Queer Middle East and North Africa
Queer Middle East and North Africa
April 1, 12:00 AM – April 30, 11:59 PM
This is a virtual event. All shorts programs will be available between April 1-30, 2021 and all feature films will be available for ten days between April 8-18, 2021.
The MENA identity is one of many faiths, languages, and shared cultural experiences. From quarantine belly dancing to interfaith romancing, join us for queer stories from the Middle East and North Africa. Curated by Beyza Burçak.
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Ayman's date with Jonas gets crashed by his friends Amirah and Samir––which takes a positive turn.
Directed by Naures Sager, 2020, 7 min, Sweden, Arabic, Swedish with English subtitles, G
Directed by Naures Sager 7 m Arabic, Swedish with English subtitles Sweden Comedy
Spring in Autumn
An Iranian woman leaves her husband and travels to Russia. Memories of her World Cup trip come up, as well as an uncomfortable secret...
Directed by Ghasideh Golmaniki, 2020, 8 min, Iran, Persian with English subtitles, L
Directed by Ghasideh Golmaniki 8 m Persian with English subtitles Iran
The Sun Will Rise
Omar and Bahri, long-time friends, who share their desires, their sorrows and their love are about to see their daily life upset by the arrival of a student, Sonia, ready to do anything to achieve her goals.
Directed by Mehdi Hajri, 2018, 36 min, Tunusia, Arabic, French with English subtitles, G
Directed by Mehdi Hajri 36 m Arabic, French with English subtitles Tunusia Drama
In the course of Iran's ban on women's presence in football stadiums, Saba, 22, disguises herself as a boy to sneak into the stadium at her father's suggestion. Her father takes her to a traditional cafe instead of the stadium. Asking her how hard it is to hide her true identity, he lets her—now impersonating a boy—in on the secret that he realized he could not be a man any more when Saba was three, but he had to hide it for years to let his daughter feel like she has a father. On the pretext of helping her enter the stadium, he creates a circumstance where his daughter has to put herself in his shoes, thereby hiding her true identity. He then tells her that he intends to continue living his true self from now on.
Directed by Mohammad Reza Khavari, 2020, 13 min, Iran, Persian with English subtitles, T
Directed by Mohammad Reza Khavari 13 m Persian with English subtitles Iran
Four Lebanese girls go on a ferris wheel ride to make their friend feel better about her breakup. Their conversation drifts to a less fun place.
Directed by Lara Zeidan, 2018, 9 min, Lebanon, Arabic with English subtitles, L
Directed by Lara Zeidan 9 m
NAZEEM is a 26 year old Middle Eastern drag queen who goes by the name QUEEN ZA DREAM. She is preparing for a show with the utmost gravity, with an outfit evocative of an Egyptian deity. Interwoven with this is the story of NAZEEM as a gender-queer 8 year-old boy, and the close bond he has with his Iraqi-Egyptian mother, HALIMA. Whilst flamboyant, and in many ways a drag queen herself on the surface, HALIMA is governed by the strict expectations of gender in Arab society. When a young NAZEEM transgresses these boundaries, HALIMA reacts in a way that is utterly confusing to him. Only through his drag is the adult NAZEEM able to keep sacred the memories of his mother before this painful moment, and hold on to their connection.
Directed by Amrou Al-Kadhi, 2017, 12 min, United Kingdom, Arabic with English subtitles, G
Directed by Amrou Al-Kadhi 12 m Arabic with English subtitles United Kingdom
Yasmine, an openly lesbian Palestinian nurse, finds out that her lover, Or, an intelligence officer in the Israeli army have been reporting on their relationship. Yasmine’s sister arrives for a visit from the West Bank, not knowing that she is going to meet the occupying enemy at her own sister’s house.
Directed by Samira Saraya, 2020, 20 min, Israel, Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles, L
Directed by Samira Saraya 20 m Hebrew with English subtitles Arabic Drama
"My birthday was on the 3rd of April 2020, and for the first time, I celebrated it all by myself. But even if I was alone, I decided to celebrate it as if it’s the last one." This film was made during quarantine.
Directed by Hadi Moussaly, 2020, 5 min, Lebanon, Arabic with English subtitles, G
Directed by Hadi Moussaly 5 m Arabic with English subtitles Lebanon