East Bay Big Night
Director Basil Khalil expected to attend
Winner of the International Federation of Film Critics Prize at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, A Gaza Weekend is a hilarious, action-packed parody that lampoons disaster movies. When a mysterious virus called ARS spreads throughout Israel, Michael, a wealthy British journalist, and his Israeli girlfriend Keren become desperate to escape the country. With the help of a former coworker, Michael gets in contact with two lowly Palestinian swindlers, Emad and Waheed, whom he mistakes for expert smugglers. Michael offers to pay Emad and Waheed thousands of dollars to help him and Keren leave the country. When the plan goes awry, the couple flees Israel only to be hunted by the media and the police. In order to keep them and his family safe, Waleed ironically hides the couple in his family’s basement in Gaza. Written before the pandemic, this campy comedy captures the harsh realities of daily life in Gaza. Director Basil Khalil’s multilingual debut feature film is filled with wit, slapstick, and insight. This motley crew must ultimately work together to evade Hamas and ensure their mutual survival.
Basil Khalil is an Academy Award & Palme d’Or nominated writer and director of Palestinian-British-Irish heritage. His Oscar nominated short film AVE MARIA (2015) premiered in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival before going on to screen at over 300 festivals and winning more than 35 awards. It was described by the New York Times as; “The Middle Eastern answer to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’.” His debut feature film, A GAZA WEEKEND (2022) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI prize.
Sponsored by The Libitzky Family Foundation