The Nation’s Oldest and Largest Festival of Arab Films

The flagship event of the Arab Film and Media Institute, the Arab Film Festival is the longest running independent festival of its kind in North America. Launched in 1996, the festival’s mission is to present the best of contemporary films that illuminate the richness of Arab culture through authentic narratives and images, providing insight into the beauty and complexity of the Arab world.

The festival also offers special programming to local audiences, and unprecedented access to the diversity and range of authentic Arab experiences. The festival has gained an international reputation for excellence and offers its audiences access to media that reflects the lives of under-represented and provocative themes and groups on a cultural and societal level.

The 24th edition (#AFF2020) will run October 16 – 25, 2020 throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Arab Film Festival

The Arab Film Festival is a labor of love and every year many people come together to make it happen. From volunteering opportunities to seasonal internships apply today for a role that fits your schedule.

Last year we had a record-breaking opening night and after party, we showed 56 films that represented 32 countries. Our AFF2019 film selection included work from 31 women directors, 14 debut films and 5 shorts program. Three of the films were official entries to the Academy Awards. For Sama, Nefta Football Club and Brotherhood all received nominations to the Oscars.

If you are a non profit organization, small business, or large corporation, reach out to support AFF2020. We offer flexible sponsorship and community partnership packages to fit most budgets. Email us at