Crescent Enterprises Celebrates 10-Year Collaboration with Arabian Sights Film Festival, showcasing Arab films in Washington DC

Crescent Enterprises Celebrates 10-Year Collaboration with Arabian Sights Film Festival, showcasing Arab films in Washington DC

Crescent Enterprises Celebrates 10-Year Collaboration with Arabian Sights Film Festival, showcasing Arab films in Washington DC

  • This is part of Crescent Enterprises’ corporate citizenship efforts to foster cultural awareness through a common art form
  • Palestinian Director, Farah Nabulsi, was present in person to introduce her multi-award-winning film “The Teacher” that is set in the West Bank
  • Testimonials from attendees show the important role the festival plays in addressing cultural misconceptions between East and West.

Crescent Enterprises, a UAE-headquartered multinational diversified business, is celebrating its 10th year of partnership with the Arabian Sights Film Festival. As a global company with operations in 15 countries, including the Middle East and United States, this collaboration is a cornerstone of Crescent Enterprises’ corporate citizenship strategy, aimed at fostering cultural awareness through the art of film, which is a common medium for creative expression across societies.

The festival, which takes place in Washington DC from April 18th – 28th, screened 81 films and welcomed over 35,000 attendees throughout its 29-year history, showcasing films that depict the complex realities of the Arab region through the creative lens and vision of local filmmakers. Many films featured at the festival have gained international acclaim and have been shown at prestigious events such as the Cannes Film Festival, Berlinale, Venice Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.

Shirin Ghareeb, Director of the Arabian Sights Film Festival, said: “For 29 years, the Arabian Sights Film Festival has encouraged cross-cultural exchange by showcasing the creative talents of emerging filmmakers from the Arab region to a growing American audience. The films enable viewers to explore the world from a different perspective, connecting them with untold stories from the Arab world, celebrating their unique voices and fostering a deeper understanding of our shared humanity. We extend our sincere gratitude to Crescent Enterprises and remain united in our commitment to promote cultural awareness through powerful storytelling.”

This year’s featured films cover themes including political and social tensions, marriage, inheritance, traditional camel racing, and the Palestinian resistance. One such film is the multi-award-winning drama ‘The Teacher’ directed by Farah Nabulsi. Set in the occupied West Bank, it is about a Palestinian school teacher (Saleh Bakri) who struggles to reconcile his risky commitment to political resistance with his emotional support for one of his students. Farah Nabulsi will introduce her film at the festival and conduct a Q&A with the audience following each of the two screenings.

Ghada Abdelkader, Senior Vice President of Crescent Enterprises, commented: “Crescent Enterprises believes in the integral and positive role that the arts play in shaping our societies and fostering social cohesion. In today’s world, cultural exchanges are more important than ever, serving as vital tools to bridge the increasing divides. Movies have a unique ability to engage audiences in ways that other mediums may not. They offer a comprehensive platform for communicating ideas and showcasing human similarities that transcend geographical and cultural boundaries. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from festival attendees, including Arab expatriates in the United States and Westerners alike, reinforces our continued support to the invaluable work of the Arabian Sights Film Festival.”

Arabian Sights Film Festival 2024

Last year’s attendees expressed appreciation for the films, emphasising that they highlighted commonalities rather than differences.

One attendee remarked, “The films show we have more things in common than our differences. If we can educate ourselves, promote understanding, respect each other and seek peace, we will be 100% better”.

Another attendee commented, “We always feel as though we have been on a trip or cultural experience after watching one of the foreign films. The selection always provides thought-provoking experiences.”

Additionally, there was an acknowledgement of the rarity of international films in the US, particularly those from non-European regions. One attendee noted, “We seldom see international films in the US, particularly non-European films. International films provide a different perspective that builds a bridge rather than a wall.”

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