Why We're Here

Every year Vancouver plays host to film festivals representing a breadth of styles and geographies around the world: from local and international; grassroots to big budget. Taken together they would represent the panorama of Vancouver’s cultural life. Yet in spite of its strong economic and cultural roots, one demographic is missing in action, and - as far as the local film circuit goes - has been absent for too long: members of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)-otherwise known as Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA)-community.

The purpose of the MENA Film Festival is to fill that space with the voices of filmmakers and artists-local and national, young and established-who identify as part of the greater Canadian-MENA/SWANA community.

Who We Are

We are a group of enthusiastic individuals from diverse backgrounds, driven by our love for film, culture, and community. We put together a festival that is in constant growth and feed it with passion and sweat, to watch it flourish and spread in the city that we live in, and elsewhere.

Our Mission

  • To bring the voices of MENA/SWANA artists and filmmakers to the local art scene.
  • To share new and diverse perspectives from the MENA/SWANA communities that are not widely expressed and which differ from the largely homogeneous images of the region as one of conflict and recipient of western aid.
  • To give voice to the lived experience of MENA/SWANA community members in Canada as a part of the country’s multi-cultural identity.
  • To create opportunities for members of the MENA/SWANA, especially early-career artists, to express themselves through film, without prioritising any one language, identity or national outlook.

Our Values


MENA Film Festival is by the community, for the community. We aim to connect, to partner, and collaborate. We define our success by the quality of our partnerships and the depth of the meaningful relationships we make in the community and abroad.


MENA Film Festival is a melting pot of voices, colors, sounds, faces, tastes, and more.


At MENA Film Festival we strive to continuously challenge and innovate. We push ourselves creatively and challenge stereotypes and we are driven by relentless ambition for growth.