A film for every feeling, from this land to the world…

Cinemascape in the Middle East is full of promise. Infinite potential, slowly but steadily seeping into the space between us and moving pictures, helmed by powerful forces of filmmaking born and bred in this region. There are many names in the world of regional film – directors and filmmakers who have a wealth of stories to tell, with flair, flourish and passion, and a beating heart wrapped up at the core of it all. It’s time we lend a pair of curious eyes. This is your month in movies – regional film edition.

April 2: Costa Brava, Lebanon by Mounia Akl


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From the mind of Lebanese writer and director Mounia Akl comes the story of the free-spirited Badri family, who find their utopia in a mountain home far away from the claws of corrosive influences of Beirut. All is well, until the beginnings of a landfill pokes its ugly head into their dream. Will they cling on, or will they let go and return to reality?

Cinema Akil in 25Hours, 25Hours Hotel, Apr 2, 9.30pm, @cinemaakil

April 9: Bye Bye Tiberias by Lina Soualem


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Four generations of Palestinian women. Many struggles melded into one. Palestinian-Algerian-French creative Lina Soualem’s second documentary digs deep into the painful roots of Palestinian displacement in her family, witnessed through the feminine lens – humanity, complexity and the fight to keep memories alive.

Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue, until Apr 9, 10.30pm, @cinemaakil

April 15: Three by Nayla Al Khaja

For when you’re feeling brave, Nayla Al Khaja is widely considered the first female Emirati film director, and her first feature film will take you on a journey into the supernatural. This tale of possession, exorcism, skepticism and belief pulls from many local narratives of forces beyond the boundary of our understanding and not all of them good.

Three, in cinemas across the UAE. @thefilmthree

April 22: Naga by Meshal Aljaser

Saudi filmmaker Meshal Aljaser’s debut feature film is a most delightful descent into madness. The Netflix Original follows one rebellious Saudi woman’s chaotic journey back home from a rendezvous out in the desert in an attempt to beat her curfew. Think madcap satire meets a stylish, exhilarating lens that will have you catching your breath.

Naga, available to stream on Netflix. @netflix

Images: Socials