Malmö Arab Film Festival announces line-up for 12th edition

Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) revealed the film line-up of its 12th edition, which will take place from May 4-9 in the Swedish city of Malmö.
Malmö Arab Film Festival announces line-up for 12th edition

Earlier this year, MAFF founder and president, Mouhamad Keblawi received the Arab Cinema Centre's honour of Arab Cinema Personality of the Year award, as someone who helps promote Arab cinema around the world. Keblawi is a revered figure, known to insiders and cinema lovers alike. MAFF is the leading Arab film festival dedicated to promote Arab cinema outside the Arab world and has been held annually since 2011.

On their website is a statement that is near and dear to our hearts here at MIME: "Malmö Arab Film Festival is ultimately an organization that promotes diversity and tolerance through cinema. The film medium is an accessible cultural form, and provides a universal language with an incredible narrative power that can serve as a tool for fostering mutual understanding. Cinema is for everyone and has the potential to cross all boundaries."

For this edition of the festival, which had announced earlier that its opening film would be the Jordanian director Zaid Abu Hamdan's Daughters of Abdulrahman, will feature 56 films (31 features and 25 shorts), produced by 14 different Arab countries, with co-production with 10 Western countries. The programme includes a feature fiction films competition (12 films), a feature documentary competition (8 films), the short film competition (25 films), as well as four films in the "Arabian Nights" programme, four films in a special screening programme titled "Films Worth Watching", two films in School screenings, in addition to the two films in the Gala screenings of the festival's opening and closing nights.

MAFF founder and president, Mouhamad Keblawi, said about this year's selection: “We are proud of this diverse program that brings to the Malmö audience almost every new and distinguished film in Arab cinema. We are also happy that the festival will finally take place physically after two editions that were massively affected by the pandemic. Malmö is returning again to be an annual meeting point, where Arab filmmakers meet their counterparts from Sweden and the Nordic countries, forming a unique window for cooperation between the two sides”.

Among our favourites are the Egyptian road movie with a twist, Abu Saddam by Nadine Khan; Costa Brava, Lebanon by Lebanese auteur Mounia Akl who tackles so poetically the threat of our disregard for the environment, but also the fragile dynamics between men and women; Streams by Mehdi Hmili from Tunisia, featuring the stunning Afef Ben Mahmoud; and the Egyptian/USA co-production Captains of Zaatari by Ali El Arabi. And of course, too many great shorts to mention!

The festival will conclude with the screening of Hamel El Lakab by Egyptian director Hisham Fathy.

Find the complete line-up below and more info, including how to get tickets to the festival, on their website.

Opening Film

Daughters of Abdulrahman by Zaid Abu Hamdan (Jordan, Egypt, USA, Qatar)

Feature Fiction Film Competition:

Abu Saddam by Nadine Khan (Egypt)

The Alleys by Bassel Ghandour (Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar)

Costa Brava, Lebanon by Mounia Akl (Lebanon, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Sweden)

Farha by Darin J. Sallam (Darin J. Sallam)

Life Suits Me Well by Al Hadi Ulad Mohand (Morocco, France)

Junoon by Maan B.Yaser B. (Saudi Arabia, United States)

Our River.. Our Sky by Maysoon Pachachi (Iraq, UK, France, Germany, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar)

A Second Life by Anis Lassoued (Tunisia)

Souad by Ayten Amin (Egypt, Tunisia, Germany)

Soula by Salah Issaad (Algeria, France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia)

The Stranger by Ameer Fakher Eldin (Syria, Germany, Palestine, Qatar)

Streams by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia, Luxembourg, France)

Feature Documentary Competition

The Blue Inmates by Zeina Daccache (Lebanon)

Captains of Zaatari by Ali El Arabi (Egypt, USA)

Diary of Gabrielle Street by Rashid Masharawi (Palestine)

Fiasco by Nicolas Khoury (Lebanon, Netherlands)

From Cairo by Hala Galal (Egypt)

Halal Cinema by Amine Boukhris (Tunisia, Qatar)

Suspended Wives by Merieme Addou (Morocco, France, Qatar)

Were it not for Metro by Georges Hachem (Lebanon)

Short Film Competition

An Algerian Game by Amel Blidi (Algeria)

And Then They Burn the Sea by Majid Al-Remaihi (Qatar)

Arnoos by Samer Battikhi (Jordan)

Ashes by Mustapha Farmati (Morocco)

By The Sea by Wisam Al Jafari (Palestine)

Cairo-Berlin by Ahmed Abd El Salam (Egypt, UK)

Chitana by Amel Guellaty (Tunisia, Qatar, Norway)

Diyar Hisma by Fahd Fayz (Saudi Arabia)

Inside Happy Faces by Omar Al Halwany (Egypt)

Jmar by Samy Sidali (France)

Khadiga by Morad Mostafa (Egypt)

Last Day of Sun by Kays Mejri (Tunisia)

Lovesick In the West Bank by Said Zagha (Palestine)

Mariam by Reem Jubran (USA)

The Mission by Mohammad Khalil Al-Dabbas (Jordan)

Night by Ahmed Saleh (Germany, Qatar, Palestine, Jordan)

Strangers after midnight by Kinda Youssef (France)

Struck by Sarah Kaskas (Lebanon)

Tender Threads by Ouijdane Khallid (Morocco)

Then Came Dark by Marie-Rose Osta (Lebanon)

Touchline by Mohammed Saffouri (Jordan, USA)

Virtual Voice by Suzannah Mirghani (Sudan, Qatar)

Warsha by Dania Bdeir (France, Lebanon)

Whisper Down the Lane by Raghad Albarqi (Saudi Arabia)

Who Games Last.. by Hassen Marzougui (Tunisia)

Arabian Nights

2 Talaat Harb by Magdi Ahmed Ali (Egypt)

Bara El Manhag by Amr Salama (Egypt)

Quareer by Norah Almowald, Ragheed AlNahdi, Ruba Khafagy, Noor ELamir, Fatimah Alhazmi (Saudi Arabia)

Today is a Wonderful Day by Neveen Shalaby (Egypt)

Films Worth Watching

Beirut: Eye of the Storm by Mai Masry (Lebanon, France)

Communion by Nejib Belkadhi (Tunisia)

I'll Go to Hell by Ismahane Lahmar (Tunisia)

On The Fence by Nesrine Lotfy Elzayat (Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, UK)

School Screenings

Bara El Manhag by Amr Salama (Egypt)

Champions by Manuel Calvo (Saudi Arabia, Spain)

Closing Film

Hamel El Lakab by Hisham Fathy (Egypt, Saudi Arabia)

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