Nuri Akalin, Navigation (Turkey/Netherlands) 
Rawan Alhusaini, Happily Never After (Palestine)
Humeyra Bagci, 7th Question (Netherlands)
Muhammad Refaat, A Chained Prey (Egypt)
Hakan Unal, Crack In The Wall (Turkey)
Farhad Vilkiji, Walking on The Suspended Bridge (Iran)

In Partnership with


With the Support of



Muhammad Refaat for his screenplay A Chained Prey

The road from being chained to the discovery of freedom is visualized with original humor and imagination through the story of a falcon, a falconer and other animals.




Randa Nassar (Screenwriter/Director)
Peter Delwel (Screenwriter)
Rosh Abdel Fatah (Artistic Director of Arab Film Festival)
Darine Hotait (Director/Cinephilia Founder)


Nuri Akalin is a Turkish writer with two published novels to his names. He studied cinema at the Istanbul University and is currently completing his studies in the Netherlands at Zuyd Hogeschool- Visual Communication department. He is currently working on his third novel and on a documentary as a director. 

Rawan Alhusaini is a Palestinian filmmaker and audio visual artist based in Bahrain. Rawan is a Crossway Foundation Alumni. Rawan's photography and video work has been exhibited in Ankara, Jeddah, and Bahrain. Rawan is the Winner of Art Jameel Photography award 2016. Rawan's 3 short films have screened at UCB Multimedia Showcase. 

Humeyra Bagci is a Rotterdam based film director. 

Muhammad Refaat was born in Cairo in 1987. He specialized in TV & Radio studies at Cairo University. His debut short film, The Kingdom, was awarded as the best foreign short documentary in the International Student Film Festival in Hollywood in 2011. At the school of Windesheim in the Netherlands, he further studied media and film production. His films include The Kingdom (2010), Street Artists, (2011), The Backyard (2014). He also worked as a producer in dozens of documentaries that have been produced since 2014 around the MENA region. As a writer, He fulfilled three short scripts One Pound (2012), The Walnut Plank (2014) and A Chained Prey (2017). He is currently writing his long narrative film that is based on a true events.

Hakan Ünal is a Turkish writer and film director. After having graduated and studied ‘English Literature and Humanities’, he started to work in photography and film. His first short film that he has written and directed screened at many national and international film festivals and won various prestigious awards. In his films, Hakan examines and analyses religion, conscience, crime and sin with Freudien Dynamics. 


The Arab Film Festival is an artistic forum where a nuanced image of the cultural, political, social and artistic situation in the Arab world is shown and in which films about hot topics in the Arab communities in Europe are programmed. By doing this, Arab Film Festival creates space for an open dialogue about art, human rights, emancipation and political freedom in Arab countries and in Europe as a whole and in the Netherlands in particular. Dutch people with Arab roots get the chance to stay updated on the latest developments in their countries of origin in a way that goes beyond official media, mosques or their own social networks. The Arab Film Festival offers a good occasion to attract urban youth that generally don’t feel attracted to mainstream cultural events. The Arab Film Film Festival considers the development of young talents of the utmost importance and therefore organizes workshops and masterclasses given by filmmakers from the Arab World and Europe. Furthermore, we dedicate a part of the program to experimental films and developing talent. The Arab Film Film Festival is organized by the Foundation WaaR art and culture. The foundation has several goals including promoting nuanced imaging in the cultural and societal atmosphere by producing or employment of audio-visual tools.

Official festival website: 


Darine Hotait (Lab founder & mentor) is a writer, film director and the founder of Cinephilia Productions. She wrote and directed a number of short films that went on to received multiple awards at International film festivals. Her most recent short film I SAY DUST (2015) screened at over 70 international film festivals such as HBO's Outfest and received multiple awards for Best Short Fiction. Her films were acquired and distributed by prestigious platforms such as AMC Networks, Sundance Channel, Shorts International, BBC Channel & Journal of Short Films. Her work mainly focuses on bridging literature and cinema while embodying a scientific approach and giving predominance to the science fiction genre.   
Her feature screenplays were selected at International Scriptwriters' Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival, and were among the top 5 finalists at Hearst Screenwriting Competition and Sundance Sloan competition. 
Aside from film, Darine is a published playwright and short story writer. Her science fiction literary work appeared in various publications in print and online as well as featured in exhibitions in New York, Berlin and London. 
Darine is a 2017 literary fellow at New York Foundation For The Arts where she's completing her short stories collection. 
She resides in New York City.