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Reel Festivals: Syria and Lebanon

Films from the Middle East at this year's events include the Lebanese 'Every Day is a Holiday' and Syrian 'Zabad (Foam)'

Reel Festivals: Syria and Lebanon

The team behind 2009’s Reel Afghanistan and Reel Iraq in 2010 have decided to focus their attention on Syria and Lebanon this year. For the uninitiated, the format is simple: in an attempt to bridge cultural understanding, the festival of films (including Lebanese award winner Every Day Is a Holiday, pictured), poetry, discussion events and music begins in Damascus, moves to Beirut and then finishes in Edinburgh. Well, relatively simple.

‘With all the current changes and attention on the Middle East we felt it was prime time for a festival looking at these two neighbouring countries and celebrating their cultural works,’ explains organiser Dan Gorman. ‘We’re particularly excited about bringing filmmakers, poets and the irrepressible techno dabke music of Daraa, Syria along with Lebanese breakcore to Scotland for the first time.’

Various venues, Edinburgh, Mon 16–Sat 21 May.

Ryan Van Winkle with Poets from Lebanon, Syria and Scotland

As part of a tour that has taken in Damascus and many other exotic locations, a group of poets who have been working on English-Arabic translations perform their own and each other's works at a cabaret-style event.

Reel Festival

An unusual festival in that it takes place across locations in three countries – Lebanon, Syria and Scotland – Reel is aimed at spreading awareness of the rich cultural life of places often better known for hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. As well as film screenings, it includes poetry readings, music and…

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