Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival is a special 2-day film festival themed WATER مياه; featuring films from across the world examining diverse issues surrounding water.

This year’s special program, on the occasion of COP 28, is supported by the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi and The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. Speakers and films will connect to the agenda of COP 28 and issues of climate change.

See the full festival lineup here.

Lebanese activists are shown in our short film defending their intimacy with the land by opposing the building of a dam. The feature film is set in the Amazon basin between Brazil, Peru and Colombia, where the resilience of indigenous peoples confronting climate change and injustice resonate for the whole world to learn from. This screening event features:

  • Environmental Agency Presentation – Water Strategies for the Future by Dr Mahmoud Dawoud, Renowned Water Expert
  • The Land

Directed by Moe Sabbah (Lebanon) – 27 min

The Land documents the uprising of the people of Bisri and activists from all of Lebanon against the construction of the dangerous dam leading up to the Bisri Valley’s liberation. Farmers and shepherds discuss their fears of losing the land and their intimate relationship with it. It also presents the project’s seismic and geological dangers, its futility, the conflicts of interests surrounding its construction, and its destruction of a rich and significant area in every respect. The film ends during September 2020, when the World Bank resigned on funding the dam project, and this decision came as the most beautiful conclusion to the film and to the struggle of the activists.

  • Living Water

Directed by Pavel Borecký (Switzerland/Czech Republic/Jordan) – 77 min

The film is an atmospheric journey into the clash between the state of Jordan, agricultural businesses and Wadi Rum indigenous communities over the last abundant source of drinking water.


Moe Sabbah (Lebanon)

Beirut based director Mohamad Moe Sabbah studied filmmaking at the ALBA institute, where he received a BA in 2011 and an MA in 2014. His short films got international attention, with The Return he was invited to the Short Film Corner in Cannes in 2012. In the winter semester 2015/16 Sabbah was a guest of the International Class (ICLA) of the Film Academy Ludwigsburg in Germany to work on the script development for his first feature length film, Chronic. Mohamad Sabbah has also been working as assistant director and director on TV commercials, campaigns and music videos.

Pavel Borecký (Switzerland/Czech Republic/Jordan)

Pavel Borecký (Prague, 1986) is a social anthropologist, audiovisual ethnographer and film curator. Pavel’s latest films Solaris (2015) and In the Devil’s Garden (2018) focused on the consumption culture in Estonia and the question of decolonisation in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Living Water is his first feature documentary film.

Dr. Mohamed A. Dawoud

Prof. Dawoud is a professor at National Water Research Center (on leave) and he is currently a Water Resources Advisor with the Environment Agency – ABU DHABI, UAE. He has graduated in civil engineering with an honor degree and obtained his Master’s and Ph.D. from Ain Shams University through a joint program with Colorado State University, USA. Since 1991, he has maintained an active program of research and consulting activities, with particular emphasis on groundwater aquifers artificial recharge with desalinated water, reuse of TSE, desalination technology, and water resources management. His current research includes water supply and demand, solar desalination, groundwater management, aquifer storage and recovery, and reuse of TSE in many countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Oman, KSA, and the UAE. He is an editor in three international journals and reviewer for other 7. He has 5 published books and more than 75 published research papers in international peer- reviewed journals, and international conferences. He was awarded the 2009 Abu Dhabi Excellence Award and 2011 HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Award. In 2011 he was awarded by the National Academies-USA as one of the best four young Arab water scientists.