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Calling All Cinema Enthusiasts: Cinema Akil Prepares for Inspiring Italian Film Festival 2024

Read about what to expect from Cinema Akil’s upcoming fourth edition of the Italian Film Festival 2024.

What is Cinema Akil?

Located in Dubai’s Serkal Avenue, Cinema Akil is a renowned independent theatre, aiming to challenge mainstream narratives and encourage a new dynamic for independent films in the Middle East. As Al Serkal Avenue is Dubai’s warehouse, making it all the more unique, the independent theatre’s home stands out as a blend of art, culture and purpose. As the first in the GCC, the arthouse serves as a hot spot as well as a cinema enthusiast one stop. After years of hosting nomadic pop ups in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, the theatre established its home at Alserkal Avenue in 2018. Another branch is also open in 25hourshotel in Dubai.


The Festival

The fourth edition of the Italian Film Festival will run for seven days from May 31 to June 6, featuring nine Italian films put together by multiple filmmakers and directors. This year’s Italian Film Festival is a collaboration between Dubai’s independent arthouse, Cinema Akil and the Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi.

Films, films

Nine engaging films are to be screened during the festival over the span of the week as documented on the place’s monthly calendar. Two of the most prominent films are: Paola Cortellesi’s, There’s Still Tomorrow that follows the life of Delia, who attempts to escape the confines of a post-war patriarchal society, and 2023’s Casablanca by Adriano Valerio where we accompany a couple through their unorthodox love story set between Morocco and Italy.

Other films in the festival explore themes of societal drama, love and nationalism. As well as showcasing films seen no where else, the Italian Film Festival will also feature a retrospective screening of filmmaker Roberto Rossellini, who is the master of neo-realist cinema and has changed the global landscape of cinema. The selection of films has previously gained attention at festivals such as Cannes, Venice, Berlinale, and Rotterdam.


Tickets can be purchased through the website or from the ticket office at the front entrance of the space and are roughly 50 AED each. Or else, visitors can purchase a seasonal pass for 225 AED, allowing access to all nine films of the festival. You may also purchase movie snacks from the South-Asian diner Chaiwala located inside the theatre.

Check out other movie theatres to enjoy in the country!

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