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SAFAR Film Festival: A Journey Through Space and Time

29 JUNE – 9 JULY 2023

For the eighth edition of SAFAR, we are embarking on a journey through space and time in Arab cinema, mapping the region across a new axis and showcasing films which traverse territories and historical periods. Through our theme, we invite you to reflect on the Arab world in its vast geography, from its yesterdays and towards its tomorrows. From the deadly conflict currently unfolding in Sudan, to speaking about two decades since the US and UK led invasion of Iraq, and onto commemorating 75 years since the Nakba permanently displaced Palestinians from their land: how are Arab filmmakers and artists addressing their region and its challenges?

Our programme hones in on films with distinct locations and settings rarely seen on screen. Several filmmakers venture into uncharted geographies to bring their tales to life, while others spin fresh perspectives on the domestic and the familiar. Some revisit the past to better understand their present, using archive, oral history, pop culture and period costume to uncover forgotten or unheard stories.

For the first time this year we present several strands within our festival theme. Our City Tours will transport you through time to Cairo, Damascus and Beirut: as they were filmed in the 80’s and 90’s by revered filmmakers Youssef Chahine, Borhane Alaouié and Mohamed Malas, and as they are filmed today through new lenses.

Our spotlight on contemporary Moroccan filmmaking presents a cinema not shying away from exploring queerness, classism and segregation; and to close the festival, we invite you to join us for a special programme of screenings and talks with Palestinian filmmakers and artists commemorating 75 years since the Nakba.

Thank you for supporting the SAFAR Film Festival! We’ll see you in the cinema.

Rabih El-Khoury

SAFAR Film Festival Curator, Rabih El-Khoury

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