BAFTA is holding a four day event this weekend at its Piccadilly headquarters in recognition of Arab cinema's contribution to the film industry.

Bafta Goes to the Arab World (July 11-14) combines screenings, talks and networking events, which aim to highlight emerging talent from the region and foster links between the Arab film world and the UK.

This is the third Arab Film Weekend to be held in London, but with BAFTA at the helm for the first time, it is set to be the most high profile yet.

Mona Deeley, the event's organiser, told ScreenDaily: 'Arab films have been winning awards on the international film circuit for years, but this has not been paralleled in terms of international distribution. The success of films like Caramel shows that there is a market for Arab films, and this event aims to draw attention to this'.

Films having their UK premieres at the event include Amin Matalqua's Captain Abu Raed (Jordan) which won the audience award at the Sundance Festival, Phillippe Aractingi's Under the Bombs (Lebanon) and Nadir Mokneche's Paloma Delight (Algeria). The screenings will be followed by Q&As with the directors.

There is also a selection of short films on show, including two new short documentaries from emerging Iraqi filmmakers, A Stranger in His Own Country and A Candle for the Shabandar Cafe.

Running in conjunction with the screenings are several industry events, including Filming in the Arab World (July 14 at 3 pm), a panel discussion focusing on the benefits of filming in the Arab region.

Deeley says: 'Producers have always been interested in filming in the region, but the information about how to go about it has not always been handy. This event will offer advice to film makers from people who know.' Films that have already been shot in the region include Syriana and the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series.

Film-makers and distributors will also be brought together at a special industry networking lunch with a view to exploring possible production and distribution partnerships between the Arab World and the UK.

BAFTA Goes to the Arab World will go on tour next week to Liverpool - Europe's capital of culture - as part of the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival.