by GREG KING
The 14th Arab Film Festival screens in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra in August. In Melbourne, the festival screens at the Cinema Nova from August 25-August 27. The festival aims to foster understanding and acceptance of different cultures with a handful of feature films and short films from the Arab diaspora. There is even a film from Australia this year with the romantic comedy Ali’s Wedding. There is a focus on women and how they deal with prejudice and a largely patriarchal society, but a couple of films also look at how men struggle with questions of masculinity. The opening night film is the romantic comedy Mahbas, the debut feature for Sophie Boutros, who will be attending the screening in Sydney. Greg spoke to festival director Fadia Aboud about this year’s program.