san diego
arab film festival

San Diego Arab Film Festival-logo

The 13th Annual
san diego arab film festival
Is Coming!

April 12-21, 2024


Submissions for the 2024
San Diego Arab Film Festival
are now open!

The San Diego Arab Film Festival (San Diego AFF) invites submissions for its upcoming festival scheduled for April 12-21,2024.

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 link below to access the submission pages.


Schedule of Submissions

Opening Date: August 7, 2023

Regular Deadline: November 6, 2023

Late Deadline: November 27, 2023

Notification Date: January 8, 2024

Event Date: April 12-21, 2024

Awards and Prizes

Selected films will be entered into competition for Audience 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, 2022 and December 31, 2023. 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 MP4 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.

Jacir, Ashes Win 2023 Audience Choice Awards

The US film Jacir has won the San Diego Arab Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award for feature films, and the Tunisian film Ashes (Cendres) has won the Award for short films.  The Audience Choice Awards are given annually as determined by vote of the Festival attendees.

Jacir was directed by Jordanian-American filmmaker Waheed AlQawasmi and features actors Malek Rahbani, Lorraini Bracco and Darius Tutwiler.  The film is set in Memphis, Tennessee, and follows an orphaned Syrian refugee as he navigates the political divisiveness and social injustices he encounters trying to chase the American dream.  Waheed AlQaswami participated in a Q&A session via Zoom following the screening at the Festival.

Ashes (Cendres) was directed by Tunisian filmmaker Mehdi Ajroudi.  The film tells the story of a French soldier who returns to Tunisia seeking redemption for crimes he committed during Tunisia’s war of independence.  Mehd Ajroudi attended the Festival and participated in a Q&A session following the screening.

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 the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.



Support Us

KARAMA’s vision is to grow the San Diego Arab Film Festival into a major cultural event that enhances the identity, perception and understanding of the Arab and the Arab world. Doing so will require time, energy and money. You can help in multiple ways…

For all inquires, please fill out the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.