Awards Ceremony

The Awards Ceremony caps off the 2022 MENA Film Festival by recognizing this year’s programming highlights and offering parting words from the MENA team and allies, as well as special guest performances.

This years jury recognizes the following distinctions:

  • Scarlet Pomegranate: Best overall submission based on its proximity to our Purpose and Vision as laid out above and aesthetic quality considerations
  • Buraq: Best alternative, experimental, thought-provoking or “wild-card” film (may include “othered” identity formations: queer, BIPOC, and non-comformity to prevailing socio-religious mores etc., but not by necessity. Have fun with this and feel free to suss out what this may mean to you!)
  • Face of MENA/SWANA: An individual partaking in this year’s festival selection who successfully creates a compelling representation of the MENA/SWANA region and its diaspora through a distinctive effort, visual performance or artistic innovation. The winner of the Face of MENA Award serves their respective film’s creative achievement that helps us celebrate MENA/SWANA culture by exploring the lived experience of identities from the region and its varied diaspora. Their individual role in the film may be, but is not limited to: writer, actor, director, dancers, cinematographer, costume designer, editor, musician, narrator, etc.


Sabat and Sawen are sisters from Rania as Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sabat is a cello player and Sawen is a violinist. As a duet they play and sing songs from their home, mixed with popular music from the region and the world. They currently live in British Columbia, Canada where they continue their career as musicians and singers.


Having opened the festival, it’s only fitting that we bring our catering partners at Tayybeh back to cap the festival with their highly sought flavours and aromas for Syria and the region.

Co-presented with: 
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Thursday, December 1, 2022
7:30 pm
Location Pin
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Online Only
Book Tickets: