With the celebration of our 20th anniversary, the announcement of AFMI, a wonderful and diverse lineup of films, some celebrity guests, and even the official declaration of Arab Film Festival Day, AFF 2016 was definitely a year for the books! Now, in the aftermath of all the excitement, we bet you’re waiting with bated breath to hear who the winners are of this year’s Arab Film Festival awards!


The movie that won over our audience members is not very surprising since showings of the film in both San Francisco and Los Angeles led to sold out shows with packed theaters and lines out the door.

We are pleased to announce VERY BIG SHOT as the winner of our Audience Award!


Every year we also choose four films as winners of our Jury Awards. These awards are chosen by a select group of jurors. This year’s jurors were all filmmakers themselves and all had films that showed at AFF 2015. This year’s jurors included: Suha Arraf (Villa Touma), Mike Mosallam (Breaking Fast), Muayad Alayan (Love, Theft and Other Entanglements), and Jan-Willem van Ewijk (Atlantic).

For our Jury Awards, we are honored to announce the following winners:

Best Narrative Feature – In the Last Days of the City

Best Documentary Feature – The Bride of the Nile

Best Narrative Short – Dry Hot Summer

Best Documentary Short – The People’s Girls


Our Executive Director would like to additionally recognize two groundbreaking animations that were part of our official selection, as well as our first ever short animation program. These short films, which both come from Lebanon, speak deeply to the experiences of those living in the long unstable climate of the country. We would like to extend honorable mentions to Silence by Chadi Aoun and Waves ’98 by Ely Dagher. 


We would like to thank everyone who submitted their films to this year’s festival. We could not have asked for a more talented and exciting lineup. We hope to see you again next year for AFF 2017!