My name is Mohannad Ghawanmeh--film enthusiast extraordinaire. I have produced, acted in, curated for, written about, and lectured on film. My expertise is centered on Arab cinema, but thoroughly extends into French, Italian and Japanese cinemas. I co-coordinated the first edition of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Italian Film Festival in 2008. I have been involved with the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, organized by the Arab arts and culture organization Mizna, since its inception in 2002 and am its curator. I also curate the National Arab American Museum's film festival. I am a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies in the University of California, Los Angeles.
About Cinema Arabiata:
Cinema Arabiata borrows its name from the famed Italian Arrabbiata sauce. Hot and spicy just like my temperament, the sauce draws from the Italian word, meaning “angry.” But why angry? Because there is too much derivativeness, exploitation, insipidness and falsehood in cinema these days. Just as there is in popular US media coverage of Arabs it so happens. Cinema Arabiata aims to cover Arab cinema primarily, but not exclusively. Its ambition is to persuade my readers that cinema, including Arab cinema, has the demonstrated potential not only to inform and impact, but to profoundly move and inspire, to leave a lasting and indelible mark on the lives of it audiences. Cinema has helped shape me. I am better because of it. I invite you to celebrate it with me.
Mizna is a forum for Arab American film, literature, and art. Mizna was founded in 1998 with the goal of providing a space for artists to present their creative work on their own terms, creating a counter dialog to that dictated by the predominant American culture. Mizna publishes Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America, the only journal of Arab American literature and has presented seven editions of the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, as well as many other cultural events, featuring over 200 local and global writers, musicians, and artists.