Founded and run by the Arab British Centre since 2012.
The SAFAR Film Festival is the only festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world. SAFAR offers a unique space for audiences to explore and celebrate the diversity of Arab cinema past, present, and future.
SAFAR showcases the broad range of talent from the region by working with curators on themed programmes and inviting filmmakers for live Q&As. SAFAR develops the UK film landscape through industry events and opportunities for early-career Arab British filmmakers. SAFAR aims to increase access to Arab cinema in the UK by working with screening partners across the country, as well as digital programmes.
SAFAR: The Stories We Tell in Arab Cinema
1-17 July 2022
The 2022 edition is an important milestone for us. SAFAR is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, is becoming an annual programme and is, for the first time, expanding to screen in 7 other UK cities alongside its flagship London festival.
Curated by Rabih El-Khoury, this year’s theme, The Stories We Tell in Arab Cinema, invites you to go back to the very essence of filmmaking: storytelling. Featuring UK premieres, new releases and classics, the film selection explores the devices used by Arab filmmakers to push cinematic boundaries, reclaim overlooked histories, and present new perspectives to audiences both at home and abroad. It sees controversial characters run amok and experimentations in form blend the traditional with the radical. Period pieces bring colonial traumas to the global stage and social issues are inspected through surreal and fantastical lenses.
Live discussions will unpack the role of the storyteller and examine the power that lies within the industry to build worlds, shape memories and change perceptions. It’ll look at who’s telling the stories, who isn’t, and why that matters. An industry programme will offer emerging filmmakers networking and development opportunities.
SAFAR Film Festival: The Stories We Tell in Arab Cinema runs from 1-17 July with screenings in London, Coventry, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester and Plymouth. More films will also be available to watch by donation on the SAFAR website.