The Stories We Tell

Sunday 10 July, 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

VideOdyssey at Toxteth TV
£5 / Pay What You Can



Part of SAFAR Film Festival

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and SAFAR invite you on a tour of contemporary Arab cinema through a diverse selection of short films which explore the 2022 SAFAR festival theme, ‘The Stories We Tell’.

Will My Parents Come to See Me
2022 | 28’ | short fiction | Somali with English subtitles
Director: Mo Harawe
Country: Somalia, Austria, Germany

An experienced Somali prison officer accompanies a young inmate once again through the procedures of the Somali justice system.

And Then They Burned The Sea

2021 | 13’ | short personal documentary
Director: Majid Al-Remaihi
Country: Qatar
Arabic with English subtitles

And then they burned the sea is an elegiac contemplation on familial memory and loss.

Filmmaker Majid Al-Remaihi ruminates on the experience of witnessing his mother’s gradual and terminal memory loss over the course of many years. Weaving a personal family archive, re-enacted dreams and rituals, the film underlines the promise of cinema as a medium for memories even at their most irretrievable.

2022 | 15’ | short fiction
Director: Dania Bdeir
Countries: France, Lebanon
Arabic with English subtitles

Mohammad is a crane operator working in Beirut. One morning he volunteers to take on one of the tallest and notoriously most dangerous cranes in Lebanon. Away from everyone’s eyes, he is able to live out his secret passion and find freedom.

2021 | 15’ | short fiction
Director: Ahmad Saleh
Countries: Germany, Qatar, Palestine, Jordan
Arabic with English subtitles

The dust of war keeps the eyes sleepless. Night brings peace and sleep to all the people in the broken town. Only the eyes of the mother of the missing child stay resilient. Night has to trick her into sleeping to save her soul.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable
2021 | 9’ | short documentary
Director: Shaima Al-Tamimi
Countries: Yemen/Qatar/United Arab Emirates/United States/Netherlands
Arabic with English subtitles

Don’t get too comfortable is a heartfelt introspective letter to the director’s grandfather. The letter questions the continuous pattern of movement amongst Yemenis in diaspora. The film fuses archival photographs, sourced footage, parallax animation and abstract videos to create an audio-visual body of work that calls attention to the collective feeling of statelessness and sense of being felt by Yemeni (or non-Yemeni) migrants.

Trumpets In The Sky
2021 | 15’ | short fiction
Director: Rakan Mayas
Countries: Belgium/France/Lebanon/Palestine

Boushra, one of the potato-picking girls, returns from a long day of work in the field only to learn that today her childhood will come to an end.

The SAFAR Film Festival is the only festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world. Founded in 2012, SAFAR offers a unique space for audiences to explore and celebrate Arab cinema past, present, and future.

The 2022 edition is an important milestone for the festival. SAFAR is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and is, for the first time, expanding to screen in 7 other UK cities alongside its flagship London festival.

Curated by Rabih El-Khoury, this year’s theme, The Stories We Tell in Arab Cinema, invites you to go back to the very essence of filmmaking: storytelling. Featuring UK premieres, new releases and classics, the film selection explores the devices used by Arab filmmakers to push cinematic boundaries, reclaim overlooked histories, and present new perspectives to audiences both at home and abroad. It sees controversial characters run amok and experimentations in form blend the traditional with the radical. Period pieces bring colonial traumas to the global stage and social issues are inspected through surreal and fantastical lenses.

SAFAR Film Festival: The Stories We Tell in Arab Cinema runs from 1-17 July with screenings in London, Coventry, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester and Plymouth. More films will also be available to watch by donation during the festival dates on the SAFAR website.

View the full programme on



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