Lilac background, black and white illustrations of of buildings and people with words SAFAR FILM FESTIVAL

SAFAR Film Festival: A Journey Through Space and Time

SAFAR Film Festival, the UK’s largest festival of Arab cinema, screens in 9 cities from 29 June - 9 July and is proud to present its 2023 edition in partnership with Shubbak Festival.

For its eighth edition, SAFAR is embarking on a journey through space and time in Arab cinema, mapping the region across a new axis and showcasing films which traverse territories and historical periods.

The programme of 30+ films hones in on distinct locations and settings rarely seen on screen. Several filmmakers venture into uncharted geographies to bring their tales to life, while others spin fresh perspectives on the domestic and the familiar. Some revisit the past to better understand their present, using archive, oral history, pop culture and period costume to uncover forgotten or unheard stories. 

Documentaries and fictions transport the public through time to Cairo, Damascus and Beirut: as they were filmed in the 80’s and 90’s by revered filmmakers Youssef Chahine, Borhane Alaouié and Mohamed Malas, and as they are filmed today through new lenses.  

A focus on contemporary Moroccan filmmaking presents a cinema not shying away from exploring queerness, classism and segregation, and a special programme of screenings and talks with Palestinian filmmakers and artists commemorates 75 years since the Nakba. 

SAFAR is supported by the British Council, the Bagri Foundation and the City of London Corporation. London venues include ICA, Cine Lumiere, Barbican and The Garden Cinema.

Tickets are on sale on sale now! Visit the SAFAR website to view the full programme and sign up to their e-newsletter for programme updates and Arab cinema news.


Thu 29 June–Sun 9 July 2023

Multiple times and cities