Skip to main content
Valley of Exile film image

Valley of Exile

This event has passed

Canadian Premiere

Set in the early years of the Syrian war, Valley of Exile chronicles the journey of Rima and Nour, two sisters who find unexpected refuge in a makeshift settlement in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley after fleeing war-torn Damascus. Older sister Rima, who is eight months pregnant, is set on reuniting with her husband and rebuilding their lives in Lebanon, while younger sister Nour is determined to find their missing brother and eventually returns home to Syria.​ In the camp, the sisters forge alliances with other women who are similarly forced to live without the support of family they’ve lost to the war. This propels them onto separate paths. But as days in the camp turn to weeks, Rima and Nour begin to realize that their exile is not only a struggle for survival, but ultimately a test of loyalty to their country, their family and each other. Director Anna Fahr portrays the beauty that exists in humanity in even the hardest times. The strong female leads and matriarchal emphasis distinguish this movie from other films of this type.


September 30 & October 1: Q&A with director Anna Fahr


Community Partner


Maria Hassan, Hala Hosni, Michel Hourani, Najwa Kondakji, Joy Hallak, Sajed Amer

Country of Origin







In Arabic with English subtitles

Film Contact
Content Warning

War, Famine, Refugee Camps

106 min
Drama Women Directors

Book Tickets

This event has passed.


Executive Producer

Paul Scherzer, Aeschylus Poulos


Lara Abou Saifan, Anna Fahr


Anna Fahr


Mark Khalife


Anna Fahr, Wajdi Elian

Production Design

Pamela Khadra

Original Music

Alan Spiljak


Anna Fahr headshot

Anna Fahr

Anna Fahr is an Iranian-Canadian-American filmmaker and founder of Morning Bird Pictures, a Toronto-based production company dedicated to creating films and new media that focus on the contemporary Middle East and diaspora. Her latest projects include the award-winning interactive web-docs, Migrant Mothers of Syria and My Life in Limbo. Her last dramatic short, Transit Game was shot in north Lebanon and screened in 50+ international festivals, winning prizes in Berlin, San Francisco and Florence. Anna’s first feature documentary, Khaneh Ma: These Places We Call Home, screened in international festivals and was theatrically released in Montreal. Valley of Exile is her debut narrative feature.

Filmography: Khaneh Ma: These Places We Call Home (2006)

Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre

Food, Inc. 2

The team behind the Oscar-nominated 2008 impact documentary, including journalists Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), return with an update on our reliance on industrial farming and processed food.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre


During the chaotic preparations for the birthday of her terminally ill father, a seven-year-old girl finds herself struggling to comprehend a complex adult world. A Buñuelian class study keyed to the interior life of a child.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre

With Love and a Major Organ

Anabel has a heart problem: it's just too big for this world. Kim Albright's acclaimed debut strikes a lo-(sci-)fi surrealist vibe reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's whimsical, unpredictable, and it hits close to home.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

Carmen Jones

In the run up to Vancouver Opera's production of Bizet's perennial favourite Carmen, a chance to hear the music in a radically different setting, in the ground-breaking film version of the Oscar Hammerstein's all-Black Broadway musical. 70th anniversary.

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre

The Monk and the Gun

A monk sends his disciple on a surprising mission in this gentle, joyful Bhutanese comedy offering shrewd reflections from a culture far-removed from our own.

VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre

500 Days in the Wild

Ten years ago Dianne Whelan decided to trek across Turtle Island, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans, along the Trans-Canada Trail... All 24, 000 km of it. Little did she know what was in store...

VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre VIFF Centre - Lochmaddy Studio Theatre