For the past six years, the San Diego Arab Film Festival has piggybacked off its sister fest in San Francisco. The same can’t be said of festival seven. Not only will they be flying solo, the organizers have doubled down by adding a second weekend and a second venue. This year’s SDAFF will take place on October 20-21 at the Museum of Photographic Arts and October 28-29 at the AMC Mission Valley.
The lineup boasts nine features and eight short films from Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, the United States, and France. According to festival rep Stephanie Jennings, the goal has always been, “a festival that’s a major cultural event, one that enhances the identity, perception, and understanding of Arabs and the Arab world. We want to present a richer, more diverse view than the one generally on display.”
There will also be more filmmakers in attendance than in years past. Two of the festival guests include director Carol Mansour and producer Muna Khalidi, whose Stitching Palestine documents the importance that the art of embroidery plays in the lives of Palestinian women.
And for the first time in festival history, a feature produced and directed by a pair of local filmmakers has found a home on the schedule. Andy Trimlett and co-director Ahlam Muhtaseb’s 1948: Creation and Catastrophe is a documentary portrait of the establishment of the state of Israel as seen through the eyes of the people who lived it.
General admission tickets are $11.37 with a student rate of $6.24. Equally arbitrary service fees apply to discount screening packs and an all-festival pass.