If the 73rd Berlinale was anything to go by, the spotlight on contemporary Arab cinema is expanding in Berlin, with films from experimental to fiction presented at the festival (Concrete Valley, Seven Winters in Tehran, The Temple Woods Gang and Borrowing A Family Album to name a few highlights).
The programme explores representations of Arab cities in classical and contemporary film
Berlin will shortly welcome back ALFILM for its 14th edition with over 40 features, documentaries and short films alongside talks, panel discussions and masterclasses.
Through its three sections – ALFILM Selection, ALFILM Spotlight and ALFILM Atelier – the festival showcases some of the most regarded and revered cinema from the Arab diaspora, both past and present.
This year, the Selection widens the scope on Palestinian cinema with screenings of films like Jumana Manna’s Foragers, Maha Haj’s Mediterranean Fever and Firas Khoury’s Alam, as well as a panel discussion dedicated to this topic. The Spotlight – titled ‘Ghosts, Griefs and Lost Dreams: Visions of the City in Arab Cinema’ – will open with the Tunisian film Ashkal by Youssef Chebbi.
The programme explores representations of Arab cities in classical and contemporary film productions, discussing the role of cinema in urban transformations and visions of urban modernity. The political and personal aspects widen the lens on traditional gender identities by presenting queer storylines and protagonists, opening with a dialogue about gendered scripts within Arab cinema.
The ALFILM Atelier has a special focus this year on the Arab diaspora through a panel discussion called ‘The Arab City Re-envisioned: Exilic perspectives’, and the documentary section of the Selection features extraordinary voices and their stories – bringing these communities to the wider world.
- Arab Film Festival Berlin, Apr 26 to May 2, Arsenal, City Kino Wedding, Kino in der KulturBrauerei, Sinema Transtopia