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Program (2021 edition)

N'sibi (2014) نسيبي

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“The Brother In Law” is a powerful and tender film depicting the daily struggles of trans people in modern Algeria through the prism of Habiba’s story. Set in the suburbs of Setif in Algeria, Ali, a young man from the lower class leads a dull, narrow and isolated life. One evening, he is forced to give his sister-in-law a ride home, and in doing so, discovers the atrocities she has to endure as a result of being a trans woman. Hassene’s film expertly challenges western representation of North African/Muslim LGBTQ+ folks as socially alienated through Habiba’s character, a fearless transgender woman who lives her life regardless of societal norms and expectations.

Directed by Hassene Belaïd

The Great Safae (2014) صفاء الكبيرة

Maroufi’s La Grande Safae portrays the life of Safae, a transgender maid, telling her story through the real and imagined stories of the people who knew her.


The film experiments with the limits and tensions of identity that exist in the real or imaginary life of a transgender person in Morocco. The central character of Safae works as a servant for Maroufi’s family, and Maroufi bases her film on this real figure. However, the artist blurs reality and imagination in the film, featuring conflicting stories of family members about Safae’s “true” identity. Each one describes Safae in a way that blurs and distorts the stories of others. The film recounts the ambiguity of an identity that does not fit into social conventions and narrow familial norms.

Directed by Randa Maroufi

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Half a Life (2017) نصفُ حياة

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A multi-award winning short animated documentary that pairs the intimate narration of a young, Egyptian gay activist with highly stylized animation, bringing the streets of Cairo to life through this firsthand account. He shares with us a traumatizing encounter that prompted him to become a gay-rights activist in the unstable, increasingly dangerous and oppressive social climate in Egypt and his struggle to decide whether to continue to fight for LGBTQ rights in Cairo, the home that he loves, or seek safety in asylum elsewhere.


Directed by Tamara Shogaolu

Hamoody (2021) حمودي

Mahmood (Hamoody) has shackled himself to a life of shame and isolation, fixated on sin. But with University days away, the pressure proves unbearable and he must finally come face to face with a force he has long feared.


Directed by Adam Ali

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The Last Paradise (2019) آخر جنات

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This is the almost-true story of Sami. In Casablanca, he only dreams about dancing and Egyptian divas in the hairdressing salon where he works. Until the day he meets Daniel, a lover who helps him discover Paris in the midst of a gay revolution. Sido Lansari virtuously interweaves archival images and analogue photographs to draw an intimate portrait of a young man from childhood to exile, where he discovers himself coming from the “last homosexual paradise”. 


Directed by Sido Lansari

My Name Is Not Ali (2011) جنة علي

His anti-racist film Ali, Fear Eats Soul (1973) gained German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder international acclaim. The protagonist, an Arab foreign worker, was played by Moroccan El Hedi Ben Salem M'barek Mohammed Mustafa, Fassbinder's lover at that time. While the film itself courageously deals with the racism of post-war German society, its makers reproduced the insensibility and invention of the Other, fantasizing their own 'Salem'. Collage-like, through interviews and archive material, My Name Is Not Ali uncovers the invention of El Hedi Ben Salem by the Fassbinder troupe, an image not revised by most of its members till today.


Directed by Viola Shafik

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Upon The Shadow (2017) في الظل

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An eye-opening documentary that follows the life of Amina Sboui (former Femen) and the community of LGBTQ friends she houses in her Tunisian home. Amina - unwittingly - creates a real refuge for Sandra, Ramy, Ayoub and Atef, and takes their defense as she did for women. It is through the daily life of the inhabitants of this refuge that we immerse ourselves without filter into the deep distress of the LGBT community in Tunisia.

Directed by Nada Mezni Hafaiedh

The Art of Sin (2020) 

Ahmed Umar is a successful young Sudanese artist, living and working in Norway, where he has been living for the past ten years after fleeing from Sudan. Struggling with his sexuality, Ahmed was forced to leave his home country, which is one of seven countries that still practice the death penalty for homosexuality. In Norway, Ahmed Umar has affirmed his sexual identity, becoming the first openly gay man from Sudan, he is also one of the most successful up and coming young artists, exhibiting throughout galleries in Norway, and internationally. 
But despite the success, he is still missing something. In 2018 he decides to go home to reunite with his mother and his family, hoping to affirm his Sudanese identity in a country that sees him as a sinner. Film director Ibrahim Mursal follows Ahmed back home to discover if the country that he did leave will accept him, and will he meet his family again ?


Directed by Ibrahim Mursal

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100% of donations received by the festival were distributed among organizations in the region that strive to provide essential aid and services to LGBTQ + people in North Africa with a portion of the proceeds will go to support cultural and artistic initiatives in the region that cater primarily to the local queer community.

The Last Paradise
My Name Is Not Ali
The Great Safae
Upon The Shadow
Half a Life
The Art Of Sin
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