Become an ICA Member or gift it to someone you love
0 / 256
SAFAR Film Festival
Institute of Contemporary Arts
June 2022
1 – 10 July 2022

The SAFAR Film Festival, the only UK festival dedicated to cinema from the Arab world, returns to the ICA for its 10th anniversary season, with a rich and varied programme that celebrates Arab cinema past, present, and future.

‘The Stories We Tell in Arab Cinema’, this year’s festival theme, invites audiences to return to the very essence of filmmaking: storytelling. Curated by Rabih El-Khoury, the programme features UK premieres, new releases and classics that explore the devices used by Arab filmmakers to push cinematic boundaries, reclaim overlooked histories and present new perspectives. The screenings are supplemented by introductions, Q&As, discussions, and a special industry programme aimed at emerging filmmakers.

The ICA has been SAFAR’s screening partner since its first edition in 2012. The Festival will also screen in other London venues, and will for the first time also feature screenings in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester and Plymouth.


Friday 1 July, 8:30pm
The story of a young girl whose dreams change from seeking an education in the city to survival in Palestine in 1948.

Saturday 2 July, 2:30pm
A panel discussion with Filmmaker Saeed Taji Farouki who looks at storytelling in today’s Arab independent cinema, from its writing process to its presentation.

Saturday 2 July, 4:30pm
UK THEATRICAL PREMIERE Mariner of the Mountains
Karim Aïnouz takes us with him on his journey to Algeria, his father’s homeland, interweaving the past, present and future.

Saturday 2 July, 6:30pm
When a magic trick goes awry at a child’s birthday party, the authoritative father of a family gets turned into a chicken. A debut feature awarded by the Grand Jury Prize at the Critics’ Week at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

Sunday 3 July 2022, 4:30pm
UK PREMIERE Becoming + Q&A
5 stories, 5 Saudi directors: a deep look into the Kingdom’s ever-changing society, as well as Saudi identity, development, and at times, listlessness – quite simply, a deep look into life itself.

Tuesday 5 July, 8:30pm
UK THEATRICAL PREMIERE Death of A Virgin, and The Sin Of Not Living
George Peter Barbari's compelling drama follows three troubled teens on their way to lose their virginity and win their acceptance into manhood.

Saturday 9 July 2022, 4:30pm
ENGLAND PREMIERE Our Memory Belongs to Us
Nearly 10 years after the Syrian revolution, director Rami Farah confronts the three Syrian activists with footage, some of it their own, depicting events that changed their destinies forever.

Sunday 10 July, 4:30pm
Join SAFAR on a tour of contemporary Arab cinema through a diverse selection of short thematic films.