Cinema Akil to host 10th edition of Reel Palestine

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The GCC’s only independent cinema, Cinema Akil is set to host the 10th edition of Reel Palestine starting this January 26th until February 4th. During this time, Cinema Akil will be showcasing an array of Palestinian stories, brought to us through the lens of independent and alternative directors and movies. This year’s edition presented by Bayt and supported by Bristol and Advanced Media proposes a visual identity inspired by this year’s visual “the Gaza City shield,” which is symbolic for “rebirth and renewal.”

What to expect?

During these exciting 10 days, it’s no less that 12 feature films and documentaries, as well as a short film program across 24 screenings, “reflecting the resilience, struggles, and triumphs of the Palestinian
” that will be projected, all that accompanied by several activities such as masterclasses, workshops and one of our favourite part, the annual souk.
To open the festival, “The Teacher”, latest feature by Palestinian-British director, Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Farah Nabulsi will be screened, marking its UAE debut. Not only opening but also closing Reel Palestine #10, Nabulsi will be in conversation with William Mullally in an interactive discussion on February 4th.
More select films will also be screened “in the presence of their directors“, some of them further joining the public in virtual Q&A sessions.

Two public non -ticketed outdoor screenings will be available, one happening during the awaited Quoz Arts Fest in the Yard at Alserkal Avenue and the other at Cinema Akil’s new outpost at 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central.

A great list of films will also be shown to support the exploration of the Palestinian narrative such as “Tomorrow’s Freedom” directed by Georgia Scott and Sophia Scott, “Bye Bye Tiberias” a unique documentary directed by Lina Soualem highlighting the life choices of the director’s mother, Hiam Abbass of awarded HBO’s show Succession or “Slingshot Hip -Hop”, a documentary on the emergence of Palestinian Hip-Hop directed by Jacqueline Reem Salloum.

Beyond the screenings, Reel Palestine’s 10th anniversary edition will also invite cinephiles to join
a series of masterclasses and workshops, encouraging them to further understand the Palestinian narrative and offering “unique insights into the cinematic arts.

Workshops will also be available and notably a few from KAVE that has curated several sessions “from Palestinian embroidery to children’s book readings and traditional meals by Haya’s Kitchen” in the hopes of proposing a “multi-generational experience” for the participants.

The Reel Palestine Souk is also making a return, this year as the largest market to date with no less than 50 small local businesses from the region and Palestine amongst which Talleh, Fovero, Art to Heart, Kenar and
more. Homegrown businesses like Dammah, Bait Jafra, Ajdadi Collective, Mishkah and Mistica that will all be exhibiting “Palestinian crafts, books, fashion, spices, food and more.” The souk will be operating on both week-ends.

About the 10th edition of Reel Palestine, Cinema Akil says: “bringing Palestinian stories to the UAE is a heartfelt journey into the untold narratives of the resilience of the Palestinian people. The love for films in the UAE reflects the profound passion driving our festival and this year will be no exception. For this 10-year milestone, the lineup of films is our commitment to sharing the poignant stories of the Palestinian diaspora, offering a cinematic embrace that transcends borders. Amid these unprecedented times, this edition is an impactful statement about the enduring spirit of Palestinians and we hope to build on our solidarity with Gaza through the power of films and supporting Palestinian-based businesses in every way we can.

Meanwhile a spokesperson of Reel Palestine insists that “Reel Palestine is a vessel of emotions; an ode to the powerful
stories and authentic experiences of the Palestinian people. In the face of what’s currently happening
in the region, this edition is a beacon of hope, inviting the UAE audience to feel, and understand the
Palestinian experience (…)

Reel Palestine will run from January 26th to February 4th at Cinema Akil.
You can find more information about the movies and screening times below.

Tickets and calendar are available at