Everything you need to see at Dublin’s Arabic Film Festival (The DAFF)

03 October 2019
Culture, Arab films, The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, The Poetess, The Day I Lost My Shadow, The Tower, Burnout

The Irish showcase includes feature, documentary and animated films from Arab cinema

The sixth annual Dublin Arabic Film Festival (DAFF) kicks off today and it will shine a spotlight on some of the most talented directors of Arabic films over the last few years.

Curated by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father) and Festival Director Zahara Moufid, DAFF will take place at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Dublin’s Temple Bar from Friday, October 4 and Sunday, October 6.

The filmmaking of the Arab-speaking world is remarkably rich and steeped in history, and more and more festivals across the world are celebrating the regions cinematic heritage. Egypt’s recent El Gouna festival and notable Arab wins at TIFF back that up.

The selected films for this year’s festival are representations of the best that current Arabic cinema has to offer.

Here are the five Arabic films that will be screened across DAFF’s three days.

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem

The curtain-raiser to the festival, Muayad Alayan’s drama follows a clandestine affair between a Palestinian deliveryman and an Israeli cafe owner. October 4

The Poetess

Stephanie Brockhaus and Andreas Wolff have crafted a stunning documentary about Saudi poet Hissa Hilal, who stands up to extremism and preaches Islam’s peaceful message. October 5

The Day I Lost My Shadow

Soudade Kaadan's powerful drama tells the story of a pharmacist, Sana, who is separated from her son, Khalil, at the start of the Syrian conflict in 2012. October 5

The Tower

An animated feature film from Norwegian director Mats Grorud, The Tower is set in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon and tells the story of 11-year-old Wardi as she discovers her family’s history from tales passed down by three previous generations, going all the way back to the Nakba of 1948. October 6


Burnout, from Moroccan director Nour Eddine Lakhmari, focuses on the social and economic inequalities that exist across the east-west divide of Casablanca, while at the same time showcasing the beauty of Ad-dar Al-Bida.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film's director and producer Khadija Alami. October 6