The Arts Center at NYUAD kicks off the fifth year of CinemaNa

With online conversations and screenings of films from the Arab world      

Unlocking Doors of Cinema

Unlocking Doors of Cinema

  • The series is presented by the NYUAD Film and New Media Program in partnership with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and The Arts Center
  • An online conversation with influential Syrian filmmaker Mohamad Malas and Abu Dhabi filmmaker Nezar Andary
  • The three films are available for on-demand viewing in advance and following the conversation, until October 10 

Abu Dhabi : The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) continues the hugely successful CinemaNa series with online conversations and screenings by influential filmmakers from the Arab world. The first installment brings Syrian filmmaker and pioneer of Arab cinema, Mohamad Malas and Abu Dhabi filmmaker Nezar Andary together for an online conversation (in Arabic with English translation) on Monday, October 4 at 7:30pm.

Curated by, and presented in partnership with the NYUAD Film and New Media Program and Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, this ongoing series follows a new format. Audiences can watch three films that contemplate loss, memory, and home, on demand, ahead of or after the online conversation. The three films for this installment are: two of Mohamad Malas’s works, The Night (al-Leil), Passion (Bab el Maqam), and Nezar Andar’s  documentary portrait of Malas, Unlocking Doors of Cinema. The films are available for on-demand viewing until October 10.

Commenting on the fall program of CinemaNa, series co-curator and Associate Arts Professor of Film at NYUAD Scandar Copti, said: “As we celebrate five years of CinemaNa, we share our passion and faith in Arab Contemporary Cinema and invite people to watch a series of thought-provoking movies directed by Arab filmmakers and engage in an open dialogue while they reflect on the cultural and social issues that these films contemplate.”

Commenting on the event, Associate Director of External Relations at NYUAD Reem Saleh, said: “This fall we are very proud to offer to our audiences a series of films that represent the truth, values, and nuances of the Arab culture and engage in a meaningful conversation that seeks to ‘unlock the doors of Cinema’ together with Syrian cinema legend Mohamad Malas.”

Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Clio Chaveneau said, “CinemaNa film program offers a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover the work of prominent Arab filmmakers and their insights on complex social and political realities through personal – yet collective – experiences.”

The following films will be available for on-demand viewing until October 10:  

The Night (al-Leil) – Directed by Mohamad Malas

The son of a dead resistance fighter for Palestine tries to restore his father’s history and exorcise the feeling of shame and humiliation that accompanied the image of his father and his town, occupied by Israelis.

Passion (Bab el Maqam) – Directed by Mohamad Malas

Set against the backdrop of the 2003 Syrian elections, Iman strives to become a singer amidst suspicion and mistrust among her family members. Trailer

Unlocking Doors of Cinema – Directed by Nezar Andary

A feature documentary exploring the fifty years of artistic contribution of the daring Syrian auteur Mohamad Malas. Malas, an exile from his hometown of Quneitra, provokes audiences to contemplate loss, memory, and home. Trailer

CinemaNa will be streamed online at Events are ticketed, but free of charge. Visit The Arts Center website for details. The Q&A will be livestreamed on Monday, October 4. 


For more information please visit:  The Arts Center at NYUAD is an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. 

About The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi

Presenting music, theater, dance, film and interdisciplinary performances that defy definition, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is a performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. The Arts Center draws on the resources of NYUAD to create a dynamic space for research, investigation, and the active pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for audiences as well as visiting artists. The Arts Center is proudly supported by Mubadala as lead sponsor.

About Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

Sorbonne University was established in May 2006, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, and under license from the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is an Emirati university that benefits from 760 years of academic experience of the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris. The university boasts a 93,000 square meters state-of-the-art campus located in Al Reem Island.

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi follows the French Education System and Sorbonne University and University of Paris award its degrees, while all degrees are also accredited by the UAE’s Commission for Academic Accreditation.

Over 2000 students of more than 90 different nationalities have graduated from Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi to date

Visit Sorbonne Abu Dhabi’s website:  

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from more than 115 nations and speak over115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

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