The International Yemeni Film & Arts Festival

The Yemen Peace Project held our second International Yemeni Film & Arts Festival in 2016, showcasing works of art from and about Yemen to audiences around the globe. The Festival included events in eight cities in the United States, Europe, and Yemen. Thanks to everyone who joined us for this unique series of film screenings, visual art exhibitions, and special presentations featuring some of Yemen’s best artists!

The International Yemeni Film & Arts Festival is the cornerstone of the YPP’s Artistic Outreach program. The goal of the Festival is two-fold: to provide an outlet for Yemeni artists and filmmakers, who have very few opportunities to show their work at home or abroad, and to expose as wide an audience as possible to Yemen and its people through the visual arts. Participation in the Festival is not limited to Yemenis; we invite artists and filmmakers from all backgrounds, anywhere in the world, to submit their work for future Festivals, so long as either the artist or the artwork has some connection to Yemen.


Featured Films

We are pleased to present the following films at our 2016 Festival:

I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced
Khadija Al-Salami, 2015; 96 mins

Winner of the top prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2015, this gripping feature film tells the story of Nojoom Ali, a little girl who made headline news in 2009 and became a symbol of the movement against forced and underage marriage. Subjected to physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her husband and mother-in-law, Nojoom escapes and attains protection from a compassionate judge.

Shake the Dust
Adam Sjöberg, 2014; 83 minutes

From executive producer and rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones and journalist-turned-filmmaker Adam Sjöberg, this feature documentary chronicles the influence of breakdancing, exploring how it strikes a resonant chord in the slums, favelas and ghettos of the world and far beyond. Showcasing breakdancers in Yemen, Uganda, Colombia, and Cambodia, Shake the Dust is an inspiring tribute to the uplifting power of music and movement.

The Mulberry House
Sara Ishaq, 2013; 65 minutes

Filmmaker Sara Ishaq grew up in Yemen to a Yemeni father and a Scottish mother, and at age 17, decided to move to Scotland. Ten years later—in 2011—Sara returns to Yemen as a different person, geared up to face the home of her past and reconnect with her long-severed roots. But against all personal expectations, she returns to find her family and country teetering on the brink of a revolution. Sara’s previous documentary, Karama Has No Walls, was nominated for an Oscar in 2014.

Mohamed Samy, 2015; 15 minutes

Rise imageProduced by Aden Freerun, this moving short film captures the devastation wrought by Yemen’s ongoing war, and resilience of a group of young athletes who use their sport to reclaim their city.

Killing Her is a Ticket to Paradise
Khadija Al-Salami, 2013; 57 minutes

This documentary follows activist Bushra al-Maqtari as she confronts the hostile response to her political writings.