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Genre: Drama

Duration: 107 Minutes

Rating: NR

Valley of Exile

Intro & Q+A with director Anna Fahr on the Mon. Jul. 8 screening!

Set in the early years of the Syrian war, Valley of Exile chronicles the journey of Rima and Nour, two sisters who find unexpected refuge in a makeshift settlement in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley after fleeing war-torn Damascus. Older sister Rima, who is eight months pregnant, is set on reuniting with her husband and rebuilding their lives in Lebanon while younger sister Nour is determined to find their missing brother and eventually return home to Syria. In the camp, the sister forge alliances with other women who are similarly forced to live without the support of family they’ve lost to the war. This propels them onto separate paths: Rima finds work as a housekeeper, hoping to earn money to rent an apartment before her baby is born, while Nour sets out to investigate their brother’s whereabouts, risking her own safety in the process. As days in the camp turn to weeks, Rima and Nour begin to realize that their journey into exile is not only a struggle for survival, but ultimately a test of loyalty to their country, their family and each other.

Presented in Arabic with English subtitles.

Anna Fahr

Anna Fahr is an Iranian-Canadian-American independent filmmaker and founder of Morning Bird Pictures Inc., a production company dedicated to creating films and new media that focus on the contemporary Middle East and diaspora. Her debut narrative feature, Valley of Exile, currently on the festival circuit, won the DGC Ontario Award for Best Director at the 2024 Canadian Film Fest, the Grand Prize Feature Film Award at the 2024 Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York, and the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2023 Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, among others. Her filmography includes the award-winning interactive web-docs, Migrant Mothers of Syria and My Life in Limbo, the dramatic short, Transit Game, which was shot in north Lebanon and screened in 50+ international festivals, and feature documentary Khaneh Ma: These Places We Call Home, which was filmed in various cities in Iran, screened in international festivals, and was theatrically released at the NFB Cinema in Montreal.