Soura Film Festival is a queer film festival that sheds light on cinematic talents from the SWANA (South West Asia & North Africa) region.
Soura—which means ‘image’ in Arabic, is about sharing a vision of life that is poignant, defiant and unique.
Our mission is to create a safe and welcoming space for filmmakers whose creative vision has challenged heteronormativity and patriarchal environments, and have explored queerness and what it represents to them. Queerness, as seen by the festival, is not exclusive to efforts related to the LGBTQ+ community, but also tackles themes such as feminism, migration and human relationships that defy oppressive social constructs.
Every fight for basic human rights is our fight when it comes to seeing the world from a queer gaze. Over the past few decades, the SWANA region has witnessed a lot of political engagement within queer communities, whether against laws that criminalize their lives or in favor of change and education. Field work has been positively affecting individuals from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and especially transgender communities, but activists have also been involved in debates that support women’s rights and the well-being of other communities treated as minorities, in an effort to normalize an anti-colonial environment that stands against imperialism.
We at Soura Film Festival show our support to everyone fighting for their rights, including the ones that were forced to leave for a safer future. The festival is based in Berlin, a city which throughout the years has become home to exiles and immigrants from across the SWANA region, drawn here by the freedom to share, create and be.
Our festival program presents the current queer film scene from the region within various festival sections including feature films, short films, documentaries, animation, essay-films and newly discovered queer-classics.
Soura Film Festival aims to step across borders to help filmmakers advocate for queerness through powerful storytelling. The festival reserves the right to select artistic efforts that adhere to its political frameworks and support the notion of queerness that stands with the struggles of oppressed communities everywhere in their fight for their basic rights.
Therefore, given the region’s political landscape, we find it crucial to state our position against any efforts that indulge in pinkwashing and purplewashing those daily struggles and this ongoing fight.
Submissions for the 3rd Edition of Soura Film Festival are now closed.
Rules & Regulations:
1. The film must be of LGBTQI+ interest or depict LGBTQI+ characters.
2. Films from other countries not included in the SWANA region can also participate as long as their stories resonate with the SWANA region (e.g. a film from the United States which is directed by an Arab filmmaker or its protagonist is from the SWANA region).
3. If the original language of the film is not English, the film must have English subtitles.
4. Submitted films must be from 2019 - 2021.
5. Submitted films must be accompanied by the entry form provided on FilmFreeway.
6. Filmmakers wishing to submit rough cuts for consideration must clearly note that the film is a rough cut, and must supply the completed film before acceptance is finalized.
7. We give preference to films that didn't have a commercial premiere in Berlin.
SWANA region includes:
United Arab Emirates