Sundance Film Festival 2020 and the Arab Films To Watch Out For

Arab cinema has been in the limelight a lot this year, and continues to wow critics and film lovers alike, and it looks as though the industry is on a roll.

Striding into 2020, Middle Eastern cinema will be celebrated in Salt Lake City, for the Sundance Film Festival in the United States. January 23rd 2020 will see producers, directors, artists and celebrities from all over the world, uniting to celebrate international film.

Founder of the Sundance Institute, Robert Redford, said in a statement, “Independent artists create and enrich global culture. Their art, which we’re proud to present, can entertain – and much more: it can illuminate, agitate, and empower. This year’s festival is full of films that showcase myriad ways for stories to drive change, across hearts, minds, and societies.”

Arab cinema has been celebrated at the Sundance Film Festival for a number of years, and 2020 will be another big year for the region’s industry, with these films making the cut to be screened there.

Luxor (2020)
Zeina Durra

Starring Karim Salen, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Landes, Sherine Reda, Salim Ikram, and Shahira Fahmy, Luxor tells the story of a British aid worker, who meets an archaeologist named Sultan when she returns to the ancient city of Luxor. Whilst she travels, she is caught in a surreal bubble between the past and the present.

Arabian Alien (2020)
Meshal Aljaser

A focus on sci-fi as Arabian Alien tells the tale of a man named Saad who comes face to face with a space alien. The thrilling film stars Mohammed Alhamdan, Ana Marte and Abu Swaleh.

Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness (2019)
Massoud Bakhshi

Set in present day Iran, Yalda is the story of a woman called Maryam, who is 22 years old and kills her husband Nasser who is much older than her. Only her daughter Mona can save her by appearing on a popular TV show and forgive her mother publicly. The film focuses on reliving the past and finding the capacity to forgive.

The Perfect Candidate (2019)
Haifaa Al Mansour

A film festival wouldn’t be complete without a submission from award winning Saudi director, Haifaa Al Mansour. The Perfect Candidate stars Nora Al Awadh, Dae Al Hilali, Mila Al Zahrani, and Shafi Alharthythat in an empowering tale of a determined young Saudi doctor’s unexpected run for office in the local city elections which shock her family and the city as they battle to acknowledge their town’s first female competitor.

So What if the Goats Die (2019)
Sofia Alaoui

So What If The Goats Die is a film focused on a young shepherd, Abdellah, and his father who’s goats are wasting away due to adverse weather conditions. The young shepherd travels for a day to a village market to get supplies – but finds it deserted due to a very strange event. A family affair, the film stars Fouad Oughaou, Said Oughaou, Oumaima Oughaou, and Said Ouabi.

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