San Diego Arab Film Festival

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San Diego Arab Film Festival

In-person presentation of feature length and short films from and about the Arab world at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

When and where


Museum of Photographic Arts 1649 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101

Map and directions

How to get there

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

About this event

  • 9 days 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

San Diego Arab Film Festival is Back for Its 12th Year!

The San Diego Arab Film Festival is back for 2023 with live, in-person presentations of feature length and short films at the Museum of Photographic Arts. The Festival will open on Friday, March 3, and present 8 screenings, each showcasing one feature film and one short film, from across the Arab World.

Each evening, the Festival will also offer cafeteria-style Arabic dinner.

Feature Films

The Festival opening night will feature the Palestinian film Alam, winner of the Best Film, Best Actor and Audience Awards at the Cairo International Film Festival. The following nights will showcase 2 other Oscar submissions, Tunisia's Under the Fig Trees and Palestine's Mediterranean Fever, as well as 5 other internationally recognized films. From the Arab Diaspora the Festival will present Jacir (filmed in Memphis, Tennessee) directed by Waheed AlQawasmi. The Festival will also showcase Life Suits Me Well from Morocco, Our River...Our Sky from Iraq, Memory Box from Lebanon and France and The Dam from Sudan.

Short Films

This year the Festival offers short films from across the Arab world representing a range of styles and genres. The final line up includes films that have been screened at Cannes as well as other international festivals. They include Hibernate and From the Mountain from Syria, Merge from Saudi Arabia, Ashes (Cendres) fromTunisia, Bouchaib from Morocco, Warsha from Lebanon, Hamza: Chasing the Ghost Chasing Me. from Palestine and Virtual Voice from Sudan and Qatar.

Tickets for individual screenings are $15 (discounted to $10 for students). Three-screening packages are available for $40 and passes for all 8 screenings for $80. Arabic dinners (including vegetarian option) will be available each evening for $15.


7:30 PM

March 3: Alam (feature) & Ashes (Cendres) (short)

Alam: Tamer and his friends lead a typical Palestinian student's life -- until the beautiful Maysaa arrives. To please her, Tamer agrees to take part in a mysterious operation on the eve of Israel's ...

6:15 PM

March 4: The Dam (feature) & Hibernate (short)

The Dam: Sudan, near the Merowe Dam. Maher works in a traditional brickyard fed by the waters of the Nile. Every evening, he secretly wanders off into the desert to build a mysterious construction ma...

8:30 PM

March 4: Memory Box (feature) & Bouchaib (short)

Memory Box: Maia, a single mother, lives in Montreal with her teenage daughter, Alex. On Christmas Eve, they receive an unexpected delivery: notebooks, tapes, and photos Maia sent to her best friend ...

7:30 PM

March 10: Our River...Our Sky (feature) & Hamza: Chasing the Ghost Chasing Me

Our River...Our Sky: In a typically mixed Baghdadi neighborhood, the stories of a novelist and her neighbors unfold and intersect, as their lives are torn apart by extreme sectarian violence while ni...

6:15 PM

March 11: Under the Fig Trees (feature) & Warsha (short)

Under the Fig Trees: In northwest Tunisia, young women work the summer harvest. Under the gaze of older workers and men, they flirt, tease, argue. Throughout the day, the orchard becomes a theater of...

8:30 PM

March 11: Jacir (feature) & From the Mountain (short)

Jacir: From Aleppo to the Ghetto. JACIR, is a look at the divisiveness of U.S. politics through the eyes of a Syrian refugee (Malek Rahbani) as he faces the hard truth of chasing the American dream o...

5:30 PM

March 12: Life Suits Me Well (feature) & Virtual Voice (short

Life Suits Me Well: It is the mid-1990s. In a small town in the north of Morocco, Fouad is the only employee of the local post office. When he is stricken from neurological disease, his life changes,...

7:45 PM

March 12: Mediterranean Fever (feature) & Merge (short)

Mediterranean Fever: In this wry, absurdist tale of mid-life restlessness, husband and father Waleed dreams of becoming a successful novelist yet is plagued by a severe case of writer’s block. Neithe...