The Arab Film Festival Berlin: ALFILM circumvents stereotypes to show Arab culture from within

Still from Beauty and the Dogs - (c) Alfilm The Arab Film Festival


In its ninth year of production, ALFILM, Berlin’s Arab film festival is opening Wednesday, April 11 in theaters across the city. We talk with festival programmer, Claudia Jubeh, about how the films are chosen and this year’s unmissable screenings.

For Jubeh, the selection process is “always a discovery,” with a program reflecting the diversity of the region. Jubeh notes that, while they received submissions from around the world, the final selection is made up of  films that “define themselves as coming from the Arab region” because they wanted to use the films to look “from within.” Jubeh says that motivation comes from the realization that Berlin has “very little representation of Arab culture and Arab cinema,” aiming for a festival that “circumvents stereotypes.”

This year’s Spotlight section on the festival will focus on the subject of Arab masculinity, a topic which Jubeh says will dissect “concepts of masculinity and gender.” Jubeh gives us her insider scoop on the not-to-miss film this year: Beauty and the Dogs (La Belle et la meute) by Kaouther Ben Hania.

Photo from Beauty and the Dogs (c) AlFilm