Open call to curate Safar Film Festival 2020

The Arab British Centre is seeking a film curator for the fifth edition of the SAFAR Film Festival, taking place across London venues from 17 – 21 September 2020.

The opportunity is a freelance position and is available for candidates based in the UK and overseas.

Apply before 8:00pm GMT (UK time) on 15 December 2019.

Working closely with the festival directors and producers, the responsibilities of the curator include:

  • Identifying the theme for 2020 and developing a coherent curatorial statement in consultation with The Arab British Centre Choosing the final selection of films
  • Approaching filmmakers and/or guests and experts from the industry who will participate in the post-screening Q&As and general festival programme
  • Liaising with film distributors to secure films for the festival
  • Attending all festival screenings, introducing each screening and chairing accompanying events as required
  • Writing content for the marketing materials, including curatorial statement, film synopses, articles for the media and further content for print and online marketing
  • Carrying out press interviews, working closely with appointed PR company (proficiency in Arabic language would be preferable but not essential), supporting with UK and Arab media coverage ahead of the festival opening
  • Working in collaboration with the Arab British Centre to develop and support the delivery of the wrap-around programme of public and industry events and activities around the festival
  • Providing regular status updates to the Arab British Centre by email throughout the development of the project
  • Available to travel to London from 10-25 September 2020 to host the festival screenings and events. If applicable, The Arab British Centre will provide visa support letters for candidates travelling from the region.


To be considered for the role, you will need to submit an application with the following:

  • A cover letter detailing: (1,200 words maximum)
    - Why you are interested in the SAFAR Film Festival
    - What you hope to achieve
    - One idea that you would like to develop as a theme.
    - Demonstrating your understanding of current international trends in cinema with particular reference to issues and debates in Arab cinema.
  • Evidence documenting two to three recent projects in film curation
  • CV (please include an email address and phone number)

All applications should be emailed to, submitted in PDF format in files no larger than 5MB in size.

All submissions will be reviewed by The Arab British team and Saeed Taji Farouky, filmmaker, co-founder of the SAFAR Film Festival and Trustee of the Board of The Arab British Centre.

Successful candidates will be contacted by email on week of 16 December and interviews will take place on week of 20 January 2020.

The fee for the curator role is £7,600. Room and board during the festival period will be provided if the successful candidate will be travelling from outside of London.

Founded and run by The Arab British Centre, the SAFAR Film Festival is a curated festival that is dedicated to showcasing the best of Arab cinema to British audiences. Working in partnership with cultural institutions such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and the Institut Français in London, SAFAR is today the largest platform exclusively presenting films from across the Arab world in the UK.

For more information about each edition of the festival including the full list of films and programmes, click here.


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