Monday, April 15, 2024

Inaugural Toledo Palestine Film Festival Begins This Weekend

The first-ever Toledo Palestine Film Festival will come to the Glass City beginning this weekend. 

The five-week film festival, created by Media Decompression Collective begins Saturday, March 9 at 1 pm. Admission to all film screenings is free to the public. 

A 20-year-long dream of the Chair of MDC, Amjad Doumani has finally come to fruition and at an essential time, according to Doumani.

“The reason we’re doing it is because, regrettably so, the public not just in Toledo, but in the United States, is still woefully uneducated about the real history of Palestine and the real story behind the conflict and what’s going on. That’s not necessarily through any fault of their own, but it’s because the mainstream media has been basically regurgitating the Zionist or Israeli narrative and obscuring the Palestinian narrative,” Doumani said. “We think it’s important that other narratives be told and available to the people so they can make informed decisions about what’s going on. That’s important because it’s the US tax dollars being used to supply Israel with all these weapons, that are allowing it to commit this genocide.”

From March 9 to April 13, over 15 films will premier around the Greater Toledo area. Find screenings of the films at various branches of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, on the campuses of the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, The Frederick Douglass Center, Woodland Mall in Bowling Green and Way Public Library in Perrysburg. A Q&A session will follow the presentation of each film. A schedule for the films is listed on the website

A special screening of the award-winning film, GAZA will begin the film festival, at The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center, 1222 Broadway St., on Saturday, March. 9, 1pm. Guest speaker, Paul Edward Montgomery Ramirez of the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance will also speak about indigenous people’s history and various struggles when resisting colonialism, and compare what Palestinians have faced since the occupation began. 

On Saturday, May 23, Guest Speaker Tom Hayes will speak following the presentation of his short films, Palestinian Short Film Collection. Hayes is a professor at Ohio State University and a filmmaker.

“The films will serve to encourage people to become active in the growing movement to change US policy in the region from one of supporting Israel’s Apartheid regime to one that focuses on true peace with justice,” Anne Rothas, one of the festival organizers, said.

Photo provided via Media Decollective Collective.

The Media Decompression Collective began in 2003. This will be the second major film festival, following the first one, Takeback Democracy Film Festival in 2004. The collective works to educate the public on the context behind major issues.

“The reason we called the Media Decompression Collective is because, we are decompressing the mainstream media, which gives you everything in compressed sound bites. And so we want to expand on these issues and provide context for this issue,” Doumani said.

For more information on the Toledo Palestine Film Festival, visit

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