To prepare you for a long night of movie watching and popcorn popping we’re sharing 16 Arab films that are going to be at El Gouna Film Festival 5th edition 2021.

Arab Films to Catch at GFF

The Sea Ahead

Country: Lebanon

Directed by: Ely Dagher

The Sea Ahead tells the story of a young woman who makes her way back to her parents’ house late at night, after an unsettling experience. She falls back into a part of Beirut life she thought she had left behind. Arab Films to Catch at GFF

Casablanca Beats

Country: Morocco

Directed by: Nabil Ayouch

Casablanca Beats tells the story of former rapper Anas who takes a job at a cultural center in a working-class neighborhood in Casablanca. His students embrace hip-hop and free themselves from previously held limiting ideas. Arab Films to Catch at GFF

Costa Brava

Country: Lebanon

Directed by: Mounia Akl

The Badri family, seeking an escape from the toxic pollution of Beirut, build a home in the mountains. When a garbage landfill is built right outside their fence, tensions arise.


Country: Egypt

Directed by: Omar El Zohairy

Sami, an authoritative Egyptian father, was turned into a chicken by a magician’s trick at his 6-year-old’s birthday party. Drama and comedy follow as the family struggles to cope.


Country: Egypt, Jordan

Directed by: Mohamed Diab

Teenager Amira has grown up believing she was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father. Her sense of identity is shattered when another attempt to conceive a child with her father’s smuggled sperm reveals he is infertile. 

The Blue Inmates

Country: Lebanon

Directed by: Zeina Daccache

The film follows inmates from Roumieh Prison in Lebanon, who produce a play about fellow prisoners who suffer from mental illness and are thus filed under “mad and possessed” by the Penal Code and forgotten behind bars for life.

Captains of Za’atari

Country: Egypt

Directed by: Ali El Arabi

Mahmoud and Fawzi have been living in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan for five years. The opportunity of a lifetime comes when they have a chance to get picked for an international soccer team. Arab Films to Catch at GFF

Back Home

movie postersCountry: Egypt

Directed by: Sara Shazli

When Sara’s plans turn upside down due to the global pandemic, she finds herself stuck in her childhood home with her parents after living abroad for ten years. As they spend months together in lockdown, Sara feels the need to capture the precious moments spent with her 80-year-old father on film. Arab Films to Catch at GFF

Nour Shams

Country: Saudi Arabia

Directed by: Faiza Ambah

Shams, an Uber driver in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is a single mother with two obsessions: her only child, Makki, and her African desserts. When Makki enters a hip-hop competition, Shams comes face-to-face with the possibility of being separated from him, her vision of their future is turned upside down. Arab Films to Catch at GFF


Arab Films to Catch at GFFCountry: Jordan, Palestine

Directed by: Ahmad Saleh

Night is a story about how the dust of war keeps the eyes sleepless and how night can bring peace and sleep to all the people in the broken town. Only the eyes of a mother of a missing child stay anxious and awake, so the night has to trick her into sleeping to save her soul.


Country: Jordan

Directed by: Samer Battikhi

Sami, a privileged but sheltered 15-year-old, and street-smart hustler Mahmoud, a 15-year-old corn seller, plan to steal an unexpected gift that will impress Sami’s girlfriend. Things do not go smoothly.

A Dike

Arab Films to Catch at GFFCountry: Tunisia

Directed by: Bilel Bali

In the course of one evening, everything goes wrong for a young female bar worker. She arrives late for her work, her boss threatens to fire her, she is harassed by a homosexual colleague, and when she gets home, she comes face to face with tragedy.


Country: United States, Lebanon

Directed by: Darine Hotait

On the day of her release from a psychiatric facility, Mira returns to her mother’s home in Brooklyn for her grandmother’s birthday, only to discover that her sister has told the family that she has been on a trip to Florida. Tallahassee provides a glimpse into the struggles of mental illness, an issue often silenced in Arab culture.


Arab Films to Catch at GFFCountry: Egypt

Directed by: Morad Mostafa

Khadiga lives alone with her baby after her husband left to work in a remote city. On an ordinary day, she goes through the streets of Cairo to make a few visits where she feels uncomfortable with the surroundings. Arab Films to Catch at GFF


Arab Films to Catch at GFFCountry: Egypt

Directed by: Ahmed Abd El Salam

After numerous failed attempts to escape the status quo of her generation’s depression, Nour, 29, secretly arranges to flee her homeland. Hours before her departure, she embarks on a journey of struggles with a patriarchal society and a fight within to keep her hidden secret.

Full Moon

Arab Films to Catch at GFFCountry: Egypt

Directed by: Hadi El Bagoury

Starring Khaled El Nabawy, Shereen Reda, Ghada Adel, Ahmed El Fishawy, Yasmin Raeis, Ahmed Malek, Ahmed Hatem, Asmaa Abulyazeid, May El Ghety and Khaled Anwar, the film takes place over one moonlit evening where the constraints and misconceptions that affect society are addressed through five separate love stories.

Inside the Gouna Film Festival with GFF CEO Amr Mansi