CinemaNA presents gripping cinema from leading filmmakers in the Arab world

The film screenings will be hosted by The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.


Closing the inaugural season of CinemaNA, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi are presenting three acclaimed Arab films across April and May at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi and at Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. The three films – Wajib, Hedi, and The Circle – will offer audiences an intimate perspective into the challenges encountered through the human experience, and spotlight some of the important work being created within the independent film community in the region.


The first of the three upcoming screenings is this year’s Palestinian Oscar entry, Wajib, on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30pm at NYU Abu Dhabi. Written and directed by Annemarie Jacir (When I Saw You), Wajib draws audiences into the story of Abu Shadi, a divorced father and a school teacher in his mid-sixties living in Nazareth. In anticipation of his daughter’s wedding, his son Shadi arrives after years abroad to help deliver the wedding invitations to each guest. As the estranged pair spend time together, the narrative sheds light on the tension embedded within their relationship as it comes to challenge their divergent lives.


Written and directed by Mohamed Ben Attia, Hedi will be screened for audiences at NYU Abu Dhabi on Thursday, April 26 at 7:30pm. The film follows the journey of Hedi, a young Tunisian man trying to find his place in the world. Plagued by indecision and pressured by his mother, he agrees to an arranged marriage and take a job as a car salesman. Everything is set to change however when he encounters Rim, an intriguing woman with an independent streak who inspires Hedi to take charge of his own life.


Screening on Monday, May 7 at 7:30pm at Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is The Circle, written and directed by Nawaf Al Janahi. The narrative is led by Ibrahim, a poet and journalist who discovers that he will soon die from a fatal disease. Confronting his crook partner, Bader, he demands his share to ensure that his wife has a better life after he is gone. Meanwhile Shihab, a professional thief by obligation in order to pay off his debts, plans to quit the crime world to take care of his younger sister. As their worlds collide by accident, Ibrahim and Shihab each begin to see the world with a different perspective.


Scandar Copti, Assistant Arts Professor of Film at NYUAD said, “We are delighted to bring these internationally acclaimed films to the audience in Abu Dhabi. CinemaNA features compelling and thought-provoking films that offer intimate and self-described portrayals of the rich and vibrant cultures, histories, politics and social issues of the Arab World. This has been an excellent season for CinemaNA, the screenings were fully attended, and we look forward to the upcoming films.”


Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center said, “Through CinemaNa, The Arts Center is able to partner with a sister institution, the Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, and give audiences a chance to not only discover some of the fantastic films being created in the Arab world, but also a chance to interact directly with the filmmakers in post-screening discussions and workshops. This initiative speaks to our commitment to not only present great art, but also to develop the creative community here in the UAE.”


Each film screening will offer English subtitles, and will feature a Q&A between the director of the film and the audience in attendance.


CinemaNA is a contemporary Arab cinema series presented by the NYUAD Film and New Media Program in partnership with The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. The series features celebrated Arab films and renowned directors and producers, in addition to offering discussions with the directors / producers after each screening.


Tickets are now available for Wajib, with Hedi, and The Circle becoming available on April 11th and 25th, respectively.For more information please visit:


The Arts Center at NYUAD is an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions.


Follow @NYUADArtsCenter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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