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London To Host SAFAR Film Festival Once Again

The only UK film festival dedicated to highlighting Arab film, SAFAR, returns to London this July.

Beginning on July 1st 2021, the upcoming film festival helmed by the Arab British Centre, will feature a number of talks and panels, 20 films and 3 premieres from the world of Arab cinema.

The course of events will also include online events, as well as physical events, across several cinemas in the British capital.

This year’s edition is a little different as SAFAR will be presented in collaboration with the Shubbak Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture, which showcases and supports the diversity of Arab artists’ creativity and innovation.

For 2021, SAFAR is being curated by Lebanese film buff, Rabih El Khoury, and will be focused on the theme of “Generational Encounters in Arab Cinema,” as the event will showcase both modern and classic Arab films with the connection of coming of age stories, familial disparities and societal tensions at their center.

El Khoury said in a released statement, “It is my absolute pleasure to be curating the sixth edition of the SAFAR Film Festival. We are raring to get back into cinemas with the festival’s largest program to date, and have a fantastic line-up of screenings exploring our theme of generational encounters.”

The return of SAFAR Film Festival comes after a turbulent year for the cinema industries as many suffered economic consequences following shut downs and restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Program director at the Arab British Centre, Amani Hassan spoke about why this year’s film festival is so important, “This year’s SAFAR Film Festival marks our first time partnering with our friends at the Shubbak Festival, which, after a difficult year for the cultural sector, offers both our organizations the opportunity to join forces and amplify the voices of Arab artists and filmmakers across the UK.”

SAFAR will open at London’s Barbican Cultural Center with a viewing of Egyptian Director Ayten Amin’s latest release, “Souad.” 

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