Recent works by female directors of Middle Eastern background have gained attention at some of the world’s foremost film festivals, including the Berlinale, Cannes Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival.

A festival titled “Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers,” running in London through April 10, allows the movie-going public to gain insight into how social upheaval in the past decades and into the present day has shaped the vision of these women.

The festival makes up part of the activities of Birds Eye View, an organization formed to support and celebrate women filmmakers.

Birds Eye View board member and multiple award-winning director Sally El Hosaini notes: “At a time of huge change in the Arab world, this is a crucial and exciting chance to listen to female Arab voices from across the world.”

Films to be shown include the works of directors from or having ties to Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian territories and Syria, which also provide the backdrop to the films. Subjects run the gamut from forbidden love to family ties to everyday life amid civil conflict or in the wake of revolution.

Five feature films and nine documentaries will be presented, several of which offer question-and-answer sessions with the director immediately afterwards.

Related events include short film showcases, live performances by female musicians that serve as sound tracks to silent films, and a panel discussion on Arab fashion in film and society.

Venues include the British Film Institute (BFI) Southbank, Barbican, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and Hackney Picturehouse.

Ticket prices range from 7.50 pounds (about $11) to 15 pounds.

For more on the festival, see

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