The Sedona International Film Festival will present a one-night only special premiere of the new documentary, “Tickling Giants,” on Thursday, July 6. The show will be at 7 p.m. at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre. The event is sponsored by the Democrats of the Red Rocks.

In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef made a decision that’s every mother’s worst nightmare: He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time comedian.

Dubbed “the Egyptian Jon Stewart,” Youssef was host and producer of the satirical show “Al-Bernameg.” The weekly program quickly became the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode.
In a country where free speech is not settled law, Youssef’s show was as controversial as it was popular. He and his staff endured physical threats, protests and legal action, all because of jokes.

As Youssef attempted to remain on the air, keep his staff safe and not get arrested, he continued to let those in power know they’re being held accountable. Despite increasing danger, the team at “Al-Bernameg” employed comedy, not violence, to comment on hypocrisy in media, politics and religion.

“Tickling Giants” follows the team of “Al-Bernameg” as they discover democracy is not easily won. The young women and men working on Youssef’s show are fearless revolutionaries, who just happen to be really, really funny.

This special premiere screening is sponsored by Democrats of the Red Rocks.

“Tickling Giants” will show at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Thursday, July 6, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. Call 282-1177 for tickets and more information.
Both the theater and film festival office are at 2030 W. SR 89A in West Sedona. Visit for more information.