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2018 Dublin Arabic Film Festival

The Arab Irish Chamber of Commerce were once again the lead sponsors of the fifth Dublin Arabic Film Festival. The festival curated by Oscar nominated Film Director Jim Sheridan and filmmaker Zahara Moufid ran from 5 – 7th of October 2018.


Dr. Niall Holohan AICC Chairman with Jim Sheridan and H.E Ahmad Abdelrazek Ambassador of Palestine


The CEO of the Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce, Ahmad Younis, one of the Festival's main sponsors since its inception, expressed delight with this year's programme and said, “DAFF is a wonderful festival as it helps to promote Arab-Irish understanding and cross-cultural communication in an effective and memorable way.  We have enjoyed being part of this festival and are delighted with the mix of films chosen from various parts of the Arab world.”



Ahmad Younis AICC Secretary General & CEO, Jim Sheridan festivalf curator and Zhara Moufid festival Director

The festival featured six of the best new movies from the Arab world.  One of the key themes of this year’s Dublin Arabic Film Festival was the championing of female filmmakers, a theme that carries through many of the films. Guests at the private screening of the opening movie included several Arab Ambassadors and stars from the entertainment world including Game of Thrones star, Liam Cunningham, Love/Hate writer Stuart Carolan, actress, Neili Conroy and director, Terry McMahon.


H.E. Soha Gendi Ambassador of Egypt with Zahara Moufid and Jim Sheridan

This year 6 films were shown over the festival at the Irish Film Institute and the Chester Beatty Library. Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari’s drama Looking for Oum Kulthum, about Oum Kulthum, the legendary Egyptian singer and diva opened the festival at the IFI. Amr Salama’s Sheikh Jackson and Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult were screened on Saturday, October 6th, while Karim Moussaoui’s Until the Birds Return and Tala Hadid’s House in the Fields were shown on Sunday 7th. The Chester Beatty Library showed Nadine Labaki’s comedy Caramel with admission free of charge.


Zahara Moufid Festival Director and Ruth Spain AICC


Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham and Zahara Moufid


Ms. Mariam Ahmed Saeed Almaari, Third Secretary United Arab Emirates Embassy, H.E. Soha Gendi Ambassador of Egypt, Mr. Abdulla Fahed Al Menhali, Second Secretary United Arab Emirates Embassy, Mr. Sherief Sharly Malaty, Deputy Head of Mission Embassy of Egypt, H.E. Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek Ambassador of Palestine


Orla Treacy AICC and Alice Dunne AICC

DAFF has proved to be a great success since its inception inaugural year in 2014 when movie great, Omar Sharif first opened the festival.  Over the past four years, DAFF has attracted dedicated movie fans, directors and actors from all over the world including Dubai, Egypt and Morocco. International and Irish famous faces at the festival over the years include U2’s, The Edge, actress Amy Huberman, singer Damien Dempsey, and Ambassadors from several Arab countries.


Actor Liam Cunningham with Jim Sheridan

Commenting on this year’s programme, Jim Sheridan said, “Last year the place of women in Arabic society emerged as one of the key themes of the festival and it is once again one of the central themes of this year’s festival with three films being directed by women. House in the Fields is brilliantly directed by Tala Hadid, while the opening film, Looking for Oum Kulthum was co- directed by Shirin Neshat.  Caramel, directed by the Lebanese director and actress, Nadine Labaki is a comedy and explores the theme of life, love and the pursuit of happiness and will be shown at the Chester Beatty Library.  Now in its fifth year the festival continues to grow and once again we will show a wonderful collection of movies at the Irish Film Institute and the Chester Beatty Library this weekend.”


Rula Affar AICC


Colm Brennan and Alice Dunne AICC



Ross Keane, director at the Irish Film Institute, said; “We always look forward to welcoming the Dublin Arabic Film Festival to the Irish Film Institute. It is certainly a popular event for those who are looking for some brilliant, cultural movies that will not be seen on screens in other cinemas throughout Ireland. Once again, the six movies featuring at DAFF are exceptional.”


Photos of the night