Thursday 16 May 2024

1st MIFF (30/5/24–2/6/24)

The inaugural edition of MIFF runs May 30th–June 2nd in London’s Leicester Square. Championing the narratives of international Muslim filmmakers and highlighting their compelling stories, the Muslim International Film Festival is also a platform for productions inspired by Muslim culture and faith, embracing filmmakers of all backgrounds. At a time of polarised public opinion and a prevalence of negative portrayals of Muslims in the mainstream media, MIFF has arrived on the international film festival circuit with a mission to celebrate and amplify the diverse voices that explore the rich tapestry of Muslim experiences via the medium of film. 

This first edition showcases the breadth of Muslim storytelling with premieres of acclaimed new features set throughout the world including the UK, Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, Jordan, and Sudan. MIFF is supported by UK Muslim Film (UKMF), a charity working to change perspectives by championing underrepresented talent and voices, both onscreen and behind the camera. UKMF recently worked as cultural consultants with C4’s comedy drama Screw, ITV’s Good Karma Hospital, C4’s Hollyoaks, and Columbia Pictures’ Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, ensuring that cultural and faith-based aspects of storylines are portrayed accurately. 
Sajid Varda, Festival Director of MIFF says: “We’re absolutely thrilled to bring this festival to London, where we’re on a mission to weave together cultures through the magic of cinema. MIFF is not just a festival; it’s a vibrant celebration of cultures and stories from across the Muslim world, providing a spotlight on talented emerging and seasoned filmmakers from all corners of the globe. As we bring together the film industry and filmmakers alike, our line-up features some of the most courageous and creative minds – each one bringing their A-game to the big screen. These are stories that pack a punch, that resonate deep within, and remind us that there’s more that unites us than divides us.”
The 1st MIFF opens with the London premiere of Belgian co-production Hounds. A multi-award winner including Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes, it portrays a father and son in the suburbs of Casablanca who get by on petty crimes for a local mob. Acclaimed supernatural drama Behind the Mountains sees a man who violently breaks free from his banal environment, evading society with its principles, codes and institutions. A multi award-winner at festivals including Cannes and Red Sea International Film Festival, Inshallah a Boy (pictured above) sees a widow pretend to be pregnant with a son to save her daughter and home from a relative exploiting Jordan’s patriarchal inheritance laws.

Image: BFI