Eight years ago, the association International Arab Film Festival Zurich IAFFZ approached the Filmpodium of the City of Zurich to create an Arab film festival in and for Zurich. At that time, one crucial goal was to use film as a “bridge for dialogue”.
Right from the start, the festival organizers succeeded in winning over the Zurich audience for this event. The broadly supported association IAFFZ and Filmpodium have reached a large number of people who, by way of the films, have engaged with the Arab world, which often appears foreign to us and whose perception is perhaps also fraught with prejudice. In conversations with filmmakers and representatives of Arab film institutions, the four previous editions of the festival have been able to open up new perspectives for many people and to deepen mutual understanding.
I am very pleased that this collaboration between a private association and the city’s own cinema Filmpodium is now celebrating a small anniversary, and I am looking forward to the films of the 5th Arab Film Festival Zurich.