Soura Film Festival

Soura Film Festival Q***r SWANA Film Festival | Berlin Soura Film Festival is a q***r film festival that sheds light on cinematic talents from the SWANA region. Soura—which means ‘image’ in Arabic, is about sharing a vision of life that is poignant, defiant, and unique.

Our mission is to create a safe and welcoming space for filmmakers whose creative vision has challenged heteronormativity and patriarchal environments, and have explored q***rness and what it represents to them. Q***rness, as seen by the festival, is not exclusive to efforts related to the LGBTQ+ community, but also tackles themes such as feminism, migration and human relationships that defy oppre

Our mission is to create a safe and welcoming space for filmmakers whose creative vision has challenged heteronormativity and patriarchal environments, and have explored q***rness and what it represents to them. Q***rness, as seen by the festival, is not exclusive to efforts related to the LGBTQ+ community, but also tackles themes such as feminism, migration and human relationships that defy oppre

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The connections we make with people who share our passion and the initiatives we come across, are part of what we love m...
03/07/2021

The connections we make with people who share our passion and the initiatives we come across, are part of what we love most about what we do.
Honoured to have met this inspiring group of queer youth from @bdp_thueringen. We spoke about the past editions of @sourafilmfest, representation and the importance of activism in this day and age.

The connections we make with people who share our passion and the initiatives we come across, are part of what we love most about what we do.
Honoured to have met this inspiring group of queer youth from @bdp_thueringen. We spoke about the past editions of @sourafilmfest, representation and the importance of activism in this day and age.

A catwalk. Heavy beat music. And a bunch of handsome men strutting. Sharif Waked’s iconic 2003 short film ‘Chic Point: F...
02/07/2021

A catwalk. Heavy beat music. And a bunch of handsome men strutting. Sharif Waked’s iconic 2003 short film ‘Chic Point: Fashion For Israeli Checkpoints’ explores in the most peculiar way the daily struggles that Palestinian men have to go through at Israeli checkpoints.

But Waked doesn’t stop here. Choosing to ignore the sensational representation of Palestinian men being only victims of military inspection, the filmmaker turns its fierce men into objects of desire, putting them in several slaying, albeit unconventional outfits, baring their upper body part at moments as a metaphor of the common practice of having Palestinian men lift their shirts up to ensure the fact that they’re not strapped with explosives.

While many filmmakers, and the media, choose to dramatically (yet rightfully) to highlight the conditions of Palestinian women and children, Sharif Waked celebrates the nation’s men, who are often expected to be martyrs, who are stripped of their own choices of freedom of the body and body politics, who are expected to be resilient without having a say in it, and gives them this walk of fame, where all eyes are on them, for all the right reasons.

#ICYMI Submissions are still open for Soura Film Festival’s 3rd edition and our late deadline is on July 06.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Opening with a voice over of a candid conversation between two women about men and power, over a shot that goes across a...
25/06/2021

Opening with a voice over of a candid conversation between two women about men and power, over a shot that goes across a crowd gazing at the camera, full of opiniona, Nadia Fares’ ‘Honey and Ashes’, released in 1996, denounces the power of judgement that women go through in our region from the very beginning.

Surprisingly colorful and rather scored in an upbeat way, Fares’ film explores patriarchal violence without holding back, even making its viewers feel a danger, that same danger most women, who don’t abide by patriarchal rules, go through.

The weight of traditions is crushing, sometimes turning women against their own kind. But for those who refuse to conform, it’s a constant fight, and ‘Honey and Ashes’ paints it honestly.

‘Honey and Ashes’ is streaming on @aflamuna until the end of the weekend, as part of @cinemalfouad_beirut. Do not miss it!
LINK IN THEIR BIO.

#ICYMI Submissions are still open for Soura Film Festival’s 3rd edition and our late deadline is on July 06.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

‘A deflowered woman is like yesterday’s couscous. It turns my stomach.’ One of the many ramblings comparing women to foo...
20/06/2021

‘A deflowered woman is like yesterday’s couscous. It turns my stomach.’ One of the many ramblings comparing women to food, shaming them for being sex positive, in Fatima Jebli Ouazzani’s documentary ‘In My Father’s House’, released in 1997.

Ouazzani left her father’s house in Morocco sixteen years ago to eacape the constraints her culture and its traditions have put on women. She returns now to confront those traditions her own family, and herself.

Beautifully shot and narrated, eerily scored, Ouazzani’s film makes its viewer feel like they’re dangerously peeking into someone’s very intimate moments, hoping not to get caught at any moment. There’s a haunting sense of danger lurking the whole time, which is very fitting with the portrayed women’s constant state of mind; men have all the power, they have complete disregard to women’s feelings and needs, the weight of traditions is overwhelming, and women have to fight or leave in order to regain freedom of their bodies. Father’s house is not a safe space for these women.

Do not miss the last screening of ‘In My Father’s House’ today on @aflamuna as part of @cinemalfouad_beirut.

#ICYMI Submissions are still open for Soura Film Festival’s 3rd edition and our late deadline is on July 06.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Randa Maroufi’s short film ‘The Great Safae’ walks the fine line between fiction, experimental and documentary, and is i...
13/06/2021

Randa Maroufi’s short film ‘The Great Safae’ walks the fine line between fiction, experimental and documentary, and is inspired by true events.

Released in 2014, Maroufi’s directorial effort tells the story of a character known as ‘The Great Safae’, a transvestite who spent his life working as a domestic servant for a family that was completely unaware of his ‘true’ sexual identity.

Shot in a series of beautiful paintings, the movie invites us to delve into the world of Safae doing mundane chores, fiercely standing out even when blending in with the scenery. Conversations of the family regarding Safae’s identity can be heard as voice overs, ranging from rambling gossip to sheer fascination, subtly asserting the role of traditions, and therefore patriarchy, in forcing queer people to hide their identities, and therefore their bodies.

Do not miss the last screening of ‘The Great Safae’ today on @aflamuna as part of @cinemalfouad_beirut.

#ICYMI Submissions are still open for Soura Film Festival’s 3rd edition and our late deadline is on July 06.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

French-Algerian filmmaker Nadir Moknèche’s ‘Lola Pater’, released in 2017, brings out yet again the best of Fanny Ardant...
07/06/2021

French-Algerian filmmaker Nadir Moknèche’s ‘Lola Pater’, released in 2017, brings out yet again the best of Fanny Ardant, an actress that has cemented her status as an icon among queer film enthusiasts.

Following his mother’s death, Zino decides to find his father, Farid. But 25 years ago, Farid became Lola.

Beautifully filmed, painted with colorful, Mediterranean tones, this somewhat twist on the prodigal son tale is brought to life thanks to Moknèche’s sensibility in the way he directs his actors, and the maturity they end up reaching in their work. But it’s also mostly a compelling, albeit careful, critique of patriarchy and heteronormative takes on parenthood and gender roles. And Fanny Ardant’s nuanced, graceful performance of a fierce Lola is just the cherry on top of the cake.

#ICYMI Submissions are still open for Soura Film Festival’s 3rd edition and our late deadline is on July 06.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Bani Khoshnoudi’s ‘Fireflies’, released in 2018, is a story of exile and longing.When Ramin hid in a cargo leaving from ...
31/05/2021

Bani Khoshnoudi’s ‘Fireflies’, released in 2018, is a story of exile and longing.
When Ramin hid in a cargo leaving from Turkey, after fleeing persecution for being gay from Iran, he never expected to end up in Veracruz of all places.
Doing small jobs in order to be able to leave some day, losing touch with his partner whom he left back home, Ramin is stuck in a city searching for an identity, filled with people like him whose only goal is to leave it for a better life.

’Fireflies’ is a story of a man lost in limbo, constantly torn between his dark past and a future of uncertainty. And most of all, a man searching for love in all the wrong places.
It’s a story of a quest for identity, but how can one find their true identity when they don’t know where they’re heading?

#ICYMI Submissions are still open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Ever since he broke the taboo about homosexuality in his debut feature film ‘Man of Ashes’, released in 1986, which was ...
12/05/2021

Ever since he broke the taboo about homosexuality in his debut feature film ‘Man of Ashes’, released in 1986, which was screened in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section at the Cannes Film Festival, Tunisian filmmaker Nouri Bouzid has been studying and dissecting the human condition and taboos in society, and his critique of the sexual djihad, ‘The Scarecrows’, released in 2019, is no different. Set in Tunisia, the movie follows Zina and Djo, 2 women who were sequestered & raped by ISIS, and their lawyer Nadia, as they try to find some sense in their lives after the ordeal they went through. Surprisingly colorful, filled with blink-and-you-miss-it political references, Bouzid’s evocative effort tears down religious extremism, patriarchy, family, and all the horrors they inflict on women. It challenges the nuances of Halal, to the point of questioning the whole concept, and makes it a point in advocating for the only thing that matters: a woman’s autonomy over her body and her pride in it.

#ICYMI Submissions are now open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

In Kai Kreuser’s ‘Label Me’, released in 2019, Waseem, a Syrian sex worker seeking asylum in Cologne, meets Lars, for wh...
02/05/2021

In Kai Kreuser’s ‘Label Me’, released in 2019, Waseem, a Syrian sex worker seeking asylum in Cologne, meets Lars, for what it was supposed to be just a hookup. Waseem has his rules, Lars wants more, and some turn of events invites them both to share more than just a ‘one-night-stand’.
While Kreuser’s film in no way undermines the hardships of being a refugee and the layers of homophobia they have to deal with, it is more bent on examining Waseem’s situation from a personal point of view, going into his doubts and fears, and eventually Lars’ as well, for that matter. Waseem’s fear of ‘everything’, and of being himself, and Lars’ worries about his loneliness, lead us to both characters’ fear of the inevitable, and of what might happen when you shed too much skin.
In a world of turmoil where everything is inevitable, Waseem’s power comes from his autonomy over his body, hence his rules.
‘Label Me’ is a movie about sex as power, unusual friendships, and the fears that come with one’s identity.

#ICYMI Submissions are now open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Tunisian-born filmmaker Mehdi Hajri’s (@hmehdihajri) short film ‘The Sun Will Rise’, released in 2018, is a melancholic ...
24/04/2021

Tunisian-born filmmaker Mehdi Hajri’s (@hmehdihajri) short film ‘The Sun Will Rise’, released in 2018, is a melancholic look into the complexity of relationships, when too much is at stake.
Omar and Bahri’s special bond, already put at test because of financial woes, hits a bump with the arrival of Sonia, who is ready to have things go her way. Three fallen angels’ descent into a world of voyeurism, sex and money, but above all love, and the utopia behind the latter. Reality hits different when we’re no longer up in the clouds.
Beautifully shot and scored, Hajri’s directorial effort unmasks the other, ugly face of love; relationships are not a war, there are no winners and losers, and the sun will always rise.

#ICYMI Submissions are now open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Anyone familiar with Corine Shawi’s (@corineshawi) impressive documentary work knows the importance that women play in h...
18/04/2021

Anyone familiar with Corine Shawi’s (@corineshawi) impressive documentary work knows the importance that women play in her essays about the fragility of human condition. She has tactfully filmed the daily lives of domestic workers in ‘Les Bonnes Femmes’, considered the body and genre in ‘Daniela’, and the limits of friendship in ‘Oxygène’. Her latest documentary feature ‘e muet’, released in 2013, follows the stories of 2 women from 2008 till 2013. Nanou’s first true love story comes to an abrupt end. Rajwa treads carefully into a monogamous relationship. Shawi candidly admits she entered their world to find answers to her own questions, only to introduce us to new forms of love.

Carefully filmed with beautiful angles that allow the women to be vulnerable, stripping them of the pedestal that society has always insisted to put them on, Shawi’s ‘e muet’ not only manages to paint a series of poetic portraits noted by some expressive silent moments and nostalgic musical cues, but also and most importantly creates a safe space for these women that allows them to unabashedly open up. They flirt with the camera, playfully leading the conversation, addressing unspoken words at times. They discuss their fears, doubts, longing and belonging. The complexity of female desires allows us to delve into the complexity of relationships, and their effect on one’s idea of home. ‘e muet’ candidly highlights the importance of a safe space for women in order to feel at home in their own relationships, and reclaim their own stories.

#ICYMI Submissions are now open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Finnish-British writer/director Mikko Mäkelä's debut feature film ‘A Moment in the Reeds’, released in 2017, is an edgy ...
09/04/2021

Finnish-British writer/director Mikko Mäkelä's debut feature film ‘A Moment in the Reeds’, released in 2017, is an edgy gay love story that was often superficially compared to Francis Lee’s ‘God’s Own Country’, released around the same time.
Leevi, a young university student, returns to Finland from Paris to help his estranged, conservative father renovate the family lakehouse. He meets Tareq, a Syrian refugee, hired by his father to also help with renovation. The two bond quickly and strike up an idyllic, albeit heartbreaking summer romance.

Shot on a budget, through private companies and indiegogo, ‘A Moment in the Reeds’ uses its budgetary limitations as an asset and an artistic exercise in creatively solving financial restraints. Casting gay actors to play gay characters is also definitely a decision to be celebrated.
Yet the movie’s main selling point is the beautiful way it uses language as a character on its own. An unusual feat for a Finnish movie, most of the dialogue is in English because it is the only language in common for the 2 main protagonists. Tareq, an architect by profession, was forced to flee a war-torn Syria, and Leevi, a prodigal son planning on staying in Paris in order to avoid military service, end up having more in common, and a language barrier is of no importance as long as the main language spoken is the language of love.
A heartbreakingly heartfelt debut feature about the power of communication.

#ICYMI Submissions are now open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

Following an impressive resume as a screenwriter in France, Mehdi Ben Attia’s award-winning debut feature film ‘The Stri...
04/04/2021

Following an impressive resume as a screenwriter in France, Mehdi Ben Attia’s award-winning debut feature film ‘The String’, released in 2009, was yet another vision of the Tunisian helmer’s own debate about the idea of home and how to define it. A man struggling with anxiety, another man resenting his decision to return to Tunisia from France, and an overbearing mother make up this heartfelt movie that calls out the weight of traditions in conservative Tunisia and their effects on people’s acceptance with their own identities before sharing it with the world. A relatable tale to any queer Arab who had to flee their country for the search of a better life, ‘The String’ questions the notion of home and challenges it, before bargaining and coming to terms with it.

#ICYMI Submissions are now open for our third edition of Soura Film Festival.
LINK IN OUR BIO.

#SouraFilmFest #Film #Queer #Cinema #QueerBerlin #BerlinFilmSociety #Berlin #QueerCinema #QueerSWANA #QueerArabs

They have been front and center in every revolution involving the queer community, yet they have benefited the least fro...
31/03/2021

They have been front and center in every revolution involving the queer community, yet they have benefited the least from our small wins. They helped instigating every positive change in our grueling journey, yet they still can’t properly celebrate it. The time for mere awareness is over; it is time for action now. It is our duty now to fight for their rights, and to actively stand with them. On Trans Visibility Day, we should pledge to help our trans siblings in every possible way, and honor their priceless contribution to our constant fight.

We had the pleasure of screening these films about trans stories in the SWANA region at our second edition of Soura Film Festival last year.

- ‘Meanwhile in Beirut’ by Felipe Monroy
- ‘All Monsters Are Human’ by Helen Spooner & Hugh Davies
- ‘Reset’ by Ali Shams
- ‘Cinema Al Fouad’ by Mohamed Soueid
- ‘Lola & Billy The Kid’ by Kutluğ Ataman

#TransVisibilityDay #SouraFilmFest

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I have two tickets for Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life for tonight. PM if you are interested please.