7 October 2022–16 October 2022

Arab Cinema Week

Cinema Akil

Welcome to an Arab World of worlds - borderless, visible and filled with stories. Cinema Akil proudly presents its first edition of Arab Cinema Week; an annual journey through the region where stories are the only borders to traverse. Arab stories and the filmmakers narrating their heartbreaks, their quotidian, their victories, their struggles and their moments of personal bliss.

Starts 7 October 2022

Ends 16 October 2022

Venue Cinema Akil

Warehouse 68

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The journey starts with secrets scattered in the narrow streets of Amman (THE ALLEYS), goes through the heart of Saudi Arabia with women writing and rewriting their own destinies (BECOMING), and gallops towards a horse racing competition in Beirut’s hippodrome (BEIRUT HOLD’EM). It passes through Egypt’s rural South as a woman defies the patriarchal system to feed her family (FEATHERS) and heads towards Djibouti City, where a father and his son are racing against the clock to save their beloved (THE GRAVEDIGGER’S WIFE). A program of shorts that addresses human bonds, brings together stories from Qatar, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia.

This edition, the journey plants a flag in Algeria, calling on the audience to reflect on 60 years of independence from colonial French powers and discover the country in its different facets, cultures, and geographical landscapes (MARINER OF THE MOUNTAINS), through contemporary works that address the dreadful colonial past (HELIOPOLIS) and the perturbed present (SOULA), and ends with the screening of the classic 1966 THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS.

Cinema Akil’s Arab Cinema Week is screening several of these films in the presence of their filmmakers, allowing the spectators to meet with the creators behind these stories. The public will also have a special up and close encounter with acclaimed Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri, as he discusses in a unique master class his career and the extensive collaborations he has made with Arab filmmakers to produce authentic Arab stories.

This program continues the commitment of Cinema Akil to bring forward Arab stories to the big screen in Dubai and connect local and international audiences with Arab independent cinema.

A program like this is only possible with the participation and involvement of aligned partners with a commitment to the importance of storytelling from the region. We thank the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, the Goethe Institut Gulf Region and the Safar Film Festival for joining us on this journey.

Get comfortable, take a (red) seat and unearth the manifold stories of Arab cinema, right here, at Cinema Akil.

Rabih El-Khoury
Program Curator