SAFAR 2021: Generational Encounters in Arab Cinema


The SAFAR Film Festival is the only festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world. Founded in 2012 and running biennially since then, SAFAR offers a unique space for audiences to connect with, explore, and celebrate the diversity of Arab cinema past, present, and future.

This year, SAFAR is delighted to be teaming up with the Shubbak Festival to present their film programme. 2020 should have seen the fifth edition of the SAFAR Film Festival return to cinemas however, due to the pandemic, a digital-only offer brought audiences together online instead. Now, buoyed by the upcoming reopening of cinemas and the success of last year’s digital festival, this special, hybrid edition of SAFAR will offer film lovers the opportunity to enjoy a curated programme of Arab cinema both on the big screen and at home.

The 2021 edition of SAFAR is curated by Rabih El-Khoury around the theme of Generational Encounters in Arab Cinema, showcasing contemporary and classic films with emergent youth, familial disparities and societal tensions at their centre. 10 years ago popular revolts took over the Arab region and thousands headed to the streets to instigate change in their respective societies. Generational Encounters will reflect on the legacy of these protests by focussing on stories of personal revolution, the kind that unfold daily in households across the region and beyond: ordinary people pushing back against patriarchy, challenging social inequality, and dreaming of change.

An online events programme will further illuminate the theme, inviting directors, industry leaders, and other creatives for Q&As and panel discussions accessible globally.

To be the first to know about the cinema programme, tickets and what’s on offer digitally, sign up to the SAFAR Film Festival newsletter!