25TH Annual Arab Film Festival
First show: November 19
The flagship event of the Arab Film and Media Institute, the Arab Film Festival is the longest running independent festival of its kind in North America. Launched in 1996, the festival’s mission is to present the best of contemporary films that illuminate the richness of Arab culture through authentic narratives and images, providing insight into the beauty and complexity of the Arab world.
The festival also offers special programming to local audiences, and unprecedented access to the diversity and range of authentic Arab experiences. The festival has gained an international reputation for excellence and offers its audiences access to media that reflects the lives of under-represented and provocative themes and groups on a cultural and societal level.
The 25th edition runs November 18-24, 2021, in-person in the San Francisco Bay Area and virtual nationwide.
Friday, November 19
ONLY THE OCEAN BETWEEN US
Two Syrian directors in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan and two Indigenous Shipibo-Konibo directors in Lima, Peru correspond through film diaries in a cross-border project from Another Kind of Girl Collective. ONLY THE OCEAN BETWEEN US tells four profoundly personal stories of motherhood, displacement, and the power of both personal and communal resistance.
Directed by Karoli Bautista Pizarro, Khaldiya Amer Ali, Christy Cauper Silvano, Marah Mohammad Alkhateeb. 2021. 87 mins. Jordan, Peru. In Arabic, Spanish, Shipibo with English subtitles.
Mustafa and his wife Salwa are from two Palestinian West Bank villages only 200 meters apart but split by Israel’s separation wall. Mustafa lives on the Palestinian-controlled side of the wall, and Salwa and their children on the Israeli side. One day Mustafa gets the call every parent dreads: his son has been in an accident and is in the hospital. Mustafa will do anything to reach him, and after being denied access through the checkpoint on a technicality, he embarks upon a journey to cross the border illegally. The 200-meter distance soon becomes a 200-kilometer odyssey. Palestinian director Ameen Nayfeh’s debut drama shows us the life-threatening struggles of daily life under occupation in an urgent story of resistance, dignity, family and hope.
Directed by Ameen Nayfeh. 2020. 96 mins. Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, Italy, Sweden. In English, Arabic, Hebrew.
Saturday, November 20
Documentaries by Women (Shorts)
Ain’t No Time for Women – Directed by Sarra El Abed. 2020. 19 mins. Canada. In French and Arabic with English subtitles.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable – Directed by Shaima Al-Tamimi. 2021. 9 mins. Yemen, Kenya, United States, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. In English, Swahili and Arabic.
I Bit My Tongue – Directed by Nina Khada. 2020. 25 mins. France, Tunisia. In French and Arabic with English subtitles.
Osha – Directed by Rasha Amer. 2021. 15 mins. United Arab Emirates. In Arabic with English subtitles.
An Evening with Laila – Directed by Haya Alghanim. 2021. 10 minutes. Kuwait. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Struck – Directed by Sarah Kaskas. 2021. 6 mins. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Lebanese Shorts (Shorts)
Beity – Directed by Isabelle Mecattaf. 2021. 15 mins. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
How My Grandmother Became a Chair – Directed by Nicolas Fattouh. 2020. 10 mins. Germany, Lebanon, Qatar. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Light Fingers – Directed by Carina Ashkar. 2021. 14 mins. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Roadblock – Directed by Dahlia Nemlich. 2020. 16 mins. France,Lebanon. In French and Arabic with English subtitles.
Space Woman – Directed by Hadi Moussally. 2021. 19 mins. France, Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Tamouzi – Directed by Ali Dekmak. 2021. 13 mins. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Will You Bury Me – Directed by Noor Eldine Aboud. 2021. 18 mins. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
MOSS AGATE & Queer Lens (Shorts)
Borekas – Directed by Saleh Saadi. 2020. 15 mins. State of Palestine. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Mariam – Directed by Reem Jubran. 2021. 12 mins. USA. In English and Arabic.
Missing Piece – Directed by Nadim El Khoury. 2021. 23 mins. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Moss Agate – Directed by Sélim Mourad. 2020. 68 mins. Lebanon. In French with English subtitles.
OUR RIVER. . .OUR SKY
Set against a backdrop of sectarian violence in 2006 Baghdad, Sara is a single mother and novelist trying to cope with unpredictable events unfolding around her. Like her neighbors, she tries to sustain a fragile sense of hope and live her life in the best way she can, despite an uncertain future.
Directed by Maysoon Pachachi. 2020. 115 mins. Iraq, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Sunday, November 21
An intimate exploration of life in Bzebdine, a small rural village in Mount Lebanon.
Directed by Jad Andari. 2019. 55 min. Lebanon. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Ruya (Visions) (Shorts)
Al-Sit – Directed by Suzannah Mirghani. 2020. 20 mins. Sudan, Qatar. In Arabic with English subtitles.
The Departure – Directed by Saïd Hamich Benlarbi. 2020. 25 mins. Morocco, France. In Arabic with English subtitles.
The Girls Who Burned The Night – Directed by Sara Mesfer. 2019. 24 mins. Saudi Arabia. In Arabic with English subtitles.
I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face – Directed by Sameh Alaa. 2020. 15 mins. Egypt, France, Qatar, Belgium. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Mariam – Directed by Dana Durr. 2020. 5 mins. State of Palestine.
Trumpets in the Sky – Directed by Rakan Mayasi. 2021. 15 mins. Palestine, State of, Lebanon, France, Belgium.
After 62 years of living together, Lina’s grandparents, Aïcha and Mabrouk, have decided to separate. Together, they came from Algeria to Thiers, a small medieval town in the middle of France, over 60 years ago. Side by side, they have experienced this chaotic immigrant life. For Lina, their separation is an opportunity to question their long journey of exile and their silence.
Directed by Lina Soualem. 2020 72 mins. France, Algeria. In French, Arabic with English subtitles.
Back from the Syrian front, Zina was separated from her child and Djo finds out she’s pregnant, expressing her Syrian horror only in the novel she is writing. To assist them in their hard and lengthy reconstruction, a Human Rights lawyer, an Humanitarian doctor and a young homosexual join forces. All together, will they be able to help Zina and Djo open their black boxes and stand up to the unjust society?
Directed by Nouri Bouzid. 2019. 98 mins. Tunisia, Morocco, Luxembourg. In Arabic with English subtitles.
NOTE FILMS START RIGHT AT THE LISTED SHOWTIME.
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STARTING 8/20, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAN FRANCISCO’S SAFER RETURN TOGETHER ORDER, WE ARE REQUIRING PROOF OF VACCINATION FOR ENTRY. WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.
25TH Annual Arab Film Festival: Upcoming Showtimes