In this special edition of FPS, we focus on how filmmakers of Middle Eastern origin have recently been scoring successes with comedies that have international appeal.
As part of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, the Egyptian-American comedian-turned filmmaker Ahmed Ahmed, whose new film Just Like Us documents a tour of Western standup comics to the Middle East, joined Amanda Palmer, Al Jazeera's head of entertainment, and an FPS audience in New York for a lively and funny Q&A.
|Maz Jobrani, Ahmed Ahmed, and comedian Omid Djalili attend the Doha Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Just Like Us
Just Like Us took a group of seasoned standups, including several of Middle Eastern origin, to Dubai, Riyadh, Beirut and Cairo - places without a long-established tradition of standup comedy, and where cultural values might not exactly reconcile with those of the performers.
Will they be able to adapt their acts to local norms - and, for that matter, will they even need to?
In this episode we also take a look at some pioneering standup comedians, like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Lenny Bruce, who used their humour to break new ground and push societal boundaries.
We also visit some of the recent films that have featured Arab protagonists, telling their stories in a way that is meant to appeal not just to Middle Easterners but to audiences around the world.
This episode of The Fabulous Picture Show can be seen from Thursday, September 30, 2010, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0600; Friday: 0030 and 0830; Saturday: 2330; Sunday: 0630 and 2130; Monday: 1430; Tuesday: 0530 and 1230; Wednesday: 0300; Thursday: 0030.
Source: Al Jazeera