Arab Film Festival Berlin focuses on Palestinian cinema

The 14th edition of Arab Film Festival Berlin (ALFILM), taking place from 26 April to 2 May 2023, offers a programme that is more diverse than ever with over 43 feature films, documentaries and short films.

The festival presents films from across the Arab world, from Casablanca to Damascus, via Algiers, Tunis, Cairo, Gaza, Jaffa and Beirut.

The Guest of Honour at the 14th ALFILM is Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri. Three of his latest works will be screened in his presence: The Blue Caftan by Moroccan director Myriam Touzani, the Lebanese production Beirut Hold’em by Michel Kammoun and Alam by Firas Khoury from Palestine.

Saleh Bakri will also give a master class on his extensive career and commitment to Arab and especially Palestinian cinema.

A section of the 2023 ALFILM, Selection, will also focus on Palestinian cinema 75 years after the Nakba, the Palestinian term for the events of 1948, when many Palestinians were displaced by the creation of the new state of Israel. . The screening of Jumana Manna’s intimate documentary Foragers, Firas Khoury’s coming-of-age story Alam and Maha Haj’s black comedy Mediterranean Fever will show the aesthetic and formal diversity of current Palestinian film productions and will each be accompanied by discussions with the directors. In addition, a panel discussion on this topic will take place in the ALFILM studio.

The documentary section of the 14th ALFILM features many female voices fighting for their stories and those of their communities to be heard.

From Cairo by Hala Galal is about three female protagonists struggling to regain control over their bodies in a conservative and patriarchal Egyptian society. In Fields of Words: Conversations with Samar Yazbek is a dialogue between the renowned Syrian writer-in-exile Samar Yazbek and Lebanese filmmaker Rania Stephan. Through the eyes of two remarkable women, the film explores the power and limits of cinema and literature in telling stories of war, death and violence.

The Arab Film Festival Berlin, ALFILM, has been organised since 2009 by the non-profit association Zentrum für arabische Filmkunst und Kultur e.V. and is Germany’s most important film festival providing a platform for the diverse film scene of the Arab world.

ALFILM takes place in Berlin at the Arsenal and City Kino Wedding cinemas and other venues and is a founding member of Festiwelt e.V., the independent network of Berlin film festivals.

Femi Awoniyi

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