All The Wild Things

Join us for a weekend in Abu Dhabi at 421 Campus where we  showcase regional films that explore the climate crisis. This expansive program includes film screenings, talks, workshops, activations, and family-friendly screenings too. The three-day festival will present feature-length and short films in the narrative, documentary, and experimental genres, all which focus on the environment as their central premise. 

Panel discussions and Q&A sessions led by filmmakers and creatives will also take place, exploring topics inspired by the films screened throughout the program. Children’s film screenings will take place indoors and include snacks, drinks, and comfy bean bags.

Film screenings are free to the public, prior reservation is required, click HERE to book your tickets.

The Little Match Girl | An Experimental Cine-Concert

Featuring three talented Lebanese musicians, June, Renata, and Patrik Abi Abdallah of Frequent Defect, this live performance will bring the captivating film “THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL” directed by Jean Renoir to life in a groundbreaking interpretive experience.
This cine-concert is co-produced by Alserkal and Metropolis in collaboration with Cinema Akil and Irtijal, the oldest music festival of Beirut.
This is a free public performance, reserve your seats now via

Arabian Days

With over 400 million speakers worldwide, Arabic stands as a major global linguistic asset. Arabic is a fundamental element of Arab and UAE identity, crucial for societal interaction and fostering a vibrant exchange of knowledge, culture, and creativity. To challenge stereotypes and promote a modern image of Arabic, the “Arabian Days” festival has been established in Abu Dhabi.

This festive and youthful event aims to celebrate Arabic language and culture, emphasizing its heritage, value, and future in poetry, literature, creative arts, and daily life. Coinciding with UNESCO’s World Arabic Language Day on December 18, this inaugural edition marks the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s commitment to the language’s significance.

The event’s chosen dates hold special significance, aligning with UNESCO’s World Arabic Language Day on December 18, focusing this year on “Arabic as the Language of Poetry and Arts.” This inaugural edition lays the foundation for future growth, aiming to redefine perceptions and enhance the language’s popularity among the target audience. Starting in 2024, the event will become an annual fixture, building on this foundation for continued success.

Warehouse421 Palestinian Cinema Days

Abu Dhabi: Presented in collaboration with Warehouse 421, Reel Palestine and Cinema Akil, this film program champions independent and alternative cinema from Palestine. The program will include four short and feature-length films in the documentary and narrative genres.

Screenings will take place in 421 Art Campus’ outdoor plaza in Abu Dhabi from 7:00 pm onwards, every Friday will begin with the screening of a short followed by a feature-length film. Films include subtitles in English and Arabic where applicable.

*Free public screenings, registration required

OFF CIRCUIT: Cinema Akil x Sole

OFF CIRCUIT: Cinema Akil x Sole.

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop – this year, Cinema Akil and Sole DXB join forces once again with a celebration of the music that became a voice for the voiceless the world over. From Palestine to New York City, the public screening program includes 4 feature documentaries that span the impact the culture has had and the history that it rose from.

This film screening is curated in collaboration with Sole DXB as part of our OFF CIRCUIT activities warming up for the Sole DXB weekend DEC 08-10.


Saudi Arabia, here we are!
Cinema Akil proudly kicks off our KSA debut with a curated month-long program of newcomer pop up Cinema AlJadida in Al’Ula.
16 Feb – 21 Mar 2023
Every night
29 feature films


Doha! Here we come, with an immersive popup that presents visitors with the perfect opportunity to take in the cinematic offerings from Cinema Akil in between the game schedule under the stars.


In collaboration with Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Cinema Akil showcases ‘The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock and ‘The Housemaid’ by Kim Ki-Young, as part of the on-going exhibition General Behaviour by US-based Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi.


There are two feature films – one narrative and the other documentary – and two found-footage shorts in “Personal Geographies”, the latest film program in Cinema Akil’s “Pop-ups”, and its new collaboration with Warehouse421 as part of the latter’s Winter 2022 program. A responsive film program, “Personal Geographies” engages in a conversation with “Language is Migrant”, an exhibition curated by Anushka Rajendran and hosted by Warehouse421. “Language is Migrant” is also the Abu Dhabi edition of Colomboscope’s 7th festival, a Sri Lankan platform for contemporary art and interdisciplinary dialogue.


Discover a special re-run of the Moving Memories film program by Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Cinema Akil and curated by Ma Hoogla-Kalfat responding to Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection artist Ayman Yossri Daydban’s Love (from the Maharem series), 2014. The film marathon features three experimental films that capture microhistories of Egyptian cinema in bygone eras. Inspired by the artist’s process, the films explore notions of archive, production, and consumption.


Say mashallah; for here she is: back in the game, no stranger to the night. It’s been 614 nights since she held your gaze and here she is running through Mina Zayed; burning all those nights…arriving at you…offering no apology.

Fire Walk With Her is a forcefield of film that dares to call David Lynch only by her name; dancing to the rhythm of Mariem Hassan, Aziza Galal and Cheikha Rimitti’s souls possessing her veins.

Engaged in a state of play with Warehouse421’s fall exhibition As We Gaze Upon Her, this homecoming series; returns triumphantly to Warehouse421; with films by women who carry their stories around their necks, crowning their heads, woven through their voice, baring tales that twist and turn around their limbs scorching the eyes of their onlookers enchanting those who choose to stay.

Dressed as a Cerberus; a sleuthing trifecta of rage, silence adorned with that vacuous sadness of animated smiles; the program will open in October. Featuring the UAE premiere of the Saudi rising star Sara Mesfer’s short narrative The Girls Who Burned The Night (Saudi Arabia), Nicholas Fattouh’s animated loving letter to his teta How My Grandmother Became a Chair (Lebanon) and Maryam Touzani’s Adam (Morocco) her piecing ode to female friendship. In November, despair takes to fantasy with the imagined refuge of Maysaa Almumin’s Bent Werdan (Kuwait) and her cockroach friendship and the dark nights of Hala’s soul in Hisham Saqr’s Certified Mail (Egypt). In December, she will shake it off and destiny’s plans along with it. The program closes in December; but only on her terms.In Suzannah Mirghani’s Al Sit (Sudan) the girl will say no; while another will demand only a yes as Mayye Zayed’s observing gaze honors her pursuit of triumph. The films in this program will leave you mortified, curious and if all goes well; they will humbly devour you. She will leave you breathless, hopeful with your gaze permanently locked upon her. So come, Fire….walk with her! For Water will laugh, Air will crumble and Earth will just dance with her too.

Location: Warehouse421, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi.


Set in a space colony on Earth, this new sci-film explores how the future of smart cities relies on the promise of “sustainable” closed systems in the face of health and ecological crises. Two protagonists narrate how the control and exploitation of environmental life cycles and organisms become a blueprint to achieve such futuristic visions.


In the first edition of the Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert, Cinema Akil presents a lineup of poetry, frame by frame enamored by the desert in all her faces.

The film program in the desert brings Cinema Akil back to its nomadic roots, having started its long journey for the love of film as a traveling cinema bringing film to audiences all around the UAE.

A caravan of cinematic dances, wandering through the sands, the lineup will present a series of films speaking the language of the desert which has captivated filmmakers since the beginning of film.

The Al Marmoom cinematic journey will take audiences through the skies and deserts beneath them, in expanses as far apart as Wad Madani in Central Sudan to the outback landscapes of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

Over four nights in Al Marmoom, through the common language of deserts, cinema will shorten the distances between places, hearts and spirit.

The program presents feature length narrative and documentary films including the award-winning 2019 contemporary Sudanese feature film by Amjad Abulala’s You Will Die at Twenty. Free of the constraints of time and space, the program traverses geographies, dates and genres spanning cinematic affairs with the desert with documentaries, shorts and features from 1988 to 2019.

Flickering over her dunes, La Semaine de la Critique de Cannes 2016 Nespresso Grand Prize winner, Mimosas by Oliver Laxe will take us  into the desert, towards the Atlas Mountains making way for apocalyptic splendor with Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior in George Miller’s 1981 fantasy. In Rajasthan’s Thar desert, romance and magic will enchant the night in Anup Singh’s 2017 Song of Scorpions as Theeb’s childhood defies the harshness of the Jordan desert in  the 2014 Academy Award nominee Theeb by Naji Abu Nawar.

Through a special program of Emirati shorts, stories of everyday life, ritual, tradition, mischief and joy by filmmakers from this land. Born in the desert, the program of short films will feature some of the newest voices of Emirati cinema with a strong female film showcase featuring Grandma’s Beauty by Kaltham Abdul Rahim Abdullah Al Ali and Dana Ibrahim Al Serkal, A Night in a Taxi by Aisha Alzaabi and The Neighbour by Nayla Al Khaja. The shorts program includes two films by Mohammad Al Hammadi: Maryam, Goldfish by Abdulaziz Almannaei and Laymoon by Abdulrahman Al Madani.

In Dubai, where history is made in the desert every day, the history of Libyan leader Omar Mukhtar shall stand remembered in a special screening of the recently restored classic Lion of the Desert a tribute to the late legendary Syrian-American director Moustapha Akkad (1988).

Join us, in a desert of stories, as we romance her dunes, fight her quicksands, embrace her solitude, together in a desert of stories…in the magic of cinema in the desert of Al Marmoom.




Qissa’ Go and Aleph Collective presents Festival of South Asia – a program that celebrates South Asia and the Muslim world.

Join us on December 6th at 3 PM for the exclusive screening of PAKISTAN CHOWK – a documentary exploring the urban intervention by architect & heritage consultant Marvi Mazhar to bring the pre-partition era chowk back to its former charm.

Aleph Collective is proud to announce its flagship project, ‘ALEPH – A Caravan Serai for South Asia & the Muslim World’ A traveling festival coming this summer! Focused on South Asia and the Muslim world at large, under the theme THE ROOT OF EVERYTHING, the inaugural edition will be held in Dubai!

Be it food or ecology, heritage to public art, literature, films, theatre and music to tech & science, everything will come together to engage, have authentic conversations, collaborate, and create with the  195+ nationalities that we call community.

But what’s even better is that you get to have a taste of what’s to come in the months prior. Mark your calendars for our first pop-up weekend and come, be a part of our caravan!

After the film, we have a Q&A via video call with the director.


Join us this National Day for a special mini-series presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, produced by Atlantic Productions and brought to you in partnership with Alserkal Avenue – HISTORY OF THE EMIRATES a landmark documentary series. The program will kick off with EPISODE 5: UNITY – highlighting the historic trend towards unity in the UAE. The screening will take place on December 2 at The Yard.  The program closes with EPISODE 1: SOCIETY – following the earliest migrations to the UAE. The screening will take place on December 5 at Cinema Akil.

For the first time ever, the ancient history of the United Arab Emirates is available to the viewers in an informative and entertaining documentary series. Stretching back 125,000 years and culminating in the union in 1971, the series profiles the very foundation of the country’s civilizations – exploring some of the region’s most historic sites, revealing the latest archeological discoveries, and uncovering the innovations that allowed the country’s forefathers to thrive on this land.

This program is brought to you in partnership with Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Atlantic Productions.


Cinema Akil and ON.DXB come together to present ON ARAB CINEMA, a selection of contemporary and classic films in celebration of Arab cinema. The program will also include two conversations in and around the development of the cinematic arts in our region.

On Nov. 21, we kick off the program with MUSK, by Humaid Alsuwaidi followed by a Q&A with the film’s actor, and an independent filmmaker himself, Mohammed Al Hamadi. The film is followed by an experiment in genre with the premiere of Abdelhamid Bouchnak’s DACHRA – reportedly based on a true story.

ON ARAB CINEMA continues with the widely anticipated Gulf premiere of the Sudanese award-winning film YOU WILL DIE AT 20 directed by Amjad Abu Alala. We will be hosting “Past and Present in Dialogue” a conversation with the film’s scriptwriter Youssef Ibrahim and the lead actress Islam Mubarak. The night will end with the special screening of Youssef Chahine’s CAIRO STATION in homage of classic Egyptian cinema.

On Nov. 23rd, the program comes to a close with a focus on the female lens presenting Soudade Kaadan’s THE DAY I LOST MY SHADOW – a drama following the life of a young mother in a war-torn Syria. The closing film is the beloved and awarded Lebanese contemporary classic WEST BEIRUT, an examination of Beirut civilian life under the pall of war.

ON.DXB invites you to be a part of an intimate audience with the talent rollercoaster from names in film, game, music, and videos. Exploring and talking about their growth into the business, behind the scenes, reminisce on career highs and lows and how they continue to innovate and diversify as the industry continues to grow.


Cinema Akil and The Abu Dhabi EDITION come together to present a special screening of STUDIO 54, a riveting and intimate look back at the greatest nightclub in New York, co-founded by The Edition Hotels Founder, Ian Schrager Company.

Join us on November 28th at 7 PM on the rooftop terrace of ANNEX Abu Dhabi for a night of film. Audiences will be transported to a magical era of daring fashion, music and culture in the world’s most iconic and influential nightclub.


Catch a free screening of the Egyptian film, Kilo 64. The UAE premiere of Kilo 64 brings home an Egyptian tale of growth, struggle, and commitment. The film follows the journey of Wael El-Shenawy, an ambitious pharmacy graduate who makes a radical career change following the events of 25 January 2011. He starts a farming business at Kilo 64 off the Cairo-Alexandria desert road with the aim to make a social impact — but not everything goes as planned. Filmed over two years, Kilo 64 is a tale of two generations as it follows the journey of a young entrepreneur trying to revive his father’s 20-year-old dream.

The screening is free and open to all, and seating is on a first come first serve basis. This screening is part of the November in Alserkal Avenue programme.


Warehouse421 presents, from its nook at the edge of the city of Abu Dhabi, a lineup of stories, of the Arab experience with the city. Akin to an environmental reckoning, the program takes us downtown, from Beirut to Cairo to Algiers and beyond to the heart of the Arab city. Through plethora of noises, bodies and movement, the Arab city is on showcase through one vignette after another of the way human experiences become fused with the structures and the intensity of interaction that surrounds them.

In these stories we shall meet the Arab city, its inhabitants – the unforgiving and the kind. The cacophonous melodies of the city will guide us, through the hopes, dreams and motivations of the frail and fraught lives that linger and push. Jerked around by the hustle of the city, prodded by its demands, we shall encounter Arab experiences of that particular inhalation of soot, smoke and relentless dynamism that is the hallmark of an Arab city.

Finally to Warehouse421, comes the Cannes Palme d’Or nominee Capernaum which shook the world over with its jarring displays of humanity in its beautiful and ugly. In Tamer Ashry’s Photocopy, a comedy of fantastical imagination, megapolitan Cairo becomes a theme park of absurdity and laughter. In Meryem Benm’Barek’s Sofia, Casablanca reigns strong, guards its secrets, hypocrisies and unleashes its power. In the adrenaline rush of The Street of Death and Other Stories comes a short documentary roaring through Beirut on the brink of peril. Drifting through Riyadh, Hajwala’s fascination with the drag racing phenomenon in the Kingdom. In an encounter with the crevices of Algiers, A Wedding Day searches nook and cranny for answers and meaning. In this program we shall confront the city as seen through its human sentiment; its unrequited romance with the surfaces and the roads, the powers that haunt them and the energies that overwhelm.

Walk with us, ride with us, collide with us…through Warehouse421’s new program into the many nights of the Arab city and its very fine heart. Through its chaos and its softness, may the best of it win.


The NYUAD Art Gallery in collaboration with Cinema Akil presents “On Wellbeing Economies” – a film series curated by Raja’a Khalid. Khalid’s new installation “a.quiet.wave” commissioned by the NYUAD Art Gallery for the current exhibition Speculative Landscapes is rooted in her research on color forecasting and consumer trends in the Yoga industry. The proposed film series invites us to view the new economy of spiritual and physical health through a critical lens.

The artist says: “The films featured in this program cast a sideways glance at the emergence of the new economy of mind and body. With varying degrees of nuance, each finds something askew in our quest for a healthy life, a perfect physique, an unburdened mind and inner peace.”

As part of the public program of its current exhibition, Speculative Landscapes, The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery in collaboration with Cinema Akil will present On Wellbeing Economies.

On Wellbeing Economies is a film series selected by one of the exhibition’s four UAE-based artists, Raja’a Khalid. Khalid’s installation a.quiet.wave, commissioned by the NYUAD Art Gallery, is rooted in her research on color forecasting and consumer trends in the Yoga industry. The proposed film series invites us to view the new economy of spiritual and physical health through a critical lens. The series includes three films: The Cleanse, Yoga Hakwon, and A Cure for Wellness, and one movie per screening will show on October 19 and November 23 at NYU Abu Dhabi, and on November 3 at Cinema Akil.

For the screenings at NYU Abu Dhabi, an RSVP is required through https://www.nyuad-artgallery.org/events For the screening at Cinema Akil, tickets can be purchased at: https://www.cinemaakil.com/ Speculative Landscapes is on view at the NYUAD Art Gallery until December 7, 2019. Curated by Executive Director of the NYUAD Art Gallery and the University’s Chief Curator, Maya Allison, this exhibition features four new installations by UAE-based artists: Areej Kaoud, Ayman Zedani, Jumairy, and Raja’a Khalid. Each offers a distinct lens into the UAE and the region, and their work is gaining international recognition for its conceptual speculations on our contemporary world. Together the exhibition offers a landmark presentation of these important artists, both in terms of the scale of the new projects, and the distinct voice and perspective they offer.


A film that evokes the unknown and the fundamental mystery of our existence, Stalker is presented in collaboration with Cinema Akil as part of Foretold Now, Alserkal Avenue’s summer programme.

Stalker (1979), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, is a metaphys­ical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a professor into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumoured to fulfil one’s most deeply held desires.


We’re back at Warehouse421 this Ramadan with two special screenings in conversation with Al Rabi’a, an experimental, process-led space by visual artist, Shaikha Al Ketbi.

Featuring walls lined with static and moving paintings depicting scenes from the artist’s dreams juxtaposed with fabricated recollections, Al Ketbi will continue to populate the space over a period of two months with additional paintings, furniture pieces and sculptures. Through this work, she explores themes of impostorism while excavating hidden truths within her own narrative in the context of mental health.

We will screen two Japanese films which will further delve into the exploration of dreams and impostorism, starting with the magical classic Spirited Away followed by The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a documentary that will take us behind the scenes of the beloved Studio Ghibli.

Join us on this special film + suhoor special.

Free entry, first-come first-seated. See you at the Warehouse.


Join us for the MENA premiere screening of the short film FREE SPIRIT by the multi-platinum award winning, global superstar Khalid, followed by a listening party of key tracks from his highly anticipated sophomore album “Free Spirit” which was just released!

Conceived and created by Khalid and Emil Nava, the short film is an authentic, visual and parallel fabrication of the album as it expands on the lyrical content and narrative reflected from Khalid’s life growing up – in all its beauty and pain.

FREE SPIRIT serves as a companion piece to Khalid’s musical creations and will feature a never-seen-before commentary + a Q&A with special guests Big Hass, Moh Flow, AY, Shebani and Bailouni.

This event is presented in collaboration with Sony Music Middle East and is a free entry screening.


L’École Van Cleef & Arpels and Cinema Akil join forces together again to present a series of outdoor screenings, from the most famous jewel hunt classic ever seen to epic historical tales and including the first Gulf feature film ever made on pearl diving. The program of films at L’École aims to inspire and awe.

The cinema program is designed to capture films and cinematic works that not only have influenced the standards of jewelry design, luxury and creation, but also aims to nudge audiences to think and reflect some of the picturesque moments in their work and process.

Cinema Akil at L’École Van Cleef & Arpels will take place on a rooftop terrace in Hai d3 with breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline.


Cinema Akil presents FIERCE! Part II an American Film Showcase, the continuation of a program dedicated to the women who shook the ground they stood on… to the girls who threw the ball beyond all limits…to the strong, bold and courageous risk-takers, homemakers, glass ceiling breakers..to the women who take the world on and never stop.

The second edition of FIERCE! Part II focuses on female success, failures, curiosities and preoccupations and puts women’s perspectives front and center on the big screen for the Cinema Akil community. The program will tour in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Reel Palestine’s annual film festival is back and will run from January 19th – 26th 2019. Films will be screened in collaboration with our long-term partners Cinema Akil at their very first permanent home in Dubai, Alserkal Avenue. We will also be screening for the first time at Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi.

The festival will kick off its biggest program to date, bringing you more than two screenings per day, talks, a vibrant market of Palestinian crafts and flavors, and more surprises to be announced soon, stay tuned!

All Screenings taking place at Cinema Akil will be ticketed. Tickets will be available for sale at Cinema Akil’s box office and www.cinemaakil.com from January 2019. Tickets are AED 52.5 (VAT included).


Join Cinema Akil and Sole DXB for the UAE premiere of ROCK RUBBER 45s, a documentary that examines the intersection and connectivity between the basketball, sneaker and music lifestyles through the lens of authentic NYC cultural orchestrator Bobbito Garcia.

The film will be followed by a conversation with the director himself – DJ, ballplayer, author and filmmaker Bobbito Garcia, known as one of the foremost authorities on urban youth, hip hop and sneaker culture.

Free admission, open to all ages.


Welcoming a brand new season of public film screenings at Alserkal Avenue, Cinema Akil returns to The Yard once a month with a lineup celebrating the finest in a broad spectrum of must-see contemporary, international films, spanning the past decade.

Curated with a wide range of audiences in mind, the film programme by Cinema Akil explores Alserkal Programming’s Fall Programme thematic, Maintenance, which over the 2018-2019 Fall, Spring, and Summer seasons, will invite a multi-disciplinary selection of practices and voices to explore three definitions of maintenance taken from the technical realm; preventative, corrective and predictive.


Female Film in Focus–Contemporary Arab Film Series at Warehouse421–Season 6.

This Front and center she stands…through her lens a world awaits. Her story, her voices, her gaze and image.

Home to the UAE’s longest-running series of contemporary Arab cinema; Warehouse421 joins forces with Cinema Akil to present a new season of film in Abu Dhabi considering an Arab woman. In its most extensive program yet; Warehouse421 turns its focus directly to contemporary films about, on and by Arab women.

With the heart of a woman at its core, cinema in Abu Dhabi now gets an even stronger voice running from October 2018 to April 2019. Every month, through the Arab world she will meet them, audiences who will walk in her shoes, or by her side, hear her spirit thunder and sputter, watch her heart break or pound its pain away. This program is a woman; abundant in her experiences and her stories.

Comedic and violent, anguished and confused, hunted and resistant: the program presents the Arab woman in all her folds. Audacious women will stand, side by side, screening by screening, with she that is meek, she that is bold, she that is silent. Passion will beget passion, truth will make way for sorrow, anger will give way to fear, and words and bodies will flow…unstoppably.

Warehouse421 presents a collection of stories about the Arab woman, she of nations, tribes and continents, as neither subject or object but as story, as vessel of that living and perishable soul; it considers her in all her ways.


Cinema Akil presents DETERMINED! an American Film Showcase program dedicated to those who defied all expectations and achieved the impossible. To those whose courage and unstoppable determination are a source of inspiration.

The program will tour in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi between December 2018 and March 2019.


In collaboration with the Korea-Arab Society and with the support of the Korean Cultural Centre and the Korea Foundation, join us for the film program KOREAN FILM DAYS with three screenings across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The program will present three contemporary Korean films including the feature films A Taxi Driver (2017), Veteran (2015) and The Pirates (2014) as well as the short film Bread Barbershop (2016) at three different venues, Warehouse 421 and Cinema Space (Manarat al Saadiyat) in Abu Dhabi and The Yard at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai.

The Korean Film Days screenings are part of the Korea Festival 2017, hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the UAE and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development of the UAE. The Korea Festival promotes cultural awareness and brings the magic of Korean culture and art to the UAE hosting a variety of cultural performances that will present Korean culture.