Aida Schläpfer Al Hassani
Aida Schläpfer Al Hassani - IAFFZ President - Festival Co-Director

Dear festival visitors, dear friends of the Arab Film Festival Zurich

Once again, the Arab Film Festival brings filmmaking from the Arab world to Zurich: Its line-up offers 36 feature-length and short films providing exciting insights into this diverse culture.

Our biennial festival is celebrating a modest anniversary this year – this is already its 5th edition. It comes with several innovations: For the first time, there will be a competition; a jury of experts – consisting of three women – will select two award winners from among the 15 new feature-length films. Furthermore, the festival will last eleven consecutive, intense days, to allow for more personal exchanges – something we long for especially in times of Corona.

Thematically, the festival offers very broad range: films about the life plans of headstrong and feisty women; about love and betrayal; about family, tradition and the attempt to come to terms with these; about dealing with the past; about personal integrity and the pursuit of happiness in a corrupt, broken system; about war and its effects on the lives of individuals. We want our festival to give more visibility to filmmaking from this part of the world and to the people it depicts, and to bring them closer to the audience. Of course, we hope that the current circumstances will allow filmmakers to present their films personally in Zurich.

In this edition of the festival, the focus countries are Morocco and Tunisia. Our line-up includes Moroccan and Tunisian film classics, and in two panel discussions, we will learn more about the cinema of these two countries.

Once again, this Festival can take place only because public institutions, foundations and private individuals support it with generous contributions. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them. We would also like to thank the festival team and the countless cinephiles and volunteers who helped with the preparations and will be at work during the festival to ensure its success.

We wish you all great cinematic experiences and inspiring encounters at the 5th Arab Film Festival Zurich!

Corinne Siegrist-Oboussier
Corinne Siegrist-Oboussier - Director of Filmpodium - Festival Co-Director