Save the dates…

Attention cinephiles – The Reel Palestine Film Festival is returning to Dubai this month and the we’re already buzzing for what’s to come. The annual festival will be making a comeback for a 10th edition, and will take place from January 26 to February 4, coinciding with Quoz Arts Fest.

Brought to you by resident alternative cinema champion Cinema Akil in Alserkal Avenue, Reel Palestine Film Festival is a celebration of Palestinian stories told for the silver screen and has been shining the spotlight on the hidden tales of the Palestinian people for 10 seasons now. This season will be all about the resilience, struggles, and triumphs of the Palestinian experience.

The festival screens alternative and independent films, giving local and regional talent a platform to showcase their work and garner an audience. Alongside the panorama of films, there will also be a series of masterclasses, workshops, talent Q&As, and the annual souk including Palestinian-based concepts.


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The details

The festival will have 16 films spread across 23 screenings, opening with festival veteran Farah Nabulsi’s award-winning feature, The Teacher, starring actor Saleh Bakri. Some more of the films slated to be screened at the festival are as follows:

  • Lyd – directed by Rami Younis and Sarah Ema Friedland
  • Tomorrow’s Freedomdirected by Georgia Scott and Sophia Scott
  • Bye Bye Tiberias – directed by Lina Soualem
  • Here & Elsewhere – directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Groupe Dziga Vertov, and Anne-Marie Miévillem
  • Slingshot Hip-Hop – directed by Jacqueline Reem Salloum
  • Foragersdirected by Jumana Manna
  • Three Promises – directed by Yousef Srouji
  • We No Longer Prefer Mountains – directed by Inas Halabi
  • Aida Returns – by the multi-award-winning director Carol Mansour
  • Notes on Displacement – directed by Khaled Jarrarr
  • R21 aka Restoring Solidarity – directed by Mohanad Yaqubi

Tickets and things

Tickets to Reel Palestine are priced at Dhs52.50 (excluding VAT), excluding the entry fee needed for the Quoz Arts Fest on January 27 and 28, and are available to purchase at, along with the complete festival calendar. Schedules for the screenings could change, so make sure to keep an eye out on the website to stay up to date in case a change is made.

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There will be two non-ticketed outdoor screenings open to the public, taking place during Quoz Arts Fest in the Yard at Alserkal Avenue and at Cinema Akil’s new outpost at 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central.

Expanding horizons

It’s the perfect experience for not just all the lovers of good film and cinema, but also those of us who are looking to learn more about Palestine, its people and its cause, especially in light of the ongoing happenings in Gaza. The festival will raise awareness and enable the audience to educate themselves.

Cinema Akil in 25hours, the art house’s newest seasonal outpost, has been screening celebrations of Palestinian pop culture and Black history and empowerment in the first stint of programming, as part of the cinema’s ongoing commitment to being the platform where the untold stories of the region are told loud and proud. That’s another spot to visit to learn more.

Other ways to help

Dialogue and discourse are the best ways to help right now, but there are other ways in Dubai you can contribute as well. For a list of brands and labels donating profits to Gaza, visit here. For more information on donating and volunteering, visit here.


Images: Supplied