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SAFAR Film Festival 2018
Institute of Contemporary Arts
March 2023
13 – 18 September 2018

Stories Of Passers Through, 2017, Dir. Koutaiba Al Janabi

This year’s Safar Film Festival examines the enduring and symbiotic relationship between literature and film in the Arab world, presenting a rich programme of cinema from the 1960s to the present day. This literary journey through Arab Cinema reveals an exciting, unwieldy canon constantly defying expectation. 

The historical relationship between Arabic literature and cinema not only reflects the cultural narratives of the day but also the wider political and historical junctions of the latter half of the 20th century. In the wake of colonial rule, adaptations were rife and extremely popular with audiences, and this transfer of indigenous stories from page to screen helped individual nations find their own cinematic, and wider cultural, identities. 

Safar excavates this formative period, highlighting one of the least explored chapters of Arab film history, with classic adaptations from Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, including some world premiere restorations. The festival explores the myriad ways in which literature and storytelling can influence contemporary cinema – through story structure, folklore, autobiography – with documentaries, shorts, and features from Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, and Lebanon, all accompanied by Q&As.

The festival takes place across the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Institut Français.


Thursday 13 September
The Search + Q&A

Friday 14 September
Stories of Passers Through + Q&A

Friday 14 September
Poisonous Roses + Q&A

Saturday 15 September
Scheherazade’s Diary + Q&A

Saturday 15 September

Saturday 15 September
Still Burning + Q&A

Sunday 16 September
Short Film Programme + Q&A

Sunday 16 September
Fallen Angels Paradise + Q&A

Sunday 16 September
Opium and the Baton + Q&A