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Indie Arab Films Find a New Home on This Streaming Platform

And it’s all for free

Indie Arab films have a new haven online and it’s called Aflamuna (which means “our films” in Arabic). The streaming platform—helmed by Beirut DC, a non-profit that supports filmmakers and audiences across the region— is on a mission to take independent Arab Cinema internationally.

Every month, the platform taps a guest curator to hand-pick a selection of indie films, exploring a specific social, political or cultural theme. A new film per week is then made available to watch for free across the world.

The curators are also invited to write an essay to unravel the context and importance of each theme in Arab cinema.

Aflamuna’s latest theme was ‘Re/Belles’, which featured films shot at a time during which cinema in Lebanon was inventing itself ( between the late 1970s and the early 2000s). With a dominant female presence in the cast, the selection celebrates breaking the stereotypes of what it means to be a woman in the region.

Presented by Cinematheque Beirut, a project aiming to preserve cinema in Lebanon, the screenings include three films by female Lebanese filmmakers: Randa Chahal Sabbag’s Souha, Surviving Hell, Jocelyne Saab’s A Suspended Life and Leyla Assaf Tengroth’s Al Sheikha, which tells the story of an 11-year-old girl living in war-time Beirut and who becomes a gang leader. 

Nahla by Algerian director Farouk Beloufa is also available to stream. The fiction follows young Algerian reporter Larbi Nasri and singer Nahla during the events following the January 1975 battle of Kfarchouba in Lebanon.

You can stream the films here.

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