Previously at the ICA - Seasons
19 Sep 2014 – 25 Sep 2014
After the phenomenal success of the inaugural festival in 2012, the Arab British Centre returns to the ICA with Safar. The only festival in the UK solely focused on programming popular Arab cinema, Safar includes UK premieres alongside classics of the Arab silver screen. These will be accompanied by Q&As, special introductions and an afternoon forum which will bring together some of the most significant figures in Arab cinema. Safar has expanded its scope this year to include an exhibition of Arab movie posters and film ephemera, all shown in the UK for the first time.
Popular histories are too often sidelined in favour of a particular breed of ‘art house’ cinema which seeks to emphasise a Eurocentric model focused on particular social, political and aesthetic concerns. Safar seeks to remove Arab cinema from the perceived notion that it is a peripheral or ‘third’ cinema. Safar is a celebration of the complex social histories inherent within popular Arab cinema, whilst highlighting the significance of particular icons and makers.
The 2014 edition of Safar looks at both contemporary and historic cinema with screenings showcasing UK premieres alongside cinematic masterpieces – many of which are rarely presented outside the Arab world. Through this week-long series of films and a specially curated exhibition we will explore different popular forms inherent within Arab culture, from melodrama and drama-comedy to road movies and hard-biting social realism.
This year’s festival continually returns us to one distinct theme: the notion of cinema as an expanded territory that extends beyond the limits of time, conflict and geography.
Omar Kholeif is an Egyptian-born, UK-based writer, curator and producer.
The Arab British Centre wishes to thank the following for their support, without which Safar would not have been possible:
Fatima Bint Hazza Cultural Foundation, ICA, Dubai International Film Festival, Corinthia Hotel, Arts Council England, British Council, MBI Al Jaber Foundation, Livingstone & Company, AO Music Agency, El-Wekala Productions, Egyptian National Film Center, Egyptian Embassy, London, Amina Abodoma, Abboudi Bou Jaoudeh, Virginia Forbes, Brian Constant, Maytham Akbar and Eric Samothrakis