October 12 only


2 hours of award-winning film about queer Arabs by queer filmmakers, our inaugural “Queer Lens” showcase of LGBTQ+ works stands proud in bridging the gap of representation per specific facets of the underrepresented queer Arab experience so often ignored by the mainstream. By virtue of this program we aim to celebrate the multi-dimensional formations of Arab queerness in lieu of stories that so urgently need to be told, especially in today’s polarized media climate that leaves issues of visibility lost in the haze, or, worse: cast in a one-size-fits-all “Western Queer Narrative” that ignores the many complexities and nuances faced by LGBTQ+ persons in the Arab World and beyond, including Arab Americans and Muslims.

From a music video about a first generation gay Muslim Arab-American man coming to grips with his conservative father, a night on the town with two millennials in Dearborn Michigan with a lesbian twist, and a gender-bending self-awakening as a young Lebanese man channels the secret memories of his belly dancing mother; to stories that reveal the vulnerability, sacrifices, and tribulations of gay Syrian refugee men forced into sex work to make ends meet in Europe – Queer Lens will inspire you to re-visit and re-contextualize what you thought you knew about Arab queerness, as if beholding the refracted prism of a lens flare to reveal truths that shine in ways you have not seen before.



Mike Mosallam, USA, 9m, 2018

Music video that follows a Muslim Arab boy who realizes he is different, and is fortunate to have an older brother who stands by him and encourages him to be himself, in the face of bias and adversity.

Son Of A Dancer

Georges Hazim, Lebanon, 20m, 2018

Majed, a 20-year-old guy, discovers that his recently deceased mother used to be a belly dancer. Torn between his relationship with his now-silent father, and Hanine, the woman who will help him overcome his grief, Majed takes a trip down memory lane into the mysterious past of his mother.

Dearborn Ash

Hena Ashraf, USA, 9m, 2018

It’s Ramadan in Dearborn, Michigan. Suffering from acute anxiety, Roshan meets up with a friend, only to find her plans for the night completely disrupted… for the better or worse!


Saleem Haddad, UK, 22m, 2019

When a Lebanese banker invites a male sex worker to his London apartment, he finds himself coming face to face with both his own past, and one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.

Label Me

Kai Kreuser, Germany, 60 min, 2019

Sex is power, and Waseem, a Syrian gay-for-pay hustler seeking asylum in Cologne, wields it like a shield. Keeping his johns at an emotional arm’s length while satisfying their most carnal desires in order to eke out a living, he meets his match in Lars: a kind, affluent professional with a growing personal interest in Waseem. This gripping tale of transactional identity explores the tactical exchange of trust and intimacy in a partnership, and the divisions between refugees and their host countries in contemporary Europe.

Note: the program contains adult content.

120 mins.


Arab Film Festival: QUEER LENS: LGBTQ+ SHOWCASE: Upcoming Showtimes