A 3-day film festival taking place at Riverside Theatres Parramatta in April 2023. The inaugural SWANA Film Festival will platform contemporary films that centre the stories of women and gender diverse South West Asian and North African filmmakers as well as an emphasis on local and diaspora content.
The SWANA Film Festival is the revitalisation of the Arab Film Festival Australia (AFFA), a community-led event supported by ACE from 2001 to 2018.

AFFA paused operation in 2018, reviewing future opportunities including its evolution to become a more inclusive festival showcasing stories from SWANA communities.

SWANA is a decolonial term for the South West Asian & North African region.
SWANA displaces the terminologies of Middle Eastern, Near Eastern, Arab World or Islamic World that have colonial, Eurocentric, and Orientalist origins.

SWANA includes: Kurds, Nubians, Sudanese, Armenians, Circassians, Arabs, Iranians, Druze, Assyrians/Chaldeans, Turks, Yazidis, Azeris, Turkmen, Afghans, Copts, Imazighen, and other identities and their intersections.


1. In order to submit a film, you must own the rights or have permission from the owner.
2. Entries must include at least one key SWANA creative (e.g. Writer, Director, Producer).
3. We are looking for entries that have been completed from 2018 to now but we are also open to anything that demands our attention that is out of this window.
4. All genres are welcome, and experimental and original portrayals of the SWANA region/SWANA Diaspora experience are encouraged
5. Films must be submitted via online screener e.g. Vimeo

Conditions of Entry

1. All films must have English subtitles. We are open to other language subtitles as long as it accompanies the English.
2. Shorts must not exceed a running time of 30 minutes.
3. Rough cuts or works-in-progress are accepted however, please indicate what is incomplete e.g, sound, editing etc.
4. By submitting your film, you authorise SWANA Film Festival to use, distribute and share the film poster, trailer, synopsis and movie stills in our promotional material.
5. Please include a 150-word film synopsis with your entry. If selected, we will use this synopsis in all promotional materials for the festival.
6. Selection decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. The festival does not provide critical analysis or feedback.
7. We are open to films that have already been released online but please inform us of this in your application
8. We will not screen content that is defamatory, obscene, sexually, culturally or racially offensive, pornographic, or libellous.
9. SWANA Film Festival takes no responsibility for any breach of copyright by other parties.
10. SWANA Film Festival reserves the right to disqualify any film if we believe there has been a breach of any of the Conditions of Entry