SWANA Film Festival is a nomadic project curated by Christina Hajjar. Hosted online and at a different site each year, SWANA FF screens short films by Southwest Asian and North African filmmakers from the region and its diasporas. Workshops are by and for SWANA filmmakers and all programming is free.

SWANA FF co-edits qumra journal with MENA Film Festival (Vancouver) and Toronto Arab Film Festival (Toronto), publishing film writing online and in print. Read. Buy.


“Archiving Processes: 2022 SWANA Film Festival Review” by Sarah Sarofim, qumra journal.

“On The Tactility of Loss in Your Father Was Born 100 Years Old, and So Was the Nakba” by Chantal Khoury, qumra journal.

“SWANA Film Festival: contending with complexities of matrilineal relationships from the SWANA diaspora” by Tara Hakim, Public Parking.

“Poem-inspired, coffee-flavoured” by Naaman Sturrup, The Uniter.

Sira dir. Rolla Tahir

2022 Edition

Presented by the Regina Public Library Film Theatre.

Program 1: Inconvenient Truths
Tallahassee dir. Darine Hotait
A Handful of Dates dir. Hashim Hassan
In Vitro dir. Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind

Program 2: Experimental Archives
Your Father Was Born 100 years Old, and So Was the Nakba dir. Razan AlSalah
Clench My Fists dir. Sarah Trad
Bitter with a Shy Taste of Sweetness dir. Saif Alsaegh
Sira dir. Rolla Tahir
The Perfect Picture dir. ​​Hala El Kouch

Online workshops
Character Development for Screenwriters with Darine Hotait
Voice, Vision, and Modes of Production with Rolla Tahir

See the full program and curatorial text.

Immigrant at Home dir. Sufian Abulohom

2021 Edition

Presented by the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba.

Program 1: Our Longing Extends (with opening poems by Safia Elhillo)
Immigrant at Home dir. Sufian Abulohom
Measures of Distance dir. Mona Hatoum
1991 dir. Saif Alsaegh
Only My Voice dir. Myriam Rey

Program 2: We Didn’t Sleep (with opening poem by Hala Alyan)
Rosa dir. Suha Araj
The Wall dir. Odette Makhlouf
Though I am Silent, I Shake dir. Sophie Sabet
Nora’s Cloth dir. Issraa Elkogali Häggström

Online workshops
Unraveling and Composing the Personal in Video with Sophie Sabet
Reading Coffee, Writing the Future with Levon Kafafian

See the full program and curatorial text.