with director Cherien Davis in attendance.

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