SWANA Film Festival Australia


The inaugural SWANA Film Festival will focus on contemporary stories of women and gender diverse South West Asian and North African filmmakers. A curatorium will program international and local content from SWANA filmmakers. SWANA Film Festival is supported by Arts & Cultural Exchange, Parramatta Riverside Theatres, Arab Theatre Studio and Screen NSW.


SWANA is a decolonial term for the South West Asian & North African region. 


SWANA displaces the terminologies of Middle Eastern, Near Eastern, Arab World or Islamic World that have colonial, Eurocentric, and Orientalist origins.


We use SWANA to acknowledge the diversity and complexities of our communities.


The festival will be directed by Iraqi-Australian writer and arts worker Hajer.
Hajer is a writer, actress and founder of the ‘Iraqi Diaspora Creatives Network’ an Instagram page showcasing Iraqi creatives across the globe.

Hajer’s writing explores the experiences of womanhood, messy friendships and everyone’s favourite topic–dysfunctional families. 

She is currently writing a novel that has just been long listed for the Richell Prize.

Hajer produces an arts event called Sahra Salon. She is also part of the core directorship of the Finishing School Collective.

Would you like to be a part of the committee?

Fill out the EOI here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe-Zf-7QlSp7UwZNSp2tLI1a0yXi5CSrPlNIlUivcrg6RnM5Q/viewform 

Deadline: 19th September


What is the role of a curatorial committee?

The curatorium will:

  • be led by SWANA creatives
  • program both internationally and locally produced content
  • host a salon event in conversation with creatives 
  • launch a festive opening night for community members, filmmakers, creatives and sponsors