Film programming also includes Moving Images, a partnership between Dubai International Film Festival, Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Dubai, dedicated to artists’ films and filmmakers’ art in the Arab world.

Still from Take Me Home, 2016, Abbas Kiarostami

Exploring the intersection between art and film, Moving Images aims to increase access to, and the understanding of, artists’ films; support artists and filmmakers from the Arab world through new opportunities; and debate existing and future models for funding and distribution through the UAE and beyond. The programme marks the first such initiative in the Arab world. For more information about Moving Images please see here.


March 2017: A tribute to Abbas Kiarostami. A selection of films by and about Abbas Kiarostami were shown at Art Dubai in March as well as the Sharjah Art Foundation as part of Sharjah Biennial 13’.

  • Seifollah Samadian, 76 Minutes and 15 Seconds, 2016, 76 mis 15 secs. Courtesy of Seifollah Samadian, Mohammed Atebbai and Iranian Independents, with special thanks to the Kiarostami Foundation and Meem Gallery.
  • Abbas Kiarostami, Take Me Home, 2016, 15 mins. Courtesy of the Kiarostami Foundation and Iranian Independents, with special thanks to Meem Gallery.

December 2016: A dedicated afternoon at the Dubai Film Market as part of Dubai International Film Festival with performance and new media artist Amir Baradaran. Baradaran’s practice is situated at the intersection between art, performance and Augmented Reality (AR), provoking questions around the body, subjectivity and the role of machines in everyday life. His work has inspired academic researchers, art professionals and technology developers alike. In this session, Baradaran discussed his work and the many potentialities that AR opens up in artistic practice.

December 2015: A special screening of Bahman Kiarostami’s documentary MONIR Reflections of an Artist in Film, followed by a discussion about the film and the representation of artists on screen. MONIR is an inspiring chronicle of the life and work of Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, who pioneered contemporary forms of geometric mirror works. The film takes an intimate look at the artist’s practice and explores how she has become one of the most innovative and influential artists working in the Middle East today.

December 2014: A special afternoon at the 2014 Dubai International Film Festival dedicated to exploring the shared space between art and cinema in a talk with Joana Hadjithomas moderated by curator Omar Kholeif, titled Ways of Seeing: Cross-Overs in Art and Cinema. Kholeif and Hadjithomas discussed the complexities of funding and producing hybrid art-film projects and the possibilities this enables, going through an illustrated case study of the work of award-winning artists and filmmaking duo Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.

March 2014: A series of screenings across Art Dubai Cinema and Mirage City Cinema in Sharjah, featuring:

  • Shezad Dawood, Towards the Possible Film, 2014
  • Taus Makhacheva, A Space of Celebration, 2009
  • John Akomfrah, The Stuart Hall Project, 2013

December 2013: A day of case studies and debate at the 2013 Dubai International Film Festival, offering insights into the confluence between art and film—from the role of the arts foundation to directors, producers, critics, gallerists and distributors. Speakers included Eve Gabereau—Managing Director, Soda Pictures; Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi—President, Sharjah Art Foundation; Sean Gullette—Actor/Director, Traitors; Omar Kholeif—writer/curator and founder-director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival; Simon Field—writer, curator, director; producer, New Crowned Hope film series; Hakim Belabbes—director, lecturer in film at the School of the Art, Institute of Chicago; Claudia Cellini—co-founder and director, the Third Line; and Umer Butt—Founder and Co-Director, Grey Noise.