MENA 5 returns to VIFF Centre for the third year in a row. Celebrate the last five years of MENA Film Festival from January 27 – February 1 for another week of shorts, features, panels and workshops in support of MENA/SWANA arts and experience!

In person films screen @ VIFF Centre’s Vancity and Studio Theatres, January 27 – February 1, 2024

Select Virtual Screenings available across Canada between January 27 – February 11, 2024. Special workshops and screenings are in partnership with SFU School for the Contemporary Arts and UBC Middle East Studies.

MENA 5 returns to VIFF Centre for the third year in a row. Celebrate the last five years of MENA Film Festival from January 27 – February 1 for another week of shorts, features, panels and workshops in support of MENA/SWANA arts and experience!

In person films screen @ VIFF Centre’s Vancity and Studio Theatres, January 27 – February 1, 2024

Select Virtual Screenings available across Canada between January 27 – February 11, 2024. Special workshops and screenings are in partnership with SFU School for the Contemporary Arts and UBC Middle East Studies.

Festival Tickets

In-Person Screenings

Adult 19+
C$15
Senior 65+
C$13
Student
C$10
Accessible
C$10
Self-identifying Indigenous*
Free
Pack of 3 (20% off Regular Price)**
C$36
Pack of 5 (33% off Regular Price)**
C$50

Online Screenings (Canada)

Adult 19+
C$10
Senior 65+
C$8
Student
C$8
Accessible
C$8
Self-identifying Indigenous*
Free
Early Bird Full Online Access Pass***
C$30
Full Online Access Pass
C$45
* Indigenous guests can book up to 10 tickets per screening via phone, email or in-person. No identification required.
** Valid for all film screenings, not including Opening, Awards and Industry events.
*** Expires January 27, 2024
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Short Film Bundle
Play

Creativity and movement are at the heart of the play bundle with a focus on artists and dancers. These films capture bodies lost in movement and the creative process.

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Short Film Bundle
Pause

These films portray the physical body as a “finite” vessel and how its functions and parts affect daily life. Pause Bundle depicts the SWANA region’s relationship with death outside of the context of imperialism and war.

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Short Film Bundle
Rewind

Light-hearted yet deep, sad but heart-warming, these depictions of queerness between the past and the present leave us believing in a hopeful future.

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Short Film Bundle
Forward

A highly experimental bundle, these films use neorealism, experimentation with the 8/16mm film medium, editing, and breaking the fourth wall to push the boundaries of what narratives can include and how audiences experience them.

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Short Film Bundle
Stop

How do systems of power seek to control the body? These films explore the rules and obstacles that are put on the body from the state and other cultural forces.

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250km
Armenia
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
23
 mins
Kids should not have to be heroes, they should just be kids. They should play, learn, and be happy—not spend their days scared or struggling.
Stop
All Films
A Kurdish Melody: Past & Present
United States
Archival
 | 
Short
 | 
8
 mins
This short film takes the viewer on a journey through the heart of Nashville’s Kurdish community, sharing stories that resonate across generations.
Forward
All Films
ANIMALIA
Morocco
Qatar
France
Drama
 | 
Feature
 | 
90
 mins
Married into a wealthy family, Itto feels like an interloper in her in-laws’ grand house, but she is alone when an strange celestial event occurs.
All Films
Ahu
Canada
Iran
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
14
 mins
he healing journey of two women, Ahu and Jaycee, who form a bond while confronting their own personal struggles in their low-income rental apartment.
Pause
All Films
An Armenian Triptych: Retracing Our Steps
Canada
United States
Animation
 | 
Short
 | 
11
 mins
An animated short film highlighting the power of artistic collaboration as a meaning-making tool in response to intergenerational trauma and the refusal of a people to be erased from history.
Stop
All Films
Ariha
Palestine
Experimental
 | 
Short
 | 
11
 mins
Ariha is a collection of small moments captured through the director's point of view on a family trip to Ariha (Jericho).
Forward
All Films
Ayyur / Moon
Morocco
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
13
 mins
Two Moroccan and Amazigh moon children, Hasna and Samad, find help in art and painting to resist and catch the light in the middle of the darkness.
Pause
All Films
Bellydance Vogue
France
Spain
Lebanon
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
5
 mins
Hadi’s birthday landed on the 3rd of April, 2020, during lockdown, and for the first time he celebrated it all by himself.
Play
All Films
Breaking Fast with a Coca-Cola
United States
Comedy
 | 
Short
 | 
14
 mins
Desperate to celebrate a tradition of their own, Özlem and Ada embark on a day of fasting and a night of feasting for Ramadan.
Pause
All Films
Cousins
United States
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
13
 mins
Two cousins born in separate countries reunite in Brooklyn when a run-in with an ex makes the night even more chaotic.
Rewind
All Films
Dear F...
Scotland
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
7
 mins
Born in the early 90s, the filmmaker discovers a collection of letters from this turbulent time that sheds light on the challenges faced by Algerians.
Forward
All Films
EITR عطر
Canada
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
15
 mins
Mohamed’s fear of his true desires will be tested as he is caught off guard by the power of being seen by a beautiful stranger who lives in self-acceptance.
Rewind
All Films
Eid Mubarak
United States
Pakistan
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
16
 mins
Realizing that her pet, Barfi, is not a pet, but a goat being raised for slaughter, Iman makes a plan to save Barfi's life.
Pause
All Films
Escape
France
Documentary
 | 
Feature
 | 
77
 mins
Escape is a poetic and intimate journey on the path of exile, through the story of five Syrian women artists scattered in different countries.
All Films
Fariha
United States
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
5
 mins
A film showcasing the complex, joyful, humorous, emotional, and deeply intelligent side of Afghan people; qualities that are too often overlooked by the shadow of violence, war, and oppression.
Forward
All Films
Frescos of a Ruined Memory
Lebanon
France
Experimental
 | 
Short
 | 
19
 mins
Kamal, traumatized from his nightmares, projects his fears on his boyfriend Jad. Their relationship becomes unstable until one of them realizes he can’t go on with it.
Forward
All Films
HAIR!
Canada
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
14
 mins
Farah, Miriam and Layla, three middle aged witchy sisters with years of baggage and inches of stubborn body hair, gather for their monthly hair removal and chai session.
Stop
All Films
He's Dead Now
Egypt
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
12
 mins
Hazem is distraught after his family secrets are made public when his mother decides to expose his late father’s sexual affairs during his funeral rites.
Pause
All Films
Heroic Bodies
Sudan
Documentary
 | 
Feature
 | 
95
 mins
“Heroic Bodies” explore the various forms of the Sudanese Women’s struggle and resistance to take back their bodies.
All Films
I've Known Rivers
Egypt
Tunisia
Experimental
 | 
Short
 | 
18
 mins
"South Ajdabya" founded by Esraa Elfeky from Egypt and Saif Fradj from Tunisia, is a 2021st made collective of filmmakers interested in the north African desert, its mythologies, and anthropology.
Forward
All Films
Ikinji’s Stories
Egypt
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
15
 mins
Old songs with cheerful meanings and tattoos of a static nature symbolize the last generation of Bedouins belonging to this form of a simple life free of any manifestations of this fast-paced world.
Stop
All Films
In Cycle
Iran
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
27
 mins
The story of four creative Iranian female artists who have been creating art works from recycled materials.
Play
All Films
In the Garden of Tulips
United States
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
14
 mins
At the height of the Iran-Iraq war, Cari takes a car ride with her father to the Iranian countryside of Birjand.
Stop
All Films
Les chenilles
France
Lebanon
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
30
 mins
Asma and Sarah, two women originally from the Levant, find themselves working in the same restaurant in the city of Lyon in France.
Play
All Films
Listed
Canada
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
14
 mins
Faizal Karim’s personal account of racial profiling and detainment due to being falsely flagged on the Canadian No Fly List.
Stop
All Films
My Girl Friend
Egypt
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
17
 mins
Desperate for intimacy, Ali follows his girlfriend’s suggestion that puts their relationship to the test. The plan unfolds unexpectedly when gender roles become blurred.
Rewind
All Films
Neo Nahda
United Kingdom
Narrative
 | 
Short
 | 
13
 mins
Having found archived photos of Arab women cross-dressing in the 1920s, Mona starts a feverish journey of uncovering lost histories and her own identity.
Rewind
All Films
Pacific Club
France
Qatar
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
16
 mins
Azedine tells us the forgotten story of the Pacific Club, the first nightclub for Arabs from the suburbs, and of this generation who dreamed of integrating into France.
Rewind
All Films
Rizoo
Iran
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
16
 mins
An eight-year-old Iranian girl is faced with a challenging dilemma.
Stop
All Films
Sister Mother Lover Child
Canada
United States
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
12
 mins
It is spring yet all is coloured by a season of grief. A child dances, the grapevine ripens. We press our ears to the glass and hear singing from afar.
Forward
All Films
Sweet Refuge
United States
Comedy
 | 
Short
 | 
12
 mins
A passionate Syrian baker spends his first Eid in the US attempting to sell the sweet he has spent his lifetime perfecting: walnut baklava.
Pause
All Films
The Burdened
Yemen
Sudan
Saudi Arabia
Drama
 | 
Feature
 | 
90
 mins
Isra’a and Ahmed put all their efforts offering a normal life to their three young children. When Isra'a is pregnant again, they have to make difficult decisions guided by their family's interest.
All Films
The Cut
Morocco
Experimental
 | 
Short
 | 
5
 mins
Shot in the old medina of Casablanca, Morocco, during the festivities of Eid al-Adha, The Cut is a short film exploring the Muslim tradition of animal sacrifice.
Pause
All Films
The Landmarks of Memory
Canada
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
7
 mins
A tattoo ritual and hookah session memorializes a pre-war flower shop in Beirut.
Rewind
All Films
The Moped and the Goldfinch
Algeria
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
13
 mins
Moufida decides to cross the country on a moped to see her lover in Algiers. Finding herself confronted with the author of her story, a discussion between the two begins generating some tension.
Forward
All Films
Three Promises
Palestine
United States
Documentary
 | 
Feature
 | 
61
 mins
While the Israeli army retaliates against the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, a mother films her family's daily life, punctuated by time spent shielding her family from harm in the basement.
All Films
Three Tales of Halaqat
Belgium
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
24
 mins
Three short films of unfettered imagination about the musicians, directors and performers from the Arab world and its diaspora, invited to Brussels as part of the ‘Haalaqat’ program.
Play
All Films
Vibrations from Gaza
Palestine
Canada
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
16
 mins
a glimpse into the experiences of Deaf children in the colonized and confined coastal territory of Gaza, Palestine.
Pause
All Films
When There Were Trees
Iran
Drama
 | 
Short
 | 
22
 mins
A former Iranian actress embarks on a journey to find the woman she was forced to leave because of society’s taboos.
Rewind
All Films
demarcations; you have black eyes
United States
Experimental
 | 
Short
 | 
9
 mins
a stream-of-consciousness montage depicting collective bodies in a constant state of disruption, movement, processing, and grieving.
Play
All Films
in the whiteness
Canada
Experimental
 | 
Short
 | 
5
 mins
A poetic exploration of identity through the eyes of a Harari woman, displaced via war, now living in Canada.
Play
All Films
where we are is always too far away.
Canada
Documentary
 | 
Short
 | 
6
 mins
An auto-portrait presenting linear and nonlinear spaces as a transient body. Shifting between movement and stillness, time speeds up, slows down, and gets lost in the landscapes of memory.
Forward
All Films

Industry + Events

2024

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