Oxford: Muslim Film Festival

From June 30 to July 5, 2008, the Burton Taylor Studio at the Oxford Playhouse was hosting the first Oxford Muslim Film Festival with top-level cinema from around the Islamic world and the Muslim diaspora.

The showcase celebration of Muslim cinematic culture was presented by the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford (MECO). The festival featured contemporary films from Turkey, Iran, Chad, Palestine, Pakistan, Britain, France, and Afghanistan.

Each of the screenings at the Burton Taylor Studio followed by a dialogue led by directors, producers, and critics.

"This festival is the first of its kind in the UK," said Dr. Taj Hargey, chair of the MECO.

"This is an inaugural event and we are working to make it an annual one." he said.

" This celebration of Muslim cinema is more than about films, it is a bridge between communities, an opportunity to provoke debate and dialogue. Muslims are here to stay in Europe and the UK. We need to get out of our slumber and contribute to the community by enriching our societies with the best of our cultures."

"More than 50 percent of the audience at the screening of Pakistani film Khuda Ke Liye (For the Sake of God) were non-Muslim and were stunned to realize that a Pakistani film could touch on, deal with, and address issues considered to be of a taboo nature."

"MECO are the frontrunners in this regard. We are working to culturally enrich this society by bringing the Muslim and non-Muslim together under one roof. I envisage this event becoming in the future as big as the Cannes Film Festival," said Hargey.

The festival organizers aim to use the festival to explore and discuss the diverse nature of global Muslims.

MECO is committed to showcasing the diverse views of Muslim cultures and perspectives around the world.

Source: Islam Online (English)

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