Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival (TCAFF) is seeking films for our upcoming festival scheduled for SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 1, 2023, as well as our new ongoing quarterly film series. We accept narrative, documentary, experimental, animated films of feature and short lengths. We seek films made by SWANA, Arab or Arab American filmmakers or films relevant to these communities.

We're planning to present a hybrid version of our film festival in late September 2023, with an emphasis on in-person screenings and programs. We also have our ongoing quarterly screening series that takes place in-person and online. For this reason, we're accepting film submissions for both our September festival and the quarterly film series.

About Mizna and TCAFF: We are a St.Paul, Minnesota-based critical platform for contemporary literature, film, art, and cultural production centering the work of Arab and Southwest Asian and North African artists. Established in 2003, Mizna’s Twin Cities Arab Film Festival debuts independent narrative, documentary, and experimental features and short films from more than fifteen Arabic-speaking countries and their diasporas. The festival puts SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) filmmakers at all career stages in critical dialogue with one another and with Mizna audiences. Each year, Minnesota and US audiences gather to enjoy the varied ways that SWANA artists represent and montage their social realities.

In addition to exhibiting films, TCAFF hosts panel discussions, dialogues, and performances, capturing and engaging with the complexity of the Arabic-speaking world and its diverse narratives. TCAFF screens classic and contemporary dramas, comedies, documentaries, science fiction films, and experimental video projects, including the work of filmmakers from countries like Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, and Morocco. TCAFF exhibits all films in their original languages with English subtitles.

Our mission: For more than twenty years, we have been creating a decolonized cultural space to reflect the expansiveness of our community and to foster exchange, examine ideas, and engage audiences in meaningful art.

Named City Page’s Nonprofit of the Year in 2020 and a Regional Cultural Treasure in 2021, we publish Mizna, an award-winning SWANA lit and art journal; produce the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, the largest and longest running Arab film fest in the Midwest; and offer classes, readings, performances, public art, and community events, having featured over 400 local and global writers, filmmakers, and artists.

Awards and prizes full details will be released at a later date closer to the festival.


-We seek films made by SWANA, Arab or Arab American filmmakers or films relevant to these communities. Your film must fit this requirement to be considered.

-All non-English language films must include English subtitles. Exceptions will be made for films with very little or no spoken dialogue.

-We exhibit films in the following formats: DCP with a frame rate of 24 fps or high resolution Blu-Ray. Depending on the quality, we will also consider films available on DVD and analog film.

-Selected films must arrive with shipping and customs duties paid.

-Each film requires a new submission form.

-Please include a 150-word film synopsis with your entry. If selected, we will use this synopsis in all promotional materials for the festival.


All submissions require a completed form. Please include all necessary information with the link such as password, director's and/or distributor's contact information, etc. Upon selection we will need additional publicity and marketing materials for our program catalog and media releases. If you cannot access the form or upload your submission for any reason, please contact us at

If you are a student, low-income, or an emerging filmmaker unable to upload your film due to submission fees, please email for a fee waiver.

DVD and BluRay preview copies* should be mailed to:

Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, Mizna
2446 University Ave W, Suite 115
St. Paul, MN 55114

*We will not return physical copies.

We enthusiastically welcome submissions and inquiries. However, we will not be able to address questions about the submitted title selections until the TCAFF program has been finalized in September 2023.

Overall Rating
  • Susan Simnett

    Fantastic festival, really well curated, professional and great communication.

    October 2022
  • We weren’t able to attend this year’s Twin Cities Arab Film Festival in person but nonetheless immensely enjoyed the experience and were so honored to have our short film “The Sailor” selected! The programming team did an amazing job of making the filmmakers who weren’t able to physically attend feel part of this incredible program. The team was super friendly, well-organized, and punctual - we highly recommend submitting your film here!

    December 2021
  • Hadi Moussally

    Amazing Festival with a lot of opportunities. Thank you so much for the selection!

    October 2021
  • Jose Luis Benavides

    What an incredible festival and amazing team! Mizna staff made us feel so welcomed and appreciated. We loved every minute of the festival and especially the thoughtful and intellectual programming.

    October 2019
  • Vikram Ahluwalia

    Very happy that our film was chosen for this important festival and its wonderful selection of films. In particular, our film is about a Palestinian refugee, so we were especially pleased to be part of that. Thank you!

    January 2018