Malmö Arab Film Festival – A Sneak Peek

Exploring Arab cinema and emerging filmmakers.

Malmö Arab Film Festival – A Sneak Peek
Mariana Baião Santos

In the heart of southern Sweden, where the cultural landscape embraces diversity and celebrates the art of storytelling, can be found the Malmö Arab Film Festival (MAFF) (Instagram). Established in 2011 by visionary director Mouhamad Keblawi, this annual extravaganza has blossomed into Europe’s premier showcase for Arab cinema, captivating audiences with its rich tapestry of narratives and compelling storytelling.

From its humble beginnings as a grassroots initiative, MAFF has undergone a remarkable evolution, becoming a cornerstone of the European film circuit. Today, it stands tall as proof to the power of cinema in bridging cultures and fostering dialogue. With a diverse selection of around 80 features, short films, and documentaries from across the Arab world, the festival serves as a vibrant array of voices and perspectives.

Malmö Arab Film Festival
The Teacher by Farah Nabulsi

At the heart of MAFF lies its commitment to promoting diversity and tolerance through the medium of film. By providing a platform for Arab filmmakers to share their stories with the world, MAFF endeavours to break down barriers and build connections across borders. Through its innovative programming, which includes competition sections, panoramas, special screenings, workshops, seminars, and celebrations, the festival seeks to enrich cultural exchange and inspire meaningful dialogue.

Parallel to the festival, MAFF Industry Days (MID) stands as a testament to its commitment to nurturing collaboration and co-production between the Nordic and Arab film industries. Since its inception in 2015, MID has served as a vital forum for industry professionals to connect, exchange ideas, and forge partnerships, furthering the growth and vitality of Arab cinema on the global stage.

As the 14th edition of the Malmö Arab Film Festival approaches, anticipation mounts for another celebration of cinematic excellence. From April 22nd to April 28th, 2024, film enthusiasts and industry luminaries alike will converge in Malmö to experience the magic of Arab cinema firsthand. With its unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, and the transformative power of storytelling, MAFF continues to shine as a pilar of cultural exchange and artistic innovation on the global stage.

Malmö Arab Film Festival
“Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani

In the upcoming edition, audiences can anticipate a diverse array of feature films set to compete for recognition. Among them will be “Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani, the festival opener, “The Burdened” by Amr Gamal, “Behind The Mountains” by Mohamed Ben Attia, “Inshallah A Boy” by Amjad Al Rasheed, “Night Courier (Mandoob)” by Ali Kalthami, “The Teacher” by Farah Nabulsi, “A Nose And Three Eyes” by Amir Ramses, “Messi of Baghdad” by Sahim Omar Khalifa, “The Mother Of All Lies” by Asmae El Moudir, “Four Daughters” by Kouthar Ben Hania, “Under the Sky of Damascus” by Heba Khalid, Talal Derki, Ali Wajih, and “Bye Bye Tiberias” by Lina Soualem.

Malmö Arab Film Festival
“Bye Bye Tiberias” by Lina Soualem

In the Short Film Competition, audiences can look forward to captivating entries such as “I Promise You Paradise” directed by Morad Mostafaa, “It’s a Small World” directed by Bilal Bali, “Antidote” directed by Hassan Saeed, “Farewell” directed by Ibrahem Melhem, “The Post Reader” directed by Thualfiqar al Muttairi, “The Battle” directed by Eman Alsayed, “I Come from the Sea” directed by Feyrouz Serhal, “Let Us Play Yesterday” directed by Menna Ekram, “Some Where In Between” directed by Dahlia Nemlich, “Wishes For My Heart” directed by Sherien Magdy Diab, “Saleeg” directed by Afnan Bauyan, “Transit” directed by Baqer Al-Rubaie, “The Red Sea Makes Me Wanna Cry” directed by Faris Aljoob, and “Ladies Coffee” directed by Amal Al-Agroobi, all of which are vying for recognition and acclaim.

Malmö Arab Film Festival
“Night Courier (Mandoob)” by Ali Kalthami

Beyond the competitive screenings, the festival will also feature a range of enriching events, including school screenings, Arabian Nights, and a closing film, with details to be unveiled in the near future. As the anticipation builds, cinephiles eagerly await the unveiling of this year’s cinematic delights, ready to immerse themselves in the magic of Arab cinema.

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