Egyptian Director Ayten Amin’s film 'Souad' will premiere at Safar Film Festival in London’s Barbican cultural centre.
A film festival dedicated to showcasing creative talents from the Arab world is set to return to London from July 1 for its sixth instalment.
The Safar Film Festival, launched by the Arab British Centre, is the only UK festival dedicated to showcasing films from the Arab world.
Featuring three UK premiers, 20 films and a host of talks and events, this year’s edition will utilise a hybrid model of online and in-person events spread across London’s cinemas.
Also new to the festival, this year’s event will be presented in partnership with the Shubbak Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture, which showcases and supports the diversity of Arab artists’ creativity and innovation.
Curated by Rabih El-Khoury, this year’s festival will revolve around the theme of “Generational Encounters in Arab Cinema,” showcasing contemporary and classic films with emergent youth, familial disparities and societal tensions at their centre.
“It is my absolute pleasure to be curating the sixth edition of the Safar Film Festival,” said El-Khoury. “We are raring to get back into cinemas with the festival’s largest programme to date, and have a fantastic line-up of screenings exploring our theme of generational encounters. Ten years on, we invite you to join us in reflecting on the new Arab generation born from the Arab uprisings: one that stood up on its feet and faced power with their distinct hopes, flamboyant aspirations and dreams of a better tomorrow.
Safar opens with the UK premiere of Souad, a feature film by Egyptian director Ayten Amin that looks at the impact of social media on the youth in his native country, which received the Cannes 2020 label.
Other UK premieres include We Are From There, a documentary by Wissam Tanios following his Syrian cousins’ journeys across the Mediterranean into Europe, and Lina Soualem’s Their Algeria, which looks at the immigrant lives of an elderly couple who separate after six decades of marriage.
Founders of Safar, the Arab British Centre, said the new partnership with Shubbak created a stronger force for amplifying the voices of Arab artists and filmmakers after a difficult year for the cultural sector.
Amani Hassan, Programme Director of the Arab British Centre, added: “As the world’s eyes turn to Palestine and protest the world over bring generations young and old on to the streets in support of lasting change, we look forward to reflecting on this through our theme and through our conversations with filmmakers.”
Film director Ameen Nayfeh will close the festival with a discussion on Palestinian cinema following the screening of his film, 200 Meters. Also showing is Mohamed Malas’s The Dream, filmed 40 years ago in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.