Now in its 10th year, Berlin’s Arab Film Festival explores new ways of telling Arab stories

Berlin's Arab film festival, ALFILM, now in its 10th year, comes to theaters across the city this week. We talked to programmer Claudia Jubeh on how the festival aims to continue telling diverse stories from the Arab world.

Film still from "The Blessed," a film from director Sofia Djama. (c) ALFILM


This week, Berlin’s Arab Film Festival, or ALFILM, will debut its 10th year of programming in theaters across the city. We sat down with the festival programmer, Claudia Jubeh, to talk about film highlights and how representation of the Arab world has changed in cinema since the festival’s inception.

“When we started, we didn’t really have a clue on how to organize a festival,” Jubeh said. “We were just so sure that we needed to see more Arab culture in Berlin.” Initially, that meant showcasing films from Arab filmmakers, with an emphasis on telling stories that defied stereotypes typically applied to Arab countries.

But the team behind the festival is continuing to evaluate what it means to create thoughtful films about Arab people and cultures. This year, for instance, marks the first time ALFILM is featuring work in its official selection from European directors.

“We felt that when we open up a platform for Arab directors to tell stories about Europe, we should also be open to European directors telling stories from the Arab world,” Jubeh said.


Posted by Alfilm – Arab Film Festival Berlin on Tuesday, April 2, 2019


ALFILM runs from April 3 through April 10.

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