Kaleem Aftab
Kaleem Aftab

Lilas Mayassi, left, and Sherry Bechara, founders of the all-female Lebanese thrash metal band Slave to Sirens, as seen in the documentary 'Sirens' directed by Rita Baghdadi. Photo: Rita Baghdadi
Lebanese female metal band Slave to Sirens in Sundance documentary

'Sirens' by Rita Baghdadi follows Lebanese duo Slave to Sirens as they form a music career in a country struck by crisis

January 28, 2022, 5:40 AM
A scene from the film 'King Richard'. From left, Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene “Brandi” Williams, Mikayla Bartholomew as Tunde Price, Will Smith as Richard Williams, Saniyya Sidney as Venus Williams, Demi Singleton as Serena Williams and Danielle Lawson as Isha Price. Warner Bros via AP
Serena and Venus Williams on 'King Richard': 'It's a brilliant piece of work'

The film tells the story of the tennis superstars' father, who is played by Will Smith

November 17, 2021, 5:12 AM
Bassel Gandour, director of 'The Alleys' photographed at the 74 Locarno Film Festival. Locarno Film Festival
Jordanian filmmaker Bassel Ghandour on creating his directorial debut 'The Alleys'

The film had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival last week

August 18, 2021, 3:32 AM
Leyla Bouzid's 'A Tale of Love and Desire' follows the story of Ahmed (Sami Outalbali), right, a shy French-born student of Algerian descent who falls in love with Farah (Zbeida Belhajamor). Cannes Film Festival
Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid is rewriting what it means to be a Muslim boy in the West

The filmmaker's second feature is a unique love story that premiered in Cannes this month

July 26, 2021, 12:36 PM
'Ali and His Miracle Sheep' follows the story of a 9-year-old mute boy who goes on a journey to sacrifice his sheep. Maythem Ridha
Director Maythem Ridha on why he's telling stories of a different Iraq through his films

The Sheffield DocFest winner speaks about blending fact and fiction for his latest documentary 'Ali and His Miracle Sheep'

June 23, 2021, 4:48 AM
Mahmoud Kaabour took an eight-year break before making this new short film about a family after the August Beirut port explosion. Courtesy Paulina Westerland
'I needed to grieve behind the camera': Lebanese director makes new documentary about Beirut blast

The Lebanese director's first film in eight years tells the story of Nicole Torbey, whose husband was injured in the August explosion

April 04, 2021, 8:21 AM
Manal Issa stars as a young Maia in ‘Memory Box’. Abbout Productions
How a box of keepsakes inspired Lebanese film that explores old war wounds

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's latest film, which is screening at the Berlin Film Festival, weaves both the past and the present in a touching narrative

March 03, 2021, 10:34 AM
A still from 'Captains of Za'atari' featuring one of its two protagonists Fawzi. The documentary, directed by Ali El Arabi, is an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Sundance Institute
Tale of 'two worlds': Footballers in Jordan refugee camp take centre stage in film

Director Ali El Arabi helms the only Arab film showing at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival

February 01, 2021, 5:58 AM
Rajkummar Rao as Ashok, Priyanka Chopra as Pinky Madam, and Adarsh Gourav as Balram in 'The White Tiger'. Netflix
'The White Tiger' takes on caste and classism – not just in India, but everywhere

Director Ramin Bahrani tells 'The National' how the film unravels social injustice

January 19, 2021, 3:44 AM
'One Night in Miami' stars (from left to right) Leslie Odom Jr, Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Aldis Hodge. Amazon Prime
How Kingsley Ben-Adir juggled playing Malcolm X and Obama at the same time

It took perseverance and a bit of luck for the actor to land the part of the civil rights activist in 'One Night in Miami'

January 13, 2021, 1:50 PM
Maisa Abd Elhadi in ‘Huda’s Salon’, which was shot in Nazareth and Bethlehem, and is based on real-life events about two women fighting for their freedom. H&A Production
'Men should be equal to women': How Hany Abu-Assad tackles feminism in latest film

The Oscar-nominated director gives a few clues about the plot and tone of his latest film, ‘Huda’s Salon’

December 10, 2020, 11:39 AM
A scene from Shadi Abdel Salam’s 1969 film ‘The Mummy’, also known as ‘The Night of Counting the Years’, which is widely acknowledged as the greatest masterpiece of Egyptian cinema. IMDb
Exploring the story of Egypt through the lens of 1969 film 'The Mummy'

Writer Youssef Rakha analysed Shadi Abdel Salam's masterpiece in context of the world at the time

December 08, 2020, 11:28 AM
Ghofrane Binous is the subject of Tunisian director Raja Amari's new documentary, which tackles the subject of racism in Tunisia. Cineteve, Arte
Director Raja Amari puts racism in Tunisia under the lens with new documentary

The film follows Ghofrane Binous, a budding black politician, as she runs for office

November 29, 2020, 7:03 AM
Amir El Masry, right, and Vikash Bhai in 'Limbo' (2020). IMDb
A different narrative: how British film 'Limbo' tells a refugee story with humour

‘Limbo’ stars British-Egyptian actor Amir El Masry who plays an asylum seeker stuck on a Scottish island

October 16, 2020, 8:06 AM
Riz Ahmed plays musician Zed in 'Mogul Mowgli'. Courtesy Pulse Films
Riz Ahmed hopes to tackle tough questions about identity in 'Mogul Mowgli'

The actor and director Bassim Tariq took a trip to Pakistan as they wrote the film together

October 12, 2020, 8:31 AM