Arab Film Festival in Australia 2010

Mustache (Kuwait)

The Arab Film Festival aims to showcase stories from diverse Arabic-speaking cultures to broad Australian audiences that reflect the complexity and diversity of Arab communities and experiences. It aims to address the (mis)representations of Arab culture through film by providing critical spaces to present alternative representations of Arab cultures, subjects and narratives. 

Started 10 years ago, the festival provides a platform for emerging, developing and established Arab filmmakers to show their screen-based work to broad audiences. “Arab filmmakers are making it without Hollywood – they are making films under occupation, in cities of chaos, with limited funds and sometimes no budget at all. We select the best to screen this year to Australian audiences – stories made by Arabs about Arabs – authentic stories – an alternative perspective.” Mouna Zaylah – Festival Co-Director

This year's festival will be held from 1st-31st July, 2010 and will screen in five locations across the Australia, launching from the centre of Sydney and then on to Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane.

01-04 July - Sydney, Riverside Theatres Parramatta
09-11 July - Melbourne, Cinema Nova, Carlton
15-18 July - Canberra, National Film and Sound Archive
24-25 July - Adelaide, Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas
30-31 July - Brisbane, Dendy Cinemas Portside

I'm glad to say the festival will open with City of Life, a movie from Dubai, United Arab Emirates which I reviewed in April.

There's a very good mix of movies (short, full length, documentary, animation) from countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Algeria, Morocco. If I was living in one of the cities listed above, I would attend this festival.

Here's a very small selection of trailers of some of the movies showing at this festival. You can see the full list of movies, trailers and schedules here.

City of Life (United Arab Emirates)

City of Life is set in Dubai and intertwines the stories of three characters: a privileged Emirati man, a disillusioned Indian taxi driver, and a naive Romanian flight attendant, living in a complex metropolis where ambition, growth and opportunity are a way of life.


Home made Arab films, lost, but waiting to be found (Australia)

Capturing tales of migration, adventure, pain and promise. A 10-minute segment of fascinating archival home movies will be screened with live oud performed by acclaimed local musician Mohamed Youssef.


Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story (Egypt)

A sharp observation of Egyptian society, Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story uses the classic Arabian Nights framework of a story within a story.


12 Angry Lebanese (Lebanon)

A documentary about Lebanon’s first prison-based drama project in the country’s notorious Roumieh Prison. For 15 months, 45 inmates, some completely illiterate, found themselves working together to present an adaptation of the famous stage play 12 Angry Men.


The Time That Remains (Palestine)

A monumental reflective and poetic take on Palestine since 1948, peppered with staggering wit, hope and humour. Based on his father’s diaries and his mother’s letters, Elia Suleiman once again features in his own film, this time tracking his journey from a young boy participating in the resistance to an observant adult revisiting his homeland.