Arab Film Series online Aziza (2019) dir Soudade Kaadan

Arab Film Series online

Posted: May 2, 2020

The Arab Film Series online

The Arab Film Series online is a monthly program of films and discussions with artists and filmmakers from the SWANA region and its diasporas, presented by ArteEast in partnership with Arab American National Museum and Arab Film and Media Institute

Bloody Beans + Talkback

Online Screening: July 28-31, 2022

This July, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Algerian Independence, Arab Film Series presents Bloody Beans, an experimental take on the Algerian War by Narimane Mari.

This program is accompanied by a recorded discussion with the filmmaker.

Bloody Beans, Narimane Mari,  Algeria/France,  2013,  77 min

French and Arabic with English subtitles


June Pride Program
Screening Online: June 24-26
Film Program:
Brothers, Mike Mosallam, United States, 2018, 9 mins
Son of a Dancer, Georges Hazim, Lebanon, 2018, 20 mins
Dearborn Ash, Hena Ashraf, United States, 2019, 9 mins
Marco, Saleem Haddad, United Kingdom/Lebanon, 2019, 22 mins
Image Credit: Marco dir. by Saleem Haddad


Online Screening May 26-29

ArteEast is pleased to present the upcoming Arab Film Series online program INTIMATE DISTANCE – a Mother’s Day special on the meaning of motherhood and womanhood from the perspective of two renowned female artists and filmmakers Mona Hatoum and Marianne Khoury. 

Hatoum’s personal poetic short film Measures of Distance conveys the intimate relationship between mother and daughter through their exchanged letters during Hatoum’s life in exile, it also reflects a tremendous sense of loss as a result of exile and separation caused by war.

In her feature length autobiographical documentary Let’s Talk, Marianne Khoury reflects on her own family history, and her complex relationship with her mother  through an intimate and candid conversation between her and her daughter – exploring what it means to be a woman, mother, and an artist in the face of personal, artistic, and national crisis.


Online Screening: March 24-27

Marking the 46th commemoration of Land Daythis March,theArab Film Series is proud to present Spaces of Exception, directed by Matt Peterson and Malek Rasamny. Profiling the American Indian reservation alongside the Palestinian refugee camp, this work is an attempt to understand the significance of the land – its memory and divisions – and the conditions for life, community, and sovereignty.

The screening will be accompanied by a discussion with the filmmakers.




Online Screening: Feb 17–20 

Synopsis: Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir broke records and barriers on her way to become the first Division I athlete to play basketball while wearing hijab. When a controversial ruling ends her chances at playing professionally, she re-examines her faith and identity as a Muslim American.

The Arab Film Series online is a monthly program of films and discussions with artists and filmmakers from the SWANA region and its diasporas, presented by ArteEast in partnership with



JAM3A Film Screening

September 23-26

In conjunction with AANM”s JAM3A Festival, Arab Film Series presents the films “Art War, Sama’ Abuldhadi” “It Ain’t Where You From”, and “Sama’ Abdulhadi: The Palestinian techno queen blasting around the globe” on-demand for the duration of the festival!






Eleven Reflections on September +  Panel Discussion 
Online Screening: September 9-16 

Arab Film Series presents this month’s special program Eleven Reflections on September, by Andrea Assaf: a poetry, music, movement and digital media exploration of Arab American experience, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post-9/11 world.

Synopsis: Eleven Reflections on September is a poetry, music, movement and digital media exploration of Arab American experience, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death amidst beauty” that each autumn brings in a post-9/11 world. Based on a series of poems Andrea Assaf has written since 2001, “Eleven Reflections…” spans the fall of the Twin Towers, the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the global rise of anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia, and the revolutions and uprisings that have swept through the Arab world in the last decade. Aesthetically, the poems explore the disintegration of language in the face of violence, prejudice, and unspeakable horror, as they progress from lyrical to abstract and broken. The annual witnessing of autumn leaves becomes a metaphor for the fallen… As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11, this ever-evolving tour de force finds new relevance and urgency. As an experimental work that lives at the intersection of live performance and digital media, Eleven Reflections on September is beautiful, haunting, and truly genre-shattering.

The film will be available from September 9-16 and will also be accompanied by a discussion with the artist Andrea Assaf and Lubana Al Qantar moderated by Leila Buck, which will be available from September 13-16.

The Lebanese Rocket Society + Talkback
Online Screening: August 28 to 29

Join us for this month’s Arab Film Series online program presenting the feature-length documentary The Lebanese Rocket Society directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, which unravels the strange tale of the Lebanese space adventure that had been forgotten from personal and collective memory. The film is accompanied by a discussion with the artists.

In the early ’60s, during the cold war and the apex of Pan Arabism, a group of utopian students and researchers enters the race to space and create the Lebanese Rocket Society. Sometimes, dreams can overtake a tormented history…

Note: This program is available  for audiences in the United States and will be available from August 28 at 12:00 am to August 29 at 11:59 pm EDT


Next Gen Sudan + Talkback

Thursday, July 15 to Sunday, July 18
Live Virtual Talkback:  Sunday, July 18, at 3 pm EDT

This month’s Arab Film Series brings us an intimate look at Sudanese youth – the challenges they face, the tough lessons learned, and the pride of being the next generation to make an impact. These three short Sudanese films, directed by a powerhouse of young, brilliant Sudanese filmmakers, give us a glimpse into the triumphs and troubles facing this next generation.

The films are Video-On-Demand style, so guests can view these films at their leisure and on their own time. Films are only available to audiences in U.S. and Canada starting at 6pm EDT on Thurs, July 15th until 11:59pm EDT on July 18th.

To make this experience complete, we are pleased to host a live, virtual talkback with Hashim Hassan (Director of A Handful of Dates), Sarra Idris (Director of Adam & Howa), and Suzannah Mirghani (Director of Al-Sit)! The talkback will take place live, at 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 18, 2021.


This Little Father Obsession + Talkback
Thursday, June 24 to Sunday, June 27

In celebration of Pride Month, Arab Film Series – a monthly online program of films and talkbacks presented to you by ArteEast, Arab American National Museum, and Arab Film and Media Institute – presents This Little Father Obsession, a feature-length hybrid documentary by Lebanese filmmaker Selim Mourad.

A kaleidoscopic family film blending documentary and auto-fiction, This Little Father Obsession sees the complexity of Lebanese society confronted with the personal aspirations of an individual, and the weight of patriarchal tradition with the desire for emancipation. The filmmaker traces the portrait of a family in which he is trying to find his place. The last descendant, losing his fertility, attracted to men, he is wondering about filiation and confronts his father with his obsessions at a time when their family house in Beirut is waiting to be demolished. Truth unveils as they go on a quest together to find a forgotten relative. During this journey, the house seems to persist.

The screening will be accompanied by a live talkback with filmmaker Selim Mourad at 3 p.m. EDT, Sunday, June 27.

Guests can view the film on demand, worldwide, from 6 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 24 to 11:59 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 27, 2021.

2016 / 103 minutes / Lebanon / Arabic and French with English Subtitles


Elia Suleiman Retrospective+ Talkback
Friday, May 21, 12:00 am to May 30th, 11:59 pm

This month, we are pleased to celebrate and showcase the work of famed Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman! Throughout his career, Elia directed four feature films –Chronicle Of A Disappearance (1996), Divine Intervention (2002), The Time That Remains (2008), It Must Be Heaven (2019) – all of which we are pleased to have available for our audiences! The films are Video-On-Demand style, so guests can view these films at their leisure and on their own time.

To make this experience complete, we are pleased to host a live, virtual talkback with Elia Suleiman himself, moderated by AFMI’s head of film programming Yasmina Tawil on May 23 at 3pm EDT.

For more info on our upcoming programs, please go to

Please note this event is available for a US audience only.


Breaking Fast + Talkback
Saturday, April 24, 2021 AT 6 PM EDT
Set against the twinkling lights of West Hollywood, Breaking Fast is a romantic comedy that follows Mo, a practicing Muslim still reeling from heartbreak. When an all-American guy named Kal offers to join him in his nightly iftar—the traditional meal eaten by Muslims during Ramadan—meal after meal, the two start to discover they have more in common than meets the eye.
Immediately following the screening, we are pleased to be in conversation with director Mike Mosallam.
Breaking Fast, dir. Mike Mosallam. 2020 / 92 minutes / Rated PG-13 for language and adult references / Romantic Comedy, Drama

Marking the seventh year of the war in Yemen, on March 19, 2021, ArteEast in partnership with the Arab American National Museum and AFMI presents a special Arab Film Series online screening:

7 x 7 | 7 Artists, 7 Years
Friday, March 19, 2021 at 7 PM EDT

A film presentation of short films by seven Yemeni filmmakers, that collectively push back against binary portrayals of Yemenis as victims and/or villains, and instead provide an expansive view on how Yemenis present themselves, on their own terms.

The program features the public premiere of two short films by Yemeni filmmaker Alia Ali:
Conflict is More Profitable Than Peace / 17 minutes / Sci-Fi
مهجر / Mahjar / 14 minutes / Sci-Fi

Immediately following the premiere will be a dialogue with Alia Ali hosted by AANM Film Curator, Dave Serio, addressing discourses on Yemeni Futurism in regards to nostalgic pasts, dystopian presents, and carving out spaces of radically imagined futures.

Following the live premiere, the following additional films will be available to stream for 48 hours:
Carroum dir. Neshwan Sadeq / 9 minutes / Documentary
Ozaizah dir. Alaa Hafed / 6 minutes / Documentary
Made of Gold dir. Saber Wasel / 6 minutes / Documentary /
The Last Resort dir. Noor Adeen Morgan / 10 minutes / Documentary
Scene 2 dir. Abdulrahman Alward / 21 minutes / Fiction
The Helmet dir. Osama Khaled / 9 minutes / Sci-Fi

Please note that some of these films may address difficult and sensitive topics, such as war, trauma and sexual harassment and may be triggering for some.

7 x 7 // 7 Artists, 7 Years is presented in partnership with The Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, The Department of Art History at Pomona College and Youth of the World Together.


Beauty and the Dogs (2017) dir. Kaouther Ben Hania
Employing impressive cinematic techniques and anchored by a tour-de-force performance from newcomer Mariam Al Ferjani, Beauty and the Dogs presents a gripping moral conundrum surrounding two young Tunisians. When Mariam, a young Tunisian woman, is raped after leaving a party, she is propelled into a harrowing night in which she must fight for her rights and her dignity. Based on a true story, Beauty and the Dogs tells an urgent, unapologetic and important story head-on.
Immediately following the screening will be a talkback with guests TBA.
100% of the donations raised will support ACCESS’ Domestic Violence program
2017 / 100 minutes / Rated R for Adult References, Explicit Language and Sensitive Subject Matter / Drama / Arabic with English Subtitles

*Please be advised that this program contains sensitive subject matter related to the discussion of sexual violence and mental and emotional abuse, that may be triggering to some.*

Brooklyn Inshallah (2019) Dir. Ahmed Mansour
3 p.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020

Free; $5 suggested donation
Watch a recording

Khader El-Yateem is Palestinian American, a practicing Lutheran pastor, and, he hopes, the first Arab American on the New York City Council. Having grown up amidst conflict before emigrating to the U.S., Father K works to alleviate the mounting fears of the diverse but marginalized Arab American community of Bay Ridge following the 2016 presidential election. With the support of political activist Linda Sarsour, he mounts the campaign of a lifetime, taking viewers into the heart of identity politics.

The film will be introduced with opening remarks by Linda Sarsour, and directly following the screening we will be joined by director Ahmed Mansour and Father Khadr El-Yateem for an intimate talkback.

United States / Documentary / 83 minutes / In English and Arabic with English Subtitles


10 Days Before the Wedding (2018) dir. Amr Gamal

10 Days Before the Wedding (2018) dir. Amr Gamal

3 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020

Free; $5 suggested donation

Rasha and Ma’moon, a young Yemeni couple, were set to get married but the war of 2015 stood in the way of their wedding.  After so much suffering, they try the best they can to make it happen in 2018.  But yet again, obstacles appear—except this time it’s not the war, but its aftermath. From evacuating their homes to dealing with warring parties controlling certain areas to the economic crisis, the couple struggles to race against time to make sure the wedding of their dreams happens on time.

Following the screening we will be joined by director Amr Gamal for an intimate talkback hosted by Romooz Foundation director and current AANM artist-in residence Ibi Ibrahim. 

Yemen / Drama / 120 minutes / Rated R for Explicit Language / In Arabic with English Subtitles


Yemeni Stories Told by Yemeni Filmmakers + Talkback
3 PM EDT on Sunday, July 26, 2020
Yemen, United States / Documentary / 60 minutes / Rated PG13 /
In Arabic and English with English subtitles

Following the screening was an intimate talkback with several Yemeni filmmakers from across the world.

Free. Suggested donations benefit Yemen Aid

In partnership with Romooz Foundation, the Arab Film Series presents an afternoon of Yemeni documentary short films, created and told through the eyes of Yemeni filmmakers. These short films showcase the impact the war in Yemen has had and continues to make on the Yemeni community throughout the world.

These films uplift the voices of Yemeni filmmakers and their experiences. These are their stories.

The Bleaching Syndrome (2018) dir. Iman Mirghani
3 p.m. Sunday, July 12, 2020

Free; suggested donations benefit Detroit Justice Center

Eiman Mirghani, an Afro-Arab filmmaker living in Qatar, sets out to make a documentary about a Sudanese beautician who, like many other Sudanese women today, bleaches her skin as part of her “beauty routine”. After coming across challenges in making the film, particularly in which the woman becomes hesitant in speaking openly about the subject, Mirghani begins to look inwards regarding this increasing trend, turning the camera around on her relationship with her own “blackness”. She looks to find answers towards her lifelong feelings of unworthiness and underrepresentation in a world that is discreetly but deeply intolerant.

A virtual talkback with director Eiman Mirghani followed the screening.

Qatar / Short Documentary / 20 minutes / Rated PG 13 / In Arabic and English with Arabic and English subtitles

“Eccomi…Eccoti (Here I am…Here you are)” (2017) dir. Raed Rafei

Eccomi…Eccoti (Here I am…Here you are) (2017) dir. Raed Rafei
3 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 2020

FREE with suggested $5 donation

“Eccomi…Eccoti” unfolds as a virtual road trip navigating between Italy and Lebanon. Conditioned to live in a long-distance relationship with his partner because of strict European visa regulations, the director patches together the shared moments in an attempt to create a possible day-to-day reality for the couple. With a lyrical, ambient soundscape set atop a dreamy visual style oscillating between still photography and moving images, the film explores what it means to be gay in contemporary Beirut, and the existential discomfort that blocks one from reaching a sense of completeness.

Italy, Lebanon / 68 minutes / Arabic, French, Italian and English with English subtitles

Cairo Drive  (2014) dir. Sherief Elkatsha
3 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 31, 2020

Free/donation optional  

Using the road as an analogy for life in Cairo, Cairo Drive explores the unique personality of Egyptians as they go about their daily struggle of simply moving about the city. The film introduces its audience to the contrast between residents of the massive city, from different walks of life and displays how those differences are often erased when they have to share Cairo’s congested roads.

Egypt / 79 minutes / In Arabic with English Subtitles

Following the film was a talkback with Egyptian American director Sherief Elkatsha, moderated by ArteEast board member and CEO of Arab Foundations Forum, Naila Farouky.

Salam (2018) dir. Claire Fowler

Arab American Shorts Program
2 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 10

This Mother’s Day, to honor all of the amazing women and mothers in our lives, we are showcasing some of the best short films that highlight Arab American women making an impact, all directed by women! Whether standing up for their beliefs, finding their voice or changing the course of history (literally!), these Arab Americans make us proud by sharing their strength, multifaceted lives and passion with the world.

All films in Arabic with English subtitles.

Directors Darine Hotait (Like Salt) and Suha Araj (Pioneer High) appeared for a post-film talkback!


“Aziza” (2019) dir. Soudade Kaadan

Arab World Shorts Program
2 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 2, 2020

With everything going on in the world right now, taking a detour through great cinema can be a helpful escape. These short films, all screened at a previous AANM Arab Film Festival, tackle serious issues through elements of comedy and animation. Whether taking us on an out-of-body experience, exploring a lifestyle change or dealing with unexpected visitors, these beautiful short films give us a glimpse into the complex problems and interesting situations we can find ourselves in.

All films in Arabic and/or English with English subtitles. Total runtime: 61 minutes.

Directors Basil Khalil (Ave Maria) and Khalid Salim (Veganize It!) will appear for a post-film talkback.

When Monaliza Smiled (2012)
7 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 23

A romantic comedy about a love story between Jordanian Monaliza and Egyptian Hamdi, set in present-day Amman among a community of nosy and quirky characters.

Dir. Fadi Haddad
Rated PG-13
95 minutes
Arabic with English subtitles

The screening was followed by an interview with Director Fadi Haddad.

Life is Waiting — Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara (2015)
7 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 16

After having its Michigan premiere at the AANM Arab Film Festival last year, Life is Waiting — Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara returns as the first online screening in the Arab Films Online series.

Most people think that colonialism in Africa has ended. But in Western Sahara, the end of European rule gave way to a new occupation, by Morocco. More than four decades later, the Sahrawi people face arrests, torture and disappearances for demanding their independence.

Dir. Iara Lee
Rated PG-13
2015/Western Sahara
61 minutes
Arabic, Hassaniya, Spanish, English and French with English subtitles