A film within a film, "Looking for Oum Kulthum" is the plight of an Iranian woman artist/filmmaker living in exile, as she embarks on capturing the life and art of the legendary female singer of the Arab world, Oum Kulthum. Through her difficult journey, not unlike her heroine's, she has to face the struggles, sacrifices and the price that a woman has to pay if she dares to cross the lines of a conservative male dominated ...
Henia will give anything to mend her broken past and find her mother, from whom she has been separated since the conflict between Morocco and Algeria during the Black Demonstration of 1975. After being given an opportunity to assist an elderly blind man, she accepts the offer and eventually finds herself agreeing to marry him. For Henia, this is a chance to get the necessary papers for her return to Algeria. For the old ...
Directed by: Narjiss Nejjar
Ernania is hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital in Mozambique. She dreams about her little son, Hanic, and her husband, Pak, who is a soldier of the war. In the meantime, a quirky musical instrument plays: her own bed. Ernania’s musical virtuosity, attracts the attention of the hospital nurses. One day, her song is played in a radio program and Rosa, an evangelical priest of “Rádio Moçambique”, goes to the ...
Directed by: João Viana
In Rod El Farag, one of the poorest residential areas in Cairo, obtaining meat, fruit and daily bread is a constant struggle. But the sense of community shared by the inhabitants there helps them to some extent overcome their hardships through a social practice known as ‘al Gami’ya’, or ‘the assembly’.
Directed by: Reem Saleh
When Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, is raped by police officers after leaving a party, she is propelled into a harrowing night in which she must fight for her rights even though justice lies on the side of her tormentors.
Directed by: Kaouther Ben Hania
Based on her own adolescent experiences, Sadaf Foroughi’s AVA is a gripping debut about a young girl’s coming-of-age in a strict, traditional society. Living with her well-to-do parents in Tehran, Ava is a bright and focused teen whose concerns — friendships, music, social status, academic performance — resemble that of nearly any teenager. When Ava’s mistrustful and overprotective mother questions her ...
Directed by: Sadaf Foroughi
On a cold winter’s night in modern Tehran, a couple of young lovers run into a serious problem, and they have just a few hours to come up with a solution. They go from hospital to hospital in search for help, but none of the hospitals will admit the young woman and provide her with the medical attention she desperately requires. While they try hard to find a way to solve the problem, they have to hide what is happening from ...
Directed by: Ali Asgari
As Sara stands on the cusp of committing an unthinkable act, an unforeseen and awkward encounter gives her the opportunity to witness the potential consequences of her destructive action. But is this a second chance or an admission of guilt?
Directed by: Mohamed Al Daradji
A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias’ COCOTE follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act — especially for him, an Evangelical ...
Directed by: Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias
After years abroad in Italy, Shadi returns to his native Nazareth. But this is no spectacular homecoming. He's back somewhat begrudgingly to honour his "wajib" (or duty) to hand out invitations to his sister's wedding with his father. The simmering tension between the two — who are often stuck in a car, more often than not in traffic — builds, exposing the sometimes-comic chasms that exist between men who live in ...
Directed by: Annemarie Jacir
Ady, a 13 years old boy, no longer listens to his father who raises him alone. The latter, running out of resources, decides to entrust Ady to his uncle Amadou for the summer. Uncle Amadou and his family live on the other side of the Mediterranean sea... in Burkina Faso! There, at 13 years, one must become a man but Ady, persuaded to go on holidays, understands things differently.
Directed by: Berni Goldblat
Departing from material records of the early colonial “scientific expeditions” and “taming campaigns” led by the French colonizers in North Africa, the story follows a community of young nomads and wanderers as they form an imagined utopian society. Reenactments, improvisations, and interviews performed and conducted with the inhabitants of Algiers, Kythira Island, and the Prosfygika community in Athens inform ...
Directed by: Narimane Mari
J is in their early teens and lives in the countryside. J has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, goes by the selected pronoun “they”, and takes hormone blockers to suspend puberty. While J’s parents are away, their older sister and her Iranian boyfriend are assigned the duties of house-sitting and looking after J.
Directed by: Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
The story follows a group of birds on a journey where they try to find a better life for themselves and the ones they love.
In a ghetto where religion and drug trafficking rub shoulders, Dounia has a lust for power and success. Supported by Maimouna, her best friend, she decides to follow in the footsteps of Rebecca, a respected dealer. But her encounter with Djigui, a young, disturbingly sensual dancer, throws her off course.
Directed by: Houda Benyamina
In a Turkish village, five orphaned sisters live under strict rule while members of their family prepare their arranged marriages.
Directed by: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Exiled artist and poet Mustafa embarks on a journey home with his housekeeper and her daughter; together the trio must evade the authorities who fear that the truth in Mustafa's words will incite rebellion.
Directed by: Roger Allers
A bride-to-be is forced to reevaluate her life when she reunites with her family in Jordan and finds herself confronted with the aftermath of her parents’ divorce.
Directed by: Cherien Dabis
On the Arabian Peninsula in the 1930s, two warring leaders come face to face. The victorious Nesib, Emir of Hobeika, lays down his peace terms to rival Amar, Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow Belt. In return, Nesib adopts Amar’s two boys Saleeh and Auda as a guarantee against invasion. Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown ...
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud