Safar Film Festival 2016

The third edition of the biennial Safar Film Festival brings contemporary Arab cinema to the ICA

The third edition of the biennial Safar Film Festival brings contemporary Arab cinema to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

Founded in 2012 by the Arab British Centre in association with the ICA, the Safar Film Festival is a weeklong celebration of contemporary Arab cinema. Its third instalment, which runs this September, features UK premieres, special events and a forum.

In the run-up to the launch, Safar has opened a Kickstarter campaign to help secure the festival's future, which includes an engagement programme and a 2017 tour to other British cities.

This year's festival, curated by the film and art writer Rasha Salti, features work from across the Middle East and North Africa. The festival opens with Before the Summer Crowds, the final feature by the taboo-busting Egyptian-British director Mohamed Khan, who died this July.

Safar 2016 gives especial focus on first-time filmmakers from North Africa. Fares Naanaa's Borders of Heaven shows tragedy tear a Tunisian party apart, while Salem Brahimi's Let Them Come delves into the violence of 1990s Algeria. Leyla Bouzid's Open My Eyes, which won two prizes at the Venice Festival Festival, is a coming of age story set against the Jasmine Revolution.

Muayad Alayan's Love, Theft and Other Entanglements, shot in black-and-white, sees a young Palestinian accidentally stumble into the border conflict. The Kuwaiti visual artist Monira Al Qadiri will appear in conversation with Salti, after a retrospective of her shorts. Safar also features works by Sélim Mourad, Avo Kapraelian and Hicham Lasri, whose irrelevant Starve Your Dog brings the festival to a close.