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The Romanian New Wave Comes to Link TV

12:08 East of BucharestBeginning Saturday, December 5th, some great award-winning Romanian films will be premiering on Link's airwaves. Ranging from indictments of the totalitarian Ceauşescu regime to explorations of contemporary social mores, these films come from a new crop of young Romanian directors -- the new wave -- and illuminate the changing society that is today's Romania. Some highlights include this week's premiere of Muntean's The Paper Will Be Blue, Porumboiu’s 12:08 East of Bucharest, and Cristi Puiu’s Stuff and Dough. And two great shorts are now available to watch online -- Hanno Hofer's tale of a village postman, Dincolo, and Humanitarian Aid.

The Romanian new wave has been a favorite in the film critic world for several years, catching the attention of the New York Times's A.O. Scott, among others. But most Americans haven't had the opportunity to see these great films from a country once known primarily for gymnastics -- until now.

Link TV proudly presents these films in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. Readers in NYC shouldn't miss this weekend's 4th Annual Romanian Film Festival at the Tribeca Cinemas -- more info is available at


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War on Opium: Interview with the Afghan Director Siddiq Barmak

Link TV editor Kyung Lee reports from the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea.  Currently the biggest film festival in Asia, PIFF showcases new talents and films from the Asian countries.  This blog offers rare interviews with Asian directors who discuss their filmmaking experiences in their native countries.


The current situation of Afghanistan is hard for outsiders to grasp.  Almost every day we hear the news of heightened insurgency in the country, but little beyond that.  In this extremely uncertain situation, there is a filmmaker who has managed to make films that reflect the reality of Afghanistan.
Siddiq Barmak is currently one of only a few filmmakers in Afghanistan who is able to make feature films in his native country.  His first feature film, "Osama", portrays a young girl who is forced to don a disguise as a boy in order to support her mother in the Taliban era.  The film won a Golden Globe Award, and made a great demonstration of Afghanistan's film heritage and its possible future to the world.

Siddiq, who was born in Afghanistan and studied film in Moscow, was exiled to Pakistan during the Taliban regime from 1996 to 2002.  The current reemergence of the insurgency is a reminder for him that another dark time may be ahead.  He was at the Pusan International Film Festival this year to present his second feature film "Opium War" which is, according to the director, "an exact reflection of the situation."  I was able to catch the director and asked a few questions on the current state in Afghanistan.



Learn more at about the films Opium War and Osama.


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Mosaic's Jalal Ghazi on Palestinian Film

Mosaic's Jalal Ghazi must be a busy guy, sifting through news broadcasts from all over the Middle East by day as Associate Producer for Link TV's Mosaic, and screening the latest in Palestinian film by night. We enjoyed Ghazi's latest contribution to New America Media, "Palestinian Films With a Woman's Touch," and think you will too.

Ghazi reports on "a new kind of Intifada" taking place among women in Palestinian cinema, where "instead of stones, bullets or bombs" they are telling the Palestinian story through film. Several of the films surveyed were screened, or will be screened, at San Francisco's Arab Film Festival, and the article includes trailers and interviews with the filmmakers. See inside the often hidden world of an ordinary Palestinian - and ordinary Palestinian women in particular - and check out these extraordinary films!


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Sarkozy, Secularism, and the Burqa

Link's Mosaic and the Mosaic Intelligence Report are on vacation this week, but intrepid Mosaic Producer Jamal Dajani has not been slacking. Dajani has been reporting from Paris on the burqa controversy, where French president Nicolas Sarkozy inflamed his country's Muslim population with recent comments stating that the burqa would "not be welcome" in France.

It wasn't easy, but Dajani was able to interview a French woman dressed in burqa for his latest article in the Huffington Post, and it sounds like Sarkozy isn't winning any friends in France's Muslim communities. You can follow Dajani's interesting updates on this story on Twitter.

For more background, this Al Jazeera English piece gives the "inside story" on the call for a burqa ban in France:


Is this anti-burqa campaign really a question of women's rights? (This, of course, coming from the same man caught opening oogling the female form in these photos. Don't you worry -- Obama's wandering eye has apparently been exonerated, according to this ABC News video analysis.) Can France reconcile its values as a secular nation with its growing Muslim immigrant population? We know what Dajani and Sarkozy think -- what about you?


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Cinema Encounters in Tehran

The conflict in Iran has brought media attention to a diverse group of young Iranians. As David Michaelis stated in his recent blog post, "Iran has gained a new face. Instead of relating to Ahmadinejad as the only face of Iran, we now see a multitude of younger people."

Link TV has been producing a series of documentaries to give Americans a unique glimpse into the lives of ordinary Iranians, called Bridge to Iran.  Showcasing documentaries by contemporary independent Iranian filmmakers living and working in Iran, Bridge to Iran shatters preconceived notions about a nation and culture that most Americans know little about and have never experienced firsthand.

Tonight marks the premiere of a new installment of the series: Cinema Encounters in Tehran. An original production of Link TV, the film follows Americans Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed as they travel to Iran for the 2007 Verite Film Festival, where they meet two young filmmakers Atefeh and Abbas. The film documents their efforts to overcome language and cultural barriers and use cinematic language and friendship to create a movie.  In the end they find that the friendship and understanding they develop in a short time transcends the barriers of the national and political divisions that separates them.


Watch Online!


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