Arab Cinema Showcase to Hit British Capital

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images For Dubai International Film Festival

Dubai International Film Festival partners with the Arab British Center and the ICA to bring U.K. audiences a taste of Middle Eastern cinema.

LONDON – The Arab British Center has teamed with the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), to showcase Arab cinema in the British capital.

Entitled "Safar: A Journey through Popular Arab Cinema," the showcase of "classic and contemporary Arab cinematic masterpieces," runs Sept. 21 through 27.

It will kick off with Philippe Aractingi's Bosta, a road musical about a Lebanese man exiled in France who returns to Beirut to revive his school dance group.

The weeklong screenings aims to give U.K. audiences a glimpse into the culture, people, traditions and heritage of the Middle East and North Africa.

In partnership with the Dubai International Film Festival, Safar curator Omar Kholeif’s selection includes a series of festival prize winners including Captain Abu Raed, the Jordanian winner of best actor at DIFF’s 2007 Muhr Awards, Stray Bullet, winner of best film at DIFF’s 2010 nods and One-Zero which picked up DIFF’s 2009 Muhr awards for best cinematographer and best screenplay.

"We are proud to support this unique collection of films and partner with the Arab British Centre to promote the cultural diversity of Arab cinema," said Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF chairman.

The program will kick off with "The Friday Forum" Sept. 21, a panel discussion to include filmmaker Hussein Fahmy (Watch out for ZouZou), director Philippe Aractingi (Bosta) and Arab cinema academic Dr Viola Shafik.

Q&As will also accompany screenings with stars including Khaled Abu Naga (One-Zero), directorAmin Matalqa (Captain Abu Raed), and director Marwan Hamed (The Yacoubian Building). 

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