Middle East

BBC Arabic Festival 2018

Films and Documentaries from a Changing Arab World

The BBC Arabic Festival is an annual, week-long event that screens short films and documentaries about current social and political changes taking place in the Arab world. The festival takes place at the iconic art-deco Radio Theatre at BBC's Broadcasting House in central London. The screenings take place alongside a series of talks, presentations and performances that highlight current events and freedom of expression in the Arab world. The official selection of films also have the potential to air on BBC Arabic television as part of our special TV programming produced exclusively around the festival.

The BBC Arabic Festival runs as a competition judged by a panel of journalism and film experts and practitioners, who will present an award to a winner in each category at the televised Awards ceremony. The 2018 judges will be announced in the summer of 2017. Past judges have included film critic Jason Solomons, Middle East commentator Sultan Sooud AlQassemi, and BBC World Reporter Yalda Hakim among many others. BBC Arabic also offers the Young Journalist Award to a non-fiction filmmaker aged 18 to 30. The Award comprises of a programme of bespoke training, mentoring and equipment. There is also the potential for their next project to be aired on BBC Arabic TV and presented by them at the next Festival. In 2017, BBC Arabic Festival introduced the Liliane Landor Award for Best Work in Journalism to a non-fiction submission.

We are now announcing a new category for 2018: Digital Journalism. Take a look at our Digital Journalism page for details and definition on this category. The BBC Arabic Festival is committed to supporting filmmakers and journalists whose work reflects the current state of the Arab world.

We are currently calling for films for our 2018 edition, which is open to filmmakers, journalists and the general public whose work explores key issues in today's Arab world. Through our open call, we seek a bold and diverse range of filmmaking from across the region, by Arab and non-Arab, professional and first-time filmmakers. Please take a look at the Terms and Conditions page to be sure that your film applies. Download the form and see how to submit your film in our 'How to Submit' page.