I think that through television we could possibly get to know each other better, as indeed television will help always to bring people in the world closer together”
So said King Hussein of Jordan in his message to the people of Ireland, broadcast on 31 December 1961 on the occasion of the launching of Ireland’s first public service television channel. That message applies equally to cinema, and the transformative influence of film since then has been enormous.
The Dublin Arabic Film Festival follows in this tradition in the belief that the medium of film can help us to get to know each other better and to bring us closer together. It is important that the one dimensional representation of the Arab world broadcast on TV news channels day after day should be counter-balanced by a broader and more complete perspective from the region. There are many great Arabic movies, new and old, which offer deep insights into the culture and society of the Arab world but which, alas, do not get the exposure they deserve here in Ireland.
The Dublin Arabic Film Festival in collaboration with IFI went some way towards correcting this and was indeed a great success. The 2016 festival will build on that and will present another wide spectrum of cinematic creativity from across the Arab region, offering a deeper appreciation of the richness and diversity of Arab society.
The second edition of the Festival received extensive media coverage, well ahead of the expectations of the key sponsors. Based on this experience, and considering the program currently being planned, it can be confidently expected that the 2016 event will significantly exceed that performance.
Honoray Festival Chairman and Chairman of The Arab-Irish Chamber of Commerce