The Arab Film Festival 2021 – Announcements


The Arab Film Festival 2021
Hybrid festival returns to audiences in Minneapolis and virtually across the United States
September 29-October 3, 2021, 7 p.m.


2446 University Avenue West

Saint-Paul, Minnesota 55114
United States

T +1 612 788 6920

[email protected]

The 15th edition of the Mizna Twin Cities Arab Film Festival (TCAFF) returns from September 29 to October 3, 2021.

This year’s festival will take place in a hybrid format, combining film screenings and in-person and online events. In-person elements of the festival will take place at the Trylon Cinema, Minneapolis. The online components will be hosted through Mizna’s Virtual Cinema platform, with most screenings accessible to people across the United States.

Mizna’s Arab Film Fest presents independent narrative, documentary and experimental feature films and short films from more than 15 Arabic-speaking countries and their diasporas. The festival puts SWANA (South West Asia and North Africa) filmmakers at all stages of their careers in a critical dialogue with each other and with Mizna’s audience. Each year, audiences in Minnesota and the United States come together to appreciate the various ways in which SWANA artists represent and articulate their social realities.

Organized by Michelle Baroody, Curator of Mizna Film Programs, and Ahmed AbdulMageed, Coordinator of Mizna Film Programs, with input from the Mizna Film Screening Committee, the festival opens with Souad realized by Ayten Amin which premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. The film follows a nineteen-year-old woman obsessed with her image on social media, where she has several secret virtual relationships with men. A series of small incidents lead to tragedy, and Soad’s younger sister embarks on a journey in search of answers to her sister’s life and dreams.

In addition, the festival will bring films such as Ameen Nayfeh 200 meters, a gripping tale that depicts the daily struggles of Palestinian life under occupation in the West Bank, and At Ghassan Salhab An open rose, an experimental documentary and archival exploration honoring the legacy of Marxist thinker Rosa Luxemborg. A short segment titled Between stagnation and movement presents films that explore the themes of migration, memory and human relationships with non-human life.

As part of its partnership with Trylon Cinema, Minneapolis’ premier repertory theater, TCAFF 2021 programming will include several recent restorations of classic cinema, such as the Egyptian filmmaker Shadi Abdel Salamis haunting Al-Mumia (1969) and Moroccan filmmaker Mostafa Derkaouithe rediscovered hybrid documentary About some meaningless events (1974).

In addition to classic and contemporary short and feature films, the festival will feature virtual round tables with filmmakers, academics and film industry professionals. On October 3, 2021, the public can expect to witness a conversation about Morocco’s eclectic 1970s cultural scene with an academic Omar Berrada and filmmakers Ali Essafi and Ahmed Maanouni, whose films will be showing at the festival. October 2, 2021, documentary filmmaker Sarah Francois and artist Mona benyamin discuss how themes of lunar colonization appear in each of their films, exploring questions about the outer limits of exile and displacement. This discussion will be moderated by Roisín Tapponi. October 1, 2021 Filmmaker Darine Hotait will be in conversation with a writer and a psychologist Hala Alyan. Mizna will screen Hotait’s latest film, in which Alyan plays the main character.

The full schedule and individual tickets are available here.

All-access passes for virtual and in-person events are $ 100, available here.

Virtual passes are 60 USD, available here.


About Monty S. Maynard

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