26th Arab Film Festival

Shorts: Queer Lens

Expired November 21, 2022 7:59 AM
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AFMI’s annual Queer Lens program celebrates the multi-dimensional formations of Arab queerness in stories that so urgently need to be told, especially in today’s polarized media climate that leaves issues of visibility lost in the haze, or, worse: cast in a one-size-fits-all “Western Queer Narrative” that ignores the many complexities and nuances faced by LGBTQ+ persons in the Arab World and beyond. 

This year’s program theme is Diaspora & Displacement and features 5 award-winning short films that highlight the experiences of Queer Arabs around the globe. The characters in these stories all find themselves at the intersection of their identities. Some must reconcile the reality of their sexuality with a family who loves but does not understand, others work towards a life lived authentically in a society that does not accept them and a few explore leaving a place that is not safe even though it means letting go of those they care about. In this collection, audiences will find stories that may be unique in their details but are deeply relatable at their core and despite the difficulties, celebrate honesty and love.

Join us after the screening for Arab + Queer + Film: between here and there a conversation with four of the filmmakers in the Queer Lens program.

On the eve of her sister’s wedding, Karina brings her “best friend” home to meet the family. When the groom-to-be joins them, she is reminded of her family’s expectations and her queer anxieties begin to unravel in a film that blurs the line between fiction and reality.

Festivals & Awards:

Aspen ShortsFest 2022

Outfest Fusion 2022

Toronto Inside Out Film Festival 2022

Indy Shorts International Film Festival 2022

About the filmmaker:

Karina Dandashi is a queer Syrian-American Muslim writer, director, and actor born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Her films explore nuances in identity through the intersection of family, religion, and culture in Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) and Muslim communities in America.

Karina is a 2020 Creative Culture Fellow at The Jacob Burns Film Center and a 2021 Sundance Ignite Fellow. She was featured inMarie Claire’s inaugural Creators Issue as one of the “Top 21 Creators to Watch”. She is currently writing her first feature film.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    13 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Karina Dandashi
  • Screenwriter
    Karina Dandashi
  • Producer
    Aya Hamdan
  • Co-Producer
    Munir Atalla
  • Cast
    Karina Dandashi, Nadia Dandashi, Zayn Alexander