There’s a time for saafiyas and there’s a place for the film, but 2016 has the potential to become the year when the genre finds its way back into the spotlight.
Saafiyahs, or film lovers, have long craved the ability to explore a topic of their choosing without worrying about how it will impact their life, and Saafis are often at the forefront of the movement for a broader cultural reinterpretation of Islam.
With its mix of religious iconography and cinematic imagery, the film has become a symbol of the rise of a new generation of filmgoers, who are more accepting of non-mainstream interpretations of the faith.
Now, the genre is on the rise, and as a result, the 2016 awards season will be dominated by the likes of The Last Supper, La La Land, and La La Mujer.
With a growing number of films taking a critical look at Saafism and its role in the Arab world, Saafiyah will have an opportunity to take a more active role in this year’s Oscar race.
But for now, the movie will be relegated to the back of the line, with the biggest contenders to take home best picture, including a wide array of genre favorites.
Here’s a look at 10 Saafish films that will be a hit in 2016, with an eye toward their future potential.