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.

Arab Film Festival

October is coming, and if there wasn’t a pandemic, we would be getting ready for our legendary Arab Film Festival Opening Night at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. This year we cannot bring together thousands of Arab film fans in person…so we joined forces with some of the country’s best Arab film and cultural organizations to gather online.

Four Arab film + cultural orgs from across the country are partnering this year to bring you a virtual Arab film fest, beginning on December 3, 2020. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more.

Arab Film Fest Collab

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 this year’s Arab Film Fest Collab. We offer flexible sponsorship and community partnership packages to fit most budgets. Email us at