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13 April 2024

Cinema Akil Opens its Flagship Home in Partnership with Alserkal Avenue

By Staff

Cinema Akil, the first arthouse cinema in the GCC, is pleased to announce the official opening of its flagship home in partnership with Alserkal Avenue, the region’s foremost arts and culture community. Cinema Akil has now opened its doors at Warehouse 68 in Alserkal Avenue, presenting a regional and international film programme that includes award-winning films and critically-acclaimed titles.

The partnership builds on Alserkal Avenue’s mandate to champion and support homegrown talent, as well as, Cinema Akil’s goal of education and awareness-building around film and the cinematic arts. As Alserkal Avenue celebrates 10 years, this partnership expands on its commitment to diversify its community by nurturing creative entrepreneurial visions.

“Independent films have captured hearts and imaginations the world over, bridging cultures and bringing people together. Cinema Akil has created a home for independent cinema in the GCC for the first time, making an indelible and pioneering imprint on the creative community. We are proud to welcome Cinema Akil to its new home at Alserkal Avenue,” says Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Founder of Alserkal Avenue.

Butheina Kazim, Founder of Cinema Akil, commented saying: “We are thrilled to announce this new partnership; Alserkal Avenue has been a valuable partner throughout our journey growing the independent film scene in the UAE. The opening of our flagship home marks an important milestone in our joint mission to support the independent film scene in the region.”

The two organisations will collaborate to present a programme of international and critically-acclaimed films, continuing their long standing collaboration. Cinema Akil was founded in 2014 as a nomadic pop-up cinema platform, bringing independent films from across the world to audiences in the UAE.

Before moving into its permanent home in Alserkal Avenue in Dubai in September, Cinema Akil had held over 60 pop-ups around the UAE in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. They have included over 50 joint screenings presented by Alserkal Programming and Cinema Akil, including films from the annual Reel Palestine pop-up programme, which celebrates independent and alternative Palestinian film, Korean films as part of the Korean Film Days programme, and Food Restaurant, a Ramadan restaurant concept and screening event presented in collaboration with Alserkal Avenue and Jean-Paul Najar Foundation, among others.

Alserkal Avenue is home to 16 contemporary art galleries and not-for-profit spaces, and over 40 creative businesses, and cultivates a vibrant community of visual and performing arts organisations, designers, and artisanal spaces that have become an essential platform for the development of the creative industries in the United Arab Emirates.

“As we mark a decade of Alserkal Avenue this year, which was built on the public promise to nurture homegrown talent and cultural producers in the region, it was only natural for us to further collaborate with Cinema Akil,” says Vilma Jurkute, Director of Alserkal Avenue. “Cinema Akil’s programme will enrich and strengthen the creative ecosystem in the city, and foster curiosity and engagement with our audiences.”
Cinema Akil programming combines highlights from the world's pre-eminent film festivals, and exclusive regional film premieres with powerful independent titles and cult classics, providing an original and eclectic cinematic experience. Its programming for 2018 and 2019 includes exclusive releases of Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Cold War by Academy Award winning director Pawel Pawlikowski and Dogman by Matteo Garrone. It’s repertory program includes special screenings of Ousmane Sembene’s La Noire De, a sing along screening of Grease and a special 4k restoration of Moustapha Akkad’s The Message. It’s regional focus will bring to UAE audience’s Karim Moussaoui’s Until the Birds Return, Sharam Mokri’s horror film Fish and Cat and Sam Masud’s My Pure Land as well as a Diwali special screening of Bollywood 1995 hit Dilwale Dulhania le Jayenge. Cinemini, Cinema Akil’s kids program will present morning shows of the much-loved Studio Ghibli film Ponyo, the regional premiere of Mexican animation Ana and Bruno and Korean animation The Shower screening as part of the Korean Film Festival 2018.

Cinema Akil is also home to Project Chaiwala, a homegrown diner reminiscent of neighbourhood ‘chaiwalas’, which is open for all-day dining inside the Cinema Akil space.

Tickets are only available at the cinema for purchase, and the full calendar can be seen
on www.cinemaakil.com/calendar