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Welcome to Reel Festivals

Reel Festivals collaborates with artists working in areas in conflict to celebrate diversity, build solidarity and create dialogue with audiences internationally. We organise live events to explore alternative stories through direct interaction and shared experiences. Previous events have focused on Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, with a central focus on poetry, music and film.



Latest News: Highlight Arts Launch Event

Highlight Arts Finalized Main Color Logo PNG for Web

Please join us on October 2nd at the Scottish Storytelling Centre as we shed our ‘Reel’ and become ‘Highlight Arts’!

The event is FREE and will feature live music, film and poetry with collaborators old and new including Shooglenifty, Krystelle Bamford, singer Kaela Ewan, Syrian writer Golan Haji, DJ Dolphin Boy plus films by director Roxana Vilk and some specially curated Arctic shorts.


More Recent News

Jun 2014

This Room is Waiting: Edinburgh Launch

We’re delighted to announce the launch of This Room is Waiting: Poems from Iraq and the UK on 30th June, 6.30pm at Word Power Books in Edinburgh featuring  poets Ghareeb Iskander, John Glenday and Krystelle Bamford. We will also be showing some short films made by the award-winning film-maker Roxana Vilk, about some of the [...]

May 2014

Syria Speaks Tour

Join Syrian artists and writers at events in London, Bristol, Oxford, Liverpool, Bradford & Durham, for readings and discussion of cultural resistance in the country. The line-up will include award-winning Damascus-based novelist Khaled Khalifa, cinematographer and video artist Khalil Younes, writer and filmakmer Zaher Omareen, and authors Malu Halasa and Robin Yassin-Kassab. 11th – 16th June 2014.

May 2014

New Times in Life with Reel Arts

Download Kurdish version: Zhawen Shally Blog – Kurdish New Times in Life with Reel Arts Zhawen Shally I have always believed that poetry has powerful effects; it can create bonds and closeness between different cultures, languages and nationalities. My participation in this poetry translation workshop with Reel Arts embodied this belief as I suddenly found [...]

Apr 2014

RVW Photoblog aka I should have bought that robe…

One of the many exciting things about being back in Iraq for the Niniti Literature Festival in Erbil is the chance to take some photographs. Below are some of our favourites. Mannequin art on the streets of Erbil and Shaqlawa has continually been blowing our minds.                   [...]

Apr 2014

The challenge of translation between two poems

Scroll down for English الترجمة تحدٍ بين قصيدتين ما بين الترجمة واللقاء, الشعراء مَن يخلق القصيدة! الترجمة هنا بدأت بدقة و حرفية جميلة بإضافة الى وجود الشاعر ذاته, في ان يلقي قصيدته بلغته الأم وإحساسه و لغة جسده و مخارج حروفه، هذا والأجواء متكاملة لخلق فرصة للتقارب الأكثر منذ إلقاء التحية الصباحية و الى المساء.. [...]


About Us

Reel Festivals is a Firefly International project. Firefly International aims to encourage dialogue and communication through the arts, and is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. For more information please visit

  • Address: Reel Festivals, c/o Firefly International, PO Box 67864, London SE24 4AU, UK
  • Charity Number: SC 028744


Creative Commons LicenseAll new work released by Reel Festivals is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.