Meet Bakhita Abdulla: the woman bringing world cinema to Al Ain

Al Ain Community Cinema is the city's newest cinema experience
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Meet Bakhita Abdulla: the woman bringing world cinema to Al Ain

Not quite content schlepping across borders for an impromptu viewing of any non-Hollywood-blockbuster film, Bakhita Abdulla decided to take matters into her own hands.

With a concept inspired by Cinema Akil, Dubai, and Cinema Space, Abu Dhabi, the university graduate hoped to carve out a space in her own city to exist as a reverie of everything indie.

“The United Arab Emirates University here in Al Ain has a film programme, but there aren’t any public spaces that screen films, where the students can go and watch the films that could enhance and inform their education,” Abdulla explains.

Therefore, with a cherry-picked selection of award-winning foreign films, Abdulla reached out to several venues, out of which Zayed Central Library became the home for her project.

Aptly name Al Ain Community Cinema, the concept exists as just that – a community of film lovers pulled together by their appreciation of world cinema. The cinema brings a series of free film screenings to the city every fortnight.

With the first two screens having seen amazing success, Abdulla has now curated a full listing of films to be shown until the end of the year. “I want it to be consistent. I want it to last,” she says.

While online streaming services continue to threaten the world of cinema, Bakhita holds fast to the importance of the setting. “To sit somewhere dark and watch something with complete strangers and be able to experience emotions they are feeling at the same time you are, that’s powerful and significant.”

  • All screenings will be held at Zayed Central Library at 6pm and all are free to attend.

Photos: Instagram and Supplied