25 Sept, 23 October, 20 November (Wednesday)


Proudly Supported by Film Earl’s Court

Leighton House Museum is proud to be working with the Hands Up Foundation to present a series of films made by a young generation of Syrian filmmakers.

The programme, curated by award-winning director Soudade Kaadan, is an enchanting journey showcasing the talents of Syrian filmmakers despite the challenges they face in a country shattered by a violent conflict. With their movies, they are sharing with us the evolution of their lives before and throughout the war, their suffering and their rise from the ashes to build a new life elsewhere.

‘I hope to share in this collection of films a feeling of love for our home country Syria, and an opportunity to voice Syrian talents through a deep reflection in cinematic language on our reality.’

Soudade Kaadan

6.30pm doors open
Complimentary drink on arrival, and the opportunity to explore the unique studio house of artist, traveller and collector Frederic, Lord Leighton.

7 – 9pm Films are screened in the beautiful and atmospheric artist studio space
£15 per ticket
** Please note that all tickets proceeds are in aid of Hands Up Foundation **


All films are in Arabic with English Subtitles

Wednesday 22 May
Last Men in Aleppo – Director Feras Fayyad – 100 min
Rating: 16 and over

Wednesday 19 June
Damascus Roof and Tales of Paradise – Director Soudade Kaadan – 51 min
Rating: Family friendly
Welcome introduction given by illustrator Nadine Kaadan

Wednesday 24 July
A Memory in Khaky – Director Alfonz Tanjour – 100 min
Rating: 16 and over

Wednesday 25 September
Queens of Syria – Director Yasmin Fedda – 70 min
Rating: 16 and over

Wednesday 23 October
A collection of Shorts
Welcome introduction by Diana Darke, author of ‘My House in Damascus’
Rating: 16 and over

Mare Nostrum – Directors Rana Kazkaz & Anas Khalaf – 13 min

Besieged Bread – Director Soudade Kaadan – 12 min

Facing Mecca – Director Jan-Eric Mack– 27 min

Tent 56 – Director Seif Al-Sheikh Najeeb – 20 min

Canvas on Mixed Media – Director Jalal Maghout – 5 min

Wednesday 20 November
A Private War – Director Matthew Heineman

Soudade Kaadan is a Syrian director. She studied theatre criticism in the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Syria and filmmaking in Saint Joseph University (IESAV) Lebanon. Her films have screened at several venues nationally and internationally and have received international awards. Her first feature fiction film The Day I lost My Shadow was awarded The Lion of The Future award for best debut film in Venice Film Festival 2018 and has been screened in several festivals: TIFF, BFI, Busan and IFFR. Her recent short film Aziza won Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2019.

The Hands Up Foundation is a young and innovative charity which was set up by four British friends who loved everything about the Syrian culture and tastes. Hands Up is registered in England and Wales that supports medical and educational projects in and around Syria. Hands Up raises money and awareness through creative fundraising initiatives, including the Syrian Supper Club, MarmalAid and Singing for Syrians. The idea behind everything Hands Up does is simple and positive; gather people together, remind them of Syria’s rich culture and do something good. If you would like to get involved by attending Hands Up events or hosting your own, check our website at

Leighton House Museum is the former home and studio of the leading Victorian artist, Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). It is unique among the capital’s museums in combining an exceptional collection of Victorian art with the intimacy of a private home. The exterior of Leighton House gives little clue as to the treasures that lie within. The highlight of any visit is the extraordinary Arab Hall which reflects Leighton’s fascination with the Middle East where he travelled widely. This room was built between 1877 and 1881 to display his outstanding collection of 16th and 17th-century Islamic tiles and also contains mosaic floors, a gold mosaic frieze, set beneath a gilded dome, and a calming fountain.
Also not to be missed is Leighton’s painting studio on the first floor, with its large north-facing window, picture slot and screen. Leighton produced all the works of his mature career in this room, including the iconic Flaming June.