During its first three years of life, Al Tarab focused its activities on the African Film Showcase of Tarifa (MCAT), whose actions covered the Spanish and Moroccan shores of the Gibraltar Strait. Besides offering a choice film selection, in 2005 the Showcase hosted the germ of what would be the Africa Produces co-production forum. Its goal, to offer a meeting space open to reflection to African and Spanish audiovisual professionals.

In 2006, the Spanish Government initiated the Africa Plan, and Al Tarab finds it reference framework policy. In 2007, the African Film Showcase of Tarifa becomes a Festival with competitive sections and awards. Al Tarab expands its field of action at the same time it continues to acquire experience. It is not only about African film diffusion via the African Film Festival of Tarifa, but also about contributing to the continent’s film industry, which is fragile but not feeble, absent but not inexistent. 

As of 2008, Al Tarab becomes a Non Governmental Development Organization (NGDO) and consolidates itself as an important tool for cooperation between Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Arab countries in the audiovisual field. On another hand, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and Casa Africa renew and strengthen their commitment.

As regards Casa África, their commitment focuses on strengthening Cinenomada, a program created by Al Tarab to broadcast African cinema throughout Spain. With Casa Africa’s support and collaboration, African films become a tangible and accessible reality for the Spanish audience. Over the last years, Cinenómada has become a point of reference that is presented at international forums as a broadcasting model wherever a commercial distribution network does not exist.

That same year, Al Tarab starts putting into practice cultural cooperation projects in Africa and Latin America. With a view to contribute to the global diffusion of African films, Al Tarab enters into collaborations with African, European and Latin American festivals. At the same time, it designs a communication plan consistent with its new international projection. Al Tarab signs engagements with other entities and, in particular, with kindred festivals as regards monitoring, consulting, training and sharing experiences. In 2010, Al Tarab starts networking and becomes an active member of such international projects as AfricaFilms.tv, Babylon International, Mokolo or WikiAfrica.

Finally, thanks to a new network project called One World Film Forum (OWFF), Al Tarab joins with African and European audiovisual professionals on their quest for meeting points and common spaces for exchange. With this initiative, Al Tarab wishes to promote a more extensive knowledge of the international market in fields such as screenwriting and project development, economic and financial management or the use of new technologies.

Over the last years, the professionalism, responsibility and sincerity of Al Tarab as regards carrying out its goals vis-à-vis the African film industry, have led the African Film Festival to cement its position as a European reference point for African cinema, one of the most important in the world.

From 2012, the festival moves to Cordoba and will take place from the 13 to the 21 of October.