DUBAI: In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the number — and public profile — of female Arab filmmakers. This is, no doubt, partly due to the increasing market for stories told from an Arab perspective — finally breaking the stereotypical image of Arabs in international films as either victims or villains — as well as to the increasing diversity of the international cinema industry.
As more films helmed by female Arab directors are released, so their participation in the international festival circuit increases too. They are opening the door to women’s cinema in the region, and offering a more rounded, nuanced portrayal of Arab women and their societies to the rest of the world.
“It’s a given that since more women started making films, we started seeing a different dimension of female characters,” Ayah Jardaneh, co-producer of the award-winning historical drama “Farha,” Jordan’s official entry for the 2023 Academy Awards, told Arab News.
“Farha” and several other films made by Arab women have attracted global attention in recent years. Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s “The Man Who Sold His Skin” made the 2021 Oscar nominations, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum” did the same in 2019, and Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani’s “The Blue Caftan” was shortlisted for this year’s Best International Feature Film, but did not make the final nominees. All three won awards at major…