The 26th Annual Arabian Sights Film Festival
June 4-13

This year's Arabian Sights Film Festival will be presented in conjunction with the Washington, DC International Film Festival. While we have moved online in this extraordinary year, Arabian Sights continues to offer the best and most exciting in new films from the Arab World.

For complete film details, visit Filmfest DC

Featured in Arabian Sights this year

200 Meters

AMEEN NAYFEH - Palestine, Jordan - 96 mins

For one family, the Israeli-Palestinian divide is metaphor and reality. From the West Bank home where he sleeps, Mustafa can see across the 200 meters to the apartment in Israel where his wife lives with their children. By day, Mustafa braves Israeli security, with its chance rejections. When he resorts to the services of a people smuggler, the van is a kind of Palestinian ship of fools, of which Mustafa is the anchor. The film won Best Actor, the Cinema for Humanity Prize, and the FIPRESCI Int'l. Critics Prize at the El Gouna Film Festival.—Judy Bloch

In Arabic, Hebrew, English with English subtitles

Broken Keys

JIMMY KEYROUZ - Lebanon - 110 mins

In a decimated Syrian village under the thumb of ISIS thugs, aspiring pianist Karim (Tarek Yaacoub) holds on to his dream of escaping to Europe. To pay the smuggler, he'll need to sell his beloved piano. But music itself is anathema to ISIS—they'll shoot the piano and the piano player. Jimmy Keyrouz's debut feature, with an original score by Gabriel Yared, was selected for Cannes and was Lebanon's entry to the Academy Awards.—Judy Bloch

In Arabic with English subtitles

Recipient of the Arabian Sights Audience Award

Captains of Zaatari

ALI EL ARABI - Egypt - 73 mins

This film is an intimate portrait of friendship and enduring hope. Best friends Fawzi and Mahmoud are obsessed with soccer but are stuck in Zaatari, the world's largest camp for Syrian refugees, located in Jordan. With uncertain legal status and an interrupted education, the teenagers' prospects are limited. When a world-renowned sports academy visits Zaatari, Fawzi and Mahmoud believe they might be able to realize their dreams—if given the opportunity.—Sundance Film Festival

In Arabic with English subtitles

Gaza mon amour

TARZAN NASSER, Arab Nasser - Palestine, France - 87 mins

While fishing one night, Issa brings in an unexpected haul: an anatomically correct statue of Apollo in an excited state. This sparks a series of comic events that force Issa out of his shell while casting light on love and on the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of life under the Occupation. At its core, Gaza mon amour is a romance story anchored in the chemistry between powerhouse actors Salim Daw and Hiam Abbass.—Toronto International Film Festival

In Arabic with English subtitles

Red Soil

FARID BENTOUMI - France - 90 mins

In this environmental thriller, a nurse named Nour takes charge of the infirmary at the chemical factory where her father works. As she starts scheduling routine check-ups, Nour is struck by odd gaps in the records, and her suspicions build when a reporter raises concerns about undisclosed toxic waste dumps. Red Soil pulls apart a conspiracy at the damning intersection of pollution and globalist exploitation.—Film At Lincoln Center's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema

In French with English subtitles

Skies of Lebanon

CHLOÉ MAZLO - France - 90 mins

Beirut was once considered the Paris of the Middle East, and it is to this urban oasis that a rural Swiss woman, Alice, escapes in the 1950s. Alice marries an eccentric astronomer, Joseph, and life is blissful disorder until Lebanon's civil war occurs; then it is just disorder. French-Lebanese director Chloé Mazlo employs animation and other intermittent disruptions to create a world for Alice that is whimsical but not always funny.—Judy Bloch

In French, Arabic, Italian with English subtitles

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