The Muslim International Film Festival: everything you need to know about London’s newest film fest

London is blessed with a calendar packed with film festivals representing every corner of the movie world. And to old timers like Kinoteka (Poland), the East Asia Film Festival, London Korean Film Festival, the London Indian Film Festival and the currently-in-progress Queer East, add one exciting newbie: the Muslim International Film Festival.

MIFF is coming to Leicester Square for the first time on May 30, and its full line-up has just been announced.

On the programme is a new short film from Oscar-winning home-town hero Riz Ahmed and ‘Hounds’, a pacy Casablanca-set crime drama directed by Kamal Lazraq (‘The Man With A Dog’) that’s opening the fest.

In total, there are eight features, two programmes of short films, panel discussions and chances to network or just have a chinwag with film industry types at events held in conjunction with the BFI and BBC. 

This new festival’s ethos is all about celebrating Muslim culture and storytelling. ‘MIFF is not just a festival, it’s a vibrant celebration of cultures and stories from across the Muslim world,’ says festival director Sajid Varda, ‘providing a spotlight on talented, emerging and seasoned filmmakers from all corners of the globe’.

What’s on the Muslim International Film Festival line-up? 

Opening the festival is ‘Hounds’, an award-winning drama about a father and son who make a living by committing crimes for a local gang. When a kidnapping goes wrong, they have to dispose of the body and things take a turn for the Coenesque.

Another to look out for is ‘In Camera’, starring ‘Mogul Mowgli’s Nabhaan Rizwan as a young actor trying to break out of a cycle of nightmarish auditions and repeated rejections.

‘Hesitation Wound’ is another that comes with festival prizes. It’s directed by Selman Nacar and follows a criminal lawyer faced with an impossible moral dilemma.

And Riz Ahmed’s MIFF debut is ‘Dammi’, which follows a kid who travels to Paris to reconnect with his estranged father while reclaiming his lost Arab identity. 

Photograph: The Muslim International Film Festival‘Hounds’ is the festival opener

How can I attend?

The fest runs May 30-June 2 at Odeon Luxe West End Festival. Passes and tickets are on sale now at the festival’s Eventbrite website. 

Head to the official MIFF site for all the info.

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