West Bank Story


Tue, 02/16/2021 - 5:30pm

Film Screening/Professional Development

The film West Bank Story, winner of the Best Live Action Short Film Academy Award in 2007, will be presented by its director and co-writer, Ari Sandel. Sandel is a University of Arizona alumnus, having received a BA in Media Arts and a Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Film cover

West Bank Story

From the Orlando Sentinel: "[This] Oscar-winning short film, by Ari Sandel, is a riotously funny musical, a West Side Story set among rival "gangs" running the Kosher King and the Hummus Hut...

Sandel must have blown the bank on this short, with choreography (clouds of sand kicked up as the competing gangs finger-snap dance at each other), tunes and a big finish. It's easy to see why this won an Oscar. Nothing else in competition with it at the Academy Awards comes close."

From the Los Angeles Times: [Sandel says] "'I wanted to make a movie that was pro-peace.' Everything about 'West Bank Story,' from the fonts in the title card to the lyrics of the songs, has been designed with balance in mind so that the film cannot be seen as pro-this or anti-that."

Not only did this film win an Academy Award, but it was also accepted to more than 200 film festivals where it won 30 awards.

Watch the trailer


Ari Sandel, Director/Co-Writer
Ari is a director, writer, and producer who has helmed projects like The DUFF (which earned nominations for five Teen Choice Awards and a People's Choice Award), Goosebumps 2, and the second season of the series Aim High. He co-wrote and directed West Bank Story while completing an MFA at USC. In addition to filmmaking, Ari has also taught a graduate course on the film business at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Language: English
Length: 21 minutes
This event will be on Zoom.
Passcode: 9737
A hardwired connection to the internet (i.e. not WiFi) and shutting down all other programs on your device will likely provide the best picture and sound quality. Please turn off your audio and video for the duration of the event unless called upon. Questions for the Q&A session can be submitted through the chat function AFTER the film screening has ended. Please do NOT send a chat message to everyone during the film screening or it may pop up on everyone’s screens and interrupt the film. If you’re having technical difficulties, you should send a private chat message to Megan Young. Attendees will be given a link to watch the film after the director's presentation and will be asked to return for the Q&A session.
Those who are new to Zoom can refer to the Zoom Help Center for instructions on how to use Zoom.
To request disability-related accommodations that would ensure your full participation in this event, please contact: jellison@email.arizona.edu