The big day is finally here! The entire program for Arab Film Days is now out, and tickets are now for sale!

Av 17. apr 2018

We have searched, watched and worked hard to secure ourselves the best films from and about the Arab world. The result is 21 film, spread over four days that are engaging, touching, enlightening and funny. 

The whole program is HERE!

International favourites

This year’s program is filled with films that have been screened at big international festivals, and have received praise from international film critics. The opening film The Insult won the prize for «Best Actor» at Venice Film Festival and was nominated to an Oscar in the category «Best Foreign Language Film». The Egyptian documentary Amal opened the most prestigious documentary film festival in the world, IDFA, and Beauty and the Dogs from Tunisia was one of few movies that were chosen for one of the main programs at Cannes last year.

Entertainment at the core

Among our fictions we have a lot of movies that should first and foremost entertain. If you would like to see a true tribute to «the king of pop» we strongly recommend  Sheikh Jackson, while The Blessed is a brilliant family story from Algeria about how the tragic past and the oppression of the present affect our most intimate relations. Razzia is an epic and magnificent array of stories about racism, discrimination and being different, while The Nile Hilton Incident is something as rare as a thriller-driven crime noir from Egypt.

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This year’s guests

We are incredibly happy that we have the director behind The Insult, Ziad Doueiri, as our main guest at this year’s festival. Doueiri is from Lebanon, but has studied film in the US where he among other things has worked as a camera assistant at several of Quentin Tarantino’s films. Doueiri debuted as director with the autobiographical film West Beirut (1998), which was celebrated by film critics around the world. In addition to The Insult we are screening West Beirut and The Attack during the festival. Mohamed Siam, from Egypt, is a director, producer and film photographer. Amal, his second movie, received the honour of opening IDFA in 2017, and has its Norwegian premiere at the festival.

In addition, we will be visited by Nizam Najar who grew in Syria, Libya and Sudan, but moved to Norway with his family in 2002. He is behind the documentary Aleppo's fall, which also had its world premiere at IDFA in November. Omer Alkateb is 24 years old, born and raised in Syria. Omer came to Norway in September 2016, and lives and works in Bergen. He will come to Arab Film Days in connection with the documentary Mr Gay Syria, which gives us an insight to the LGBTI-society in Istanbul, and how life as a LGBTI-refugee is. 

Powerful documentaries

This year’s programme consists of a number of documentaries about the political and social development in the Arab world. Of Fathers and Sons follows a jihadist group fighting in northern Syria and is a unique portrait of the war from close range. The Judge portrays how it is to be the first and only female sharia judge in the Middle East, while a film such as Mr Gay Syria shows how homosexuality and sexuality are still taboo in big parts of the Arab world.

Palestine at focus

This year we also focus on films that thematise Palestine from different angles. The Oslo Diaries tells the story about the Oslo Accords through the diaries to the participants of the negotiations. Wajib focuses on the life of very ordinary people during the occupation, while Occupied Palestine takes us back to the early 80’s and gives a fascinating insight to into how Palestinians looked at the future more than 30 years ago. Ziad Doueiris The Insult is about the situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, while , The Attack from the same director, is a psychological drama about a seemingly well-integrated Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, whose life suddenly turns around when his wife is suspected of suicide attack. Overall, these films offer a fresh and exciting perspective on one of the world's most difficult conflicts.

Discussions and conversations:

Arab Film days consist of more than just movies. After certain screenings there will be panel-discussions and conversations, where we will be discussing current thematics tied to the films. Here is an overview;


After the screening of  The Oslo Diaries

Friday 20/4 6.15 PM, Vika 1

20 years after the Oslo Accords was concluded, the hope of an end to occupation and lasting peace in Israel and Palestine seems more remote than ever. What needs to be in place to get real negotiations, and what is the way for them to succeed? The discussion will take place in accordance with the screening of  The Oslo Diaries, in cooperation with the Nobel Peace Center.

Buy tickets for the screening here!


After the screening of Of Fathers and Sons

Sunday 22/4 3.45 PM, Vika 2

Who is fighting against Bashar Al-Assad in Syria today? How would a righteous peace in Syria look like from their perspective, and what must be in place for a long-term peaceful solution? The discussion will take place at Vikakjelleren, after the screening of Of Fathers and Sons, in cooperation with The Norwegian Peace Council.

Buy tickets for the screening here!


After the screening of Mr Gay Syria

 Saturday 21/4 4.15 PM, Vika 1 

What is it like to be a queer refugee? Syrian Omer Alkateb came to Norway in 2016, and is a guest at the festival. Skeiv Verden will have a conversation with Omer at Vikakjelleren after the screening of Mr Gay Syria.

Buy tickets to the screening here!


After the screening of The Insult

Saturday 21/4 1PM, Vika 1

After the screening of The Insult, the multicultural committee at Norwegian PEN, represented by Elisabeth Eide and Nisrin Maktabi Barkouki will have a conversation with Ziad Doueiri about censorship and self-censorship for artists in Arab countries. The conversation is organized in cooperation with Norwegian PEN.

Buy tickets for the screening here!


After the screening of The Judge

Saturday 21/4 6:30 PM, Vika 2

Often, Islam and feminism are presented as two contradictions, but what is the relationship between the two? Can Islam be feminist and feminism can be Islamic? And can you be part of a state governed by the rule of Sharia law while being feminist? The conversation will take place at Vikakjelleren after the screening of The Judge, in cooperation with Minotenk.

Buy tickets for the screening here!

At our program webpage, you will find a quick overview of what we are showing during the festival. Click at the movies to read more about them and see when they will be screened. Tickets can be bought either directly from our webpage or though Nordisk Film Kino.

You will find more information about tickets here.