Tue, 2021-06-01 17:25

LONDON: 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 premiers, 20 films and a host of talks and events, this year’s edition will be the biggest iteration yet, and will utilize 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 Lebanese film guru 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 center. 

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“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 program to date, and have a fantastic line-up of screenings exploring our theme of generational encounters.”

Theaters and other venues across the UK have suffered from a sustained period of restrictions to social gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The blow that Britain’s cultural sector has taken means this year’s SAFAR Film Festival is all the more important, said Amani Hassan, program director at the Arab British Centre.

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“This year’s SAFAR Film Festival marks our first time partnering with our friends at the Shubbak Festival, which, after a difficult year for the cultural sector, offers both our organizations the opportunity to join forces and amplify the voices of Arab artists and filmmakers across the UK,” Hassan added.

SAFAR will open at London’s iconic Barbican cultural center with a premier of Egyptian Director Ayten Amin’s new film “Souad.”

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