Arab Film Festival: Shorts 2: Spotlight Women

October 16 only

5 short films about Arab Women, directed by Arab women.  The showcase includes documentary, narrative, and animation spotlighting compelling, socially-relevant short format work from Tunisia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, and Morocco, moving through a coming of age discussion between Lebanese millennials on a ferris wheel and a young girl testing the boundaries of a Salafist community, to a documentary about an edgy Palestinian poetess and an analysis of patriarchal abuse in a Moroccan family.  Whatever the case, and by virtue of this selection: Arab women maintain their station as a force to be reckoned with on the international short film scene.


In Tunis lives Aya, a 7-year-old girl, with her Salafist parents.  Her father Youssef, out of fear of being banished from the Salafi community of which he is a member, forces his wife to wear a niqab.  One day, however, an unexpected turn of events arises that threatens the fragile social fabric of their community, which prompts Aya to take matters into her own hands, for the better or the worse…

Directed by Moufida Fedhila. 24 min. 2017. Tunisia.


In the oldest fun park of Beirut, four young female friends go on a ferris wheel ride.  During the claustrophobic open-air journey, they touch on intimate subjects which eventually lead to an unexpected “coming out” confession.


Follows Palestinian spoken word poet Farah Chamma (based in Abu Dhabi) who, at the age of 17, became an online sensation after her poems went viral.  A well-known poet today, Farah finds her poetry at odds with the world she lives in as she struggles with self-censorship and keeping her poetry authentic in a rapidly changing world.

Directed by Samia Badih. 10 min. 2018. UAE, Palestine, Lebanon.


A figure moves through a checkpoint in Palestine.  She has to overcome a series of obstacles that will drastically affect her mobility while the consciousness of the past and the longing for a future coexist simultaneously in her day-to-day life.  This animated film is a reflection on the human condition under the yoke of violence.

Directed by Samira Badran. 13 min. 2017. Palestine, Spain.


An intimate documentary about the conflicts within the filmmaker’s family.  It is a daughter’s quest to understand her dictatorial father’s refusal, over many years, to interact with her and her mother across a series of revealing conversations with family members via stories touching on gender tensions, religious beliefs, and parent/child relationships.

Directed by Fatima Matousse. 15 min. 2018. Morocco.


Arab Film Festival: Shorts 2: Spotlight Women: Upcoming Showtimes