New NFB documentary presents Arab women as they’ve never been shown before. Nisreen Baker’s Arab Women Say What?! premieres this fall in Calgary, Montreal and Edmonton.

News release

October 10, 2023 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Five years in the making, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) feature documentary Arab Women Say What?! by Alberta-based Egyptian-Canadian filmmaker Nisreen Baker will premiere this fall.

Produced by Coty Savard at the NFB’s North West Studio in Edmonton, Arab Women Say What?! is a radical contemplation on politics, identity and home, unfolding through the provocative conversations, hospitality and openness of a group of Arab women.

The film is the follow-up to Baker’s candid 2016 doc Things Arab Men Say, also produced by the NFB in Edmonton.

More about the film

Arab Women Say What?! (82 min)
Original version in English, Arabic with English subtitles
Press kit:

  • Nermeen, a young and bold Egyptian Canadian, invites us to join her circle of friends, a group of eight outspoken, daring Arab women who found each other through their shared love of laughter, food and life. The women examine feminism in Arab society, tackling challenging and often taboo sociopolitical issues. Their conversations offer a glimpse into their personalities, revealing their unique perspectives and experiences while providing a complex understanding of what it means to “not be from here.”
  • Five years in the making, Arab Women Say What?!offers a counter-mainstream narrative that embraces the unique experiences and perspectives of eight Arab women sharing their insights, cuisine and laughter. Amid the rhythm of poetry and music, they tackle issues of feminism, politics, exile and the yearning for a sense of belonging.
  • In making her film, Nisreen Baker hopes that audiences will see the diversity of perspectives within not only this group of women but the Arab community at large—and that we can engage in a dialogue to build bridges of understanding.
  • The COVID pandemic gave the film team the opportunity to train the film’s subjects to record themselves—no longer the subject of the film, but narrators of their own story
  • Born in Cairo, Nisreen is a long-time resident of Edmonton who’s been working in the film industry for over 20 years, collaborating with local and international talents and broadcasters to create multilingual films that promote multiculturalism, give voice to underrepresented and marginalized communities, and explore cultural identity and sociopolitical issues.
  • The director of Things Arab Men Say, she also directed the independent docs Women of Karaoun, which premiered at the Calgary International Film Festival, and Cultural Competency.

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Curator’s perspective | Director’s notes

About the NFB


Katja De Bock
NFB Publicist - Vancouver
C.: 778-628-4890

Osas Eweka-Smith
NFB Publicist - Halifax
C.: 587-385-9771

Lily Robert
Director, Communications and Public Affairs, NFB
C.: 514-296-8261

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