Belly dancing, Arab food, and shisha are not the things you will see in Arab film festivals. What you will see are Arab films that are informative, entertaining, and educational.
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Although not as popular as the other festivals, Arab film festivals are held every year in several locations outside of the Arabic world. These Arab film festivals are held to promote worthy Arab films that may not be shown in mainstream theaters. These festivals are also held to educate the public about the Arab culture through their films. Some of the more popular film festivals are listed below.
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Calgary Arab Film Festival
The Arab film festival in Calgary was developed to inform, entertain and enlighten the locals about the Arab culture through their films. The main goal of the film festival is to enhance the public’s knowledge about the Arab world. With this in mind, the Arab Film Festival in Calgary features films of different genres. You can find Arab films about pride, humor and love. The festival is held in October at the Marquee Room in Calgary.
Since the focus of Calgary’s Arab Film Festival is to educate the public about the Arab culture, films are chosen based on several factors. The films shown often represent the diversity of the Arab people, the regions and their perspectives. It also features films that show the realistic perspectives about the culture, history, politics and art of the Arab people as well as films that has social and political issues that affects the Arab culture.
Australia’s Arab Film Festival is celebrated annually. Founded in 2001, the festival aims to feature films that provide stories from the different Arab speaking cultures. The films chosen for the festival often represent the diversity and complexity of the Arab culture.
The Arab Film Festival in Australia shows films from different countries in the Arab world including United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Palestine, and Morocco. However, Australia’s Arab Film Festival also showcases films, made outside of the Arab countries, which provide a realistic view of the life of an Arab in other countries.
The festival also provides a platform for would-be Arab filmmakers who would like to show their work in a bigger audience. The festival is now one of the biggest film events in Australia and is celebrated in some of the major cities including Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
The festival is among the no entry fee film festivals where the film maker doesn't need to pay any fees. As a viewer, however, you will need to buy a $12 day ticket and if you are looking for a weekend pass, it costs $100.
The Arab Film Festival in the US is held in several cities including San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Celebrated every year in October, the festival is often celebrated simultaneously in these cities. The film festival has been celebrated for more than a decade.
The Arab Film Festival is also an organization that aims to clarify misinterpretations about the Arab culture though film showings. The films featured in the festival generally have educational and entertaining value that reflects the Arab culture.
These Arab Film Festivals that are celebrated in the US provide a gateway for people to be more aware of the different perspectives of the Arab world.
The festival offers many awards like outstanding documentary, Honorable mention - feature film, Honorable mention - short documentary, outstanding feature film and others.
As Arabic film festivals are restricted to Arabic culture, the above mentioned film festivals only accept films which are directly or indirectly related to Arabic countries. The film should showcase the economic growth of the country or should facilitate the Arabic culture. Film makers will need to send a copy of their film to the festival's administration office along with an entry form. If the film is short listed, the officials from the festival contact you. If you are applying for the first time, then you should learn the tips for entering film festivals. This will help you in the process.