Monthly Film Festival

December 09, 2023 03:30pm PST - 10:30pm PST
Industry Delegates
Crystal Hill
Red Sea Media Executive
Jesse Atlas
Writer, Director
Tony Gil
Redefine Entertainment
Priyanka Kapoor
Orion Pictures
Adrian Ward
Banc of California

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) and presenting partner The Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) co-host the NFMLA Monthly Film Festival InFocus: Middle Eastern & Arab Cinema program. The weekend will showcase an international lineup of films by talented emerging Middle Eastern and Arab filmmakers across two short film programs, and will open with a selection from NFMLA’s ongoing monthly programming. 

The day opens with December Shorts, a collection of shorts presented as part of NFMLA’s ongoing monthly program. This month’s block includes a heady and visceral mix of drama, dark comedy, supernatural elements, documentary, hybrid documentary, and mockumentary.

 The day’s programming continues with a stand-out selection of short films curated in partnership with The Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) that showcases Arab storytellers from across the world, including productions from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, France, Canada and the US. The selection leans into absurdism and humor and represents a wide range of storytelling styles. It includes stories about the pursuit of love, poetic satire, unlikely friendships and sibling rivalry.

The night concludes with InFocus: Middle Eastern Cinema, a block of short films from Middle Eastern filmmakers. The films tell stories about history, conflicted feelings, familial expectations, social critique, grief, women and girls in peril and examinations of gendered expectations. This selection includes the world premiere of writer-director Lee Peterkin’s Ten Years.

NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year, across both our general and InFocus programming. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects for consideration for upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the schedule for InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion and region by spotlighting  communities of filmmakers within our filmmaking community as part of our monthly program. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The South Park Center is an ADA compliant venue and is wheelchair accessible. We request captioned films from all filmmakers participating at our Festival. For any accessibility needs, please send a request to at least 72 hours prior to the event.


Schedule Details

Program #1 – December Shorts
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM – Pre-Reception
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Program
6:00 PM – 6:15 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #2 – InFocus: Arab Cinema
6:15 PM – 6:45 PM – Pre-Reception
6:45 PM – 8:30 PM – Program
8:30 PM – 8:45 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #3 – InFocus: Middle Eastern Cinema
8:45 PM – 9:15 PM – Pre-Reception
9:15 PM – 10:30 PM – Program
10:30 PM – 10:45 PM – Audience Q&A

Event Location

Event Entrance
1139 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles 90015

Parking (fee)
1133 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

December Shorts
Awake Before Dawn
Dir. Jose Navas, Writ. Jose Navas, Maribel Cabrera & Prod. Vanessa Gimenez, Carlos Andujar
18 Mins | USA
Untangling Thumbnail
Dir. Meredith Vuchnich, Writ. Meredith Vuchnich & Prod. Meredith Vuchnich
3 Mins | Canada
The Sidewalk Artist
Dir. Brandon Rivera, David Velez, Writ. Brandon Rivera, David Velez & Prod. Brandon Rivera, David Velez
20 Mins | USA
Patient Thumbnail
Dir. Lori Felker, Writ. Lori Felker & Prod. Lori Felker
20 Mins | USA
Psycho Baby
Dir. Charlotte Kennett, Writ. Charlotte Kennett & Prod. Charlotte Kennett, Hadley Hendon
23 Mins | USA
Four Nights and a Fire
Dir. Alex Nystrom, Writ. & Prod. Jeff Walker, Jeremy Charles, Lisa Normand
13 Mins | USA
Dir. Neil Ferron, Writ. Neil Ferron, Alexandra Dennis-Renner & Prod. Valerie Steinberg, Jordan Willcox, Neil Ferron
25 Mins | USA
InFocus: Arab Cinema
Dir. Fateema Al-Hamaydeh Miller
15 Mins | Canada
If the Sun Drowned into an Ocean of Clouds Thumbnail
If the Sun Drowned into an Ocean of Clouds
Dir. Wissam Charaf
20 Mins | Lebanon, France
Sweet Refuge Thumbnail
Sweet Refuge
Dir. Maryam Mir
12 Mins | USA
Me & Aydarous Thumbnail
Me & Aydarous
Dir. Sara Balghonaim, Writ. Sara Balghonaim & Prod. Raed Alsemari, Salman Almusaad
8 Mins | Saudi Arabia
Simo Thumbnail
Dir. Aziz Zoromba
23 Mins | Canada
VHS Tape Replaced
Dir. Maha Al-Saati
17 Mins | Saudi Arabia
InFocus: Middle Eastern Cinema
Dir. Jasmine Bissete, Writ. Jasmine Bissete & Prod. Joshua Chun, Maya Hartleben, Sarah Moustakim
6 Mins | France
Big Day
Dir. Ahmed Samir, Writ. Ahmed Samir & Prod. Saad Hendawy
15 Mins | Egypt
Dir. Jianna Maarten Saada, Writ. Belinda Gosbee & Prod. Belinda Gosbee, Rebecca Case, Alexander Shore
19 Mins | USA
Gallery Thumbnail
Dir. Karim Amin, Writ. & Prod. Susie Nguyen, Karim Amin
8 Mins | USA
Ten Years
Dir. Lee Peterkin, Writ. Lee Peterkin & Prod. Anna Dale-Meunier
8 Mins | USA
When I Grow Up Thumbnail
When I Grow Up
Dir. Melika Jamshidabadi, Writ. Melika Jamshidabadi & Prod. Melika Jamshidabadi
3 Mins | USA
Dir. Burak Can Sen, Writ. Burak Can Sen & Prod. Burak Can Sen
15 Mins | Turkey