What has been your most memorable discovery?
Well, keep in mind that I've only programmed for one year. But I would say Last Days in Jerusalem, and the discovery of a Palestinian Ingmar Bergman (Tawfik Abu Wael). It's the way the film made me feel–a drama about a couple tearing apart as they leave Jerusalem for a future in France.
What classic film would you remake?
Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. I would set it in Greece during the present financial crisis. A bumbling Greek geek is caught between protestors and police...
If fantasy were reality, you would choose to live in the world of what film?
The Great Gatsby.
Rasha Salti joined TIFF in February 2011 as programmer for African and Middle Eastern Cinema.
Salti is an independent film and visual arts curator and writer. From 2004 until 2010, she was the film programmer and creative director of the New York based non-profit ArteEast where she directed two editions of the biennial CinemaEast Film Festival (2005 and 2007); she also co-curated The Road to Damascus, with Richard Peña, a retrospective of Syrian cinema that toured worldwide (2006), and Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema from the 1960s until Now, with Jytte Jensen (2010-2012) showcased at the MoMA in New York. Salti has collaborated with a number of organizations, including the Musée Jeu de Paume in Paris, SANFIC in Santiago de Chile, and The Tate Modern in London. In 2009 and 2010, Salti worked as a programmer for the Abu Dhabi Film Festiva, where she was also involved in SANAD, the festival’s regional film production grant.
Salti has administered a number of events, including a tribute to Edward Said titled For a Critical Culture (Beirut, 1997), and 50, Nakba and Resistance (Beirut, 1998), a cultural season for the fiftieth commemoration of the tragedy of Palestine, and co-organized Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward Said (Istanbul, 2007) in collaboration with Metis Press and Bogazici University. In 2011, she was one of co-curators of the 10th edition of the Sharjah Biennial for the Arts, with Suzanne Cotter and Haig Aivazian.
Salti writes about artistic practice in the Arab world, film, and general social and political commentary, in Arabic and English. Her articles and essays have been published in The Jerusalem Quarterly Report (Palestine), Naqd (Algeria), MERIP (USA), The London Review of Books (UK), Afterall (US) and Third Text (UK). In 2006, she edited Insights into Syrian Cinema: Essays and Conversations with Filmmakers (ArteEast and Rattapallax Press) and in 2009, she collaborated with photographer Ziad Antar on an exhibition and book titled Beirut Bereft, The Architecture of the Forsaken and Map of the Derelict.