Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 15 October 2019: As part of its corporate citizenship efforts endorsing creativity and cultural understanding through art, Crescent Enterprises is supporting the annual Arabian Sights Film Festival in the US for the fifth consecutive year.
Crescent Enterprises’ advocacy is in line with the Festival’s mission of offering insights into the heritage, diversity and rich culture of the Arab world, by presenting entertaining and provocative films from the region.
Taking place in Washington DC on October 18-27, the 24th Arabian Sights Film Festival is headlined by Arab Blues, winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Audience Award and It Must be Heaven, winner of the Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize.
Held under the umbrella of the Washington DC International Film Festival (Filmfest DC) and presented by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, the Arabian Sights Film Festival showcases films that explore the complex realities and issues facing the Arab region, as seen through the eyes of Arab filmmakers. Select guest film directors will be present at screenings, sharing unique insight into the filmmaking process, and helping give audiences a deeper understanding of Arab society and culture.
Ola Al haj Hussin, Corporate Citizenship Manager, Crescent Enterprises, commented:
“Through the arts and films, we can build bridges between the Arab region and the rest of the world – presenting a fuller picture of Arabic culture and society, and helping break the stereotypes that are often presented about our world. Since we began supporting the Arabian Sights Film Festival in 2015, there have been higher levels of interest in quality Arab cinema amongst American audiences, and a higher calibre of Arab talent, encouraging local filmmakers to tell their stories in ever-more compelling and innovative ways.”
Arab Blues tells the story of how, after years living abroad, a woman returns to Tunisia, with the dream of opening her own psychotherapy practice. It Must Be Heaven presents a comedy of errors, after a man leaves Palestine in search of an alternative homeland. Other films highlighted at the Arabian Sights Film Festival include Advocate, which was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival, Adam, Morocco’s first Oscar submission by a women director, and Home After War, an Iraqi virtual reality documentary. All films are screened with English subtitles.
Shirin Ghareeb, Director of the Arabian Sights Film Festival and Deputy Director of the Washington, DC International Film Festival, said:
“The Arabian Sights Film Festival presents the newest and finest films from the Arab world each year highlighting the creative and artistic talents of both established as well as rising filmmakers. These films illustrate that the people of the Arab world face the same challenges and have the same hopes and aspirations as other people around the world, further breaking down cultural barriers. The level of interest within the American audience to see quality Arab cinema has been a continuously growing phenomenon. There is a curiosity and a thirst for films that reflect the rich culture and intricate realities of Arab societies and the challenges facing the region.”
The inaugural Arabian Sights Film Festival, presented by Filmfest DC in 1996, was the first Arab film festival presented in the US, and in the years since the festival has featured hundreds of the most outstanding and newest films from around the Arab world.
Many of the films presented at Arabian Sights have gone on to be picked up by national American film distributors, including the Sudanese short Insan and the Yemeni film I Am Nujoom, Age 10 and Divorced. The award-winning Tunisian film Silences of the Palace was also picked up by an American distributor when presented during Filmfest DC.