Building Bridges Film Festival in Bahrain

A new film festival in Bahrain aims to help Syrian refugees

Building Bridges Film Festival in Bahrain

You’d think a film festival would be all about showing independent flicks to lovers of the big screen, but the brand-new Building Bridges Film Festival is much, much more than that. Sure, there are poignant documentary screenings, but there are also workshops and activities involving food, music, sports and humanitarian efforts. Oh, and all the profits are going towards helping Syrian refugees.

As the organisers say: “the theme of our festival is building bridges among people through experiences”.

Each evening, between December 6 and 12, a range of documentaries are being shown, highlighting issues across the world. This includes Salam Neighbor (pictured), the award-winning film about two Americans who spend a month living in a Syrian refugee camp, which is being screened on December 6 at the Cultural Hall. And, on December 13, at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay, Song of Lahore is being shown. It’s directed by two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and follows a Pakistani orchestra as they prepare to perform with notable jazz musician Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center New York.

After each screening there are Q&A sessions with directors, international speakers and workshops. Other events include sessions with Bahraini chefs, orchestral performances and sales for Syrian art. Film directors Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci (the men behind the documentary Living On One Dollar) will also be in town for workshops with Bahrain-based filmmakers.

Ticket prices vary, but, as we said, your money is going to a good cause. So, if that’s not a reason to sit back and watch a movie, then we don’t know what is…

Three more
Films to see at the festival


Jon Favreau is a chef who quits his job and starts a food truck. After the film, watch five top local chefs create dishes and a Cuban band perform on Marassi Al Bahrain.
Dec 8, 5pm-9.30pm.

Keepers of the Game

This documentary is about a group of Native American girls in the US who form a lacrosse team. The screening will take place at a local Bahrain school, with kids’ events.
Dec 11, 6pm-8.30pm.

Living on One Dollar

Four friends take a trip to rural Guatemala to live on US$1 a day in this award-winning documentary.Watch it at Oliveto restaurant in Adliya and have dinner.
Dec 12, 6.30pm-11pm.

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