San Diego Arab Film Festival Presents Special Screening of Palestinian Documentary Jenin Jenin on September 17 at Museum of Photograph Arts

Award-winning film is banned in Israel!


An interview with director Mohammad Bakri from Palestine will follow the screening.


Online ticket sales have ended but tickets are available at the door

Jenin Jenin

In April 2002, during the Second Intifada, Israel launched a military operation in Jenin, a city in the occupied West Bank. During the incursion, Israeli forces killed 52 Palestinians, 22 of whom were civilians. According to Human Rights Watch, the IDF had used “indiscriminate and excessive force,” and many of these civilians — including children, people with disabilities, and the elderly — were killed “willfully and unlawfully.”

Mohammad Bakri chose to make a documentary film from a place of immense pain over what was happening in Jenin at the time. He did not seek funding from Israeli institutions, but rather hired a small crew and headed to the city’s refugee camp to expose the war crimes Israel had committed there.

Bakri put his life in danger as the Israeli army invaded Jenin, destroyed the refugee camp, and left behind scores of dead and wounded Palestinians. He entered Jenin while bodies were buried under the rubble, and documented what he saw. He interviewed residents of the camp who described what happened there.

In January, an Israeli district court ruled to ban the screening and distribution of Bakri’s documentary.  The lawsuit was filed against Bakri in 2016 by Israeli soldier Nissim Magnaji, who took part in the Jenin operation, and who is accused in the film of stealing money from an elderly Palestinian man — an allegation he has denied. The court ordered Bakri pay Magnaji NIS 175,000 ($55,000) in damages as well as NIS 50,000 ($15,500) in legal expenses.

Bakri has appealed and is awaiting a final court ruling.

Arabic dinner is available for purchase.

San Diego Arab Film Festival Announces Dates, Call for Submission for 2023 Festival

The San Diego Arab Film Festival (San Diego AFF) invites submissions for its upcoming festival scheduled for March 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12, 2023.  San Diego AFF is seeking narrative, documentary, experimental and animated films, both features and shorts.

San Diego AFF began in 2012 and presents films from and about the Arab world that reinforce the humanity of Arab people and it highlights the dynamism and creativity of contemporary Arab culture.  The Festival strives to show top-quality films that offer honest and realistic portrayals of Arab people and their culture, history and politics without reinforcing negative stereotypes.

San Diego AFF is a project of KARAMA, a 501(c)(3) in San Diego.  For more information about KARAMA, visit

San Diego AFF accepts submissions on FilmFreeway. Click on the links below to access the submission pages.

Schedule of Submissions

Opening Date:  June 23, 2022

Regular Deadline:  September 30, 2022

Late Deadline:  October 31, 2022

Notification Date:  December 5, 2022

Event Date:  March 3-4 and 10-12, 2023

Awards and Prizes

Selected films will be entered into competition for Audience Choice Awards for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film.

Rules and Terms

San Diego Arab Film Festival seeks films from and about the Arab world produced between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022.  Films must have legible English subtitles unless there is little or no dialogue.


San Diego AFF prefers that submissions be made via Film Freeway, however downloadable links (with passwords) may be submitted to  Selected films must be available in DCP, high resolution .264 or Blu-Ray format with a frame rate of 24fps.  Please include director’s name, country of origin, and a brief description.

By special arrangements, submissions may be made by mail or delivery service with the understandings that San Diego AFF will not bear costs related to shipping and that submitted media may not be returned.  Contact for further information.


Regular Deadline:  Feature films, $15; short films, $10

Late Deadline:  Feature films, $25; short films, $20.

Pay fees via Film Freeway at time of submission.

Selected Films

Official Selections will be asked to provide a password protected link for previewing, high resolutions stills and any available press materials for use in publicizing the film and the Festival.

San Diego Arab Film Festival Supported By San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture for the Eighth Year

2022-2023 is the eighth year that the San Diego Arab Film Festival is receiving support from the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.  This recognition and support represents an important milestone for the Festival and for San Diego’s Arab Community: it shows that Arab culture is an important part of the fabric of San Diego!  In addition, on-going support from the Arts and Culture Commission helps lay the groundwork for the Festival’s growth as a dynamic part of San Diego’s cultural life.

Financial support is provided by City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

San Diego Arab Film Festival is the registered trademark of KARAMA.

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