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SWANA Film Festival
February 5, 2021 - February 18, 2021

Curated by Christina Hajjar
February 5 to 18, 2021

Streaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba’s YouTube channel

Presented with the support of the Government of Canada through the Young Canada Works program, Building Careers in Heritage.


School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba presents a free two-week online film festival featuring short films, poetry, and workshops. SWANA Film Festival showcases Southwest Asian and North African creativity on screen to speak to themes of diaspora, dis/connection, agency, and change.


Available on-demand for one week each on YouTube. Films are closed captioned.

Week 1: Our Longing Extends
Short films on diaspora, identity, and dis/connection
+ poetry by Safia Elhillo
Available Friday, February 5, 7:00 p.m. CT to Thursday, February 11, 11:59 p.m. CT

Immigrant at Home, dir. Sufian Abulohom, 2020, 20 mins, USA
Measures of Distance, dir. Mona Hatoum, 1988, 16 mins, UK
1991, dir. Saif Alsaegh, 2018, 12 mins, USA
Only My Voice, dir. Myriam Rey, 2017, 12 mins, Greece

Week 2: We Didn’t Sleep
Short films on origins, agency, and change
+ poetry by Hala Alyan
Available Friday, February 12, 7:00 p.m. CT to Thursday, February 18, 11:59 p.m. CT

Rosa, dir. Suha Araj, 2020, 23 mins, USA
The Wall, dir. Odette Makhlouf, 2012, 24 mins, Lebanon
Though I Am Silent, I Shake, dir. Sophie Sabet, 2019, 10 mins, Canada
Nora’s Cloth, dir. Issraa Elkogali Häggström, 2021, 8 mins, Sudan/Norway/Sweden


The Perfect Day (process), 2020. Image: courtesy of Sophie Sabet.


Facilitated on Zoom. Open to SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) people. Registration required; space is limited.

Unraveling and Composing the Personal in Video: A Workshop with Sophie Sabet
Saturday, February 6, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. CT

Reading Coffee, Writing the Future: A Workshop with Levon Kafafian
Saturday, February 13, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. CT

Please visit to learn more and register.

February 5, 2021 - February 18, 2021

ON Canada