Crescent Enterprises Celebrates Cultural Diplomacy through the 27th Annual Arabian Sights Film Festival
- Over 16,000 people attended the festival through in-person screenings and virtual streaming
- The Middle East and North Africa film market size is anticipated to be valued at US$1 billion by 2024
Crescent Enterprises has supported the annual Arabian Sights Film Festival in the US for the eighth consecutive year. Arabian Sights is presented by the Washington DC International Film Festival (Filmfest DC) and is the longest-running festival of its kind in the United States, showcasing films that explore the complex realities of the Arab region, depicted through the eyes of Arab filmmakers.
This year the Arabian Sights Film Festival was presented in conjunction with Filmfest DC. In its 2022 hybrid edition, six Arab films were offered showcasing thought-provoking narratives by established and rising talents from the Arab world. Prominent themes addressed friendship, music, politics, life under occupation, refugees, identity, environment, cross-cultural conflicts, and more in an Arab World context. ‘Amira’, directed by Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab, won both the Arabian Sights and the Filmfest DC Audience Awards for Best Feature.
In addition, Arabian Sights worked with Filmfest DC to offer an additional five films addressing various topics of interest relating to the Middle East in general.
The primary goal of Arabian Sights is to offer the most diverse, new, and innovative cinema from the Arab world by young first-time directors, as well as established filmmakers, and to offer a deeper understanding of the region – culturally, historically, politically, economically. The Festival has witnessed growing levels of interest in Arab cinema since its inception.
Ghada Abdelkader, Senior VP of Crescent Enterprises said: “In today’s world, film and the arts are a fundamental tool to bridge gaps between the Arab region and the rest of the world and to break stereotypes that are often portrayed about the Arab region”.
“The Arabian Sights Film Festival presents a platform to shed the light on Arab filmmakers who have demonstrated their talent for translating our rich history, culture, and presenting a deeper understanding of the Arab society and the challenges facing the region” she added.
Shirin Ghareeb, Director of the Arabian Sights Film Festival said: “For 27 years, the Arabian Sights Film Festival has been highlighting the creative and rising filmmaker talent from the Arab region. With an increase in the number of audiences we see annually and the positive feedback we receive, it is clear that Americans are eager to learn more about the unheard stories from the Arab world. It is our duty to continue to support Arab filmmakers and promote their quality work across the world. We are particularly grateful for our ongoing partnership with Crescent Enterprises, and our shared vision of ensuring the work of Arab filmmakers is recognised and celebrated across the world.”
Arts and culture is a key focus area of Crescent Enterprises’ corporate citizenship activities. The company has supports numerous initiatives that promote innovation and creativity, including initiatives aimed at raising a new generation of entrepreneurs in the filmmaking industry. According to PwC, the MENA region’s film market is expected to grow by 4% CAGR, reaching US$ 1 billion by 2024, compared with a 2.4% decline worldwide.
This growth is expected to create new job opportunities across the region, as well as a growing demand for new skillsets to drive the sector forward. From a social standpoint, the film and arts industry plays a crucial role in cultural diplomacy, offering the world insight into the heritage, diversity, and rich culture of the Arab world through an entertaining and universal medium.