An overview of the 4th edition of the Franco Film Festival 2014

Thu Mar 13,2014


DIFF is proud to be a part of the 4th edition of the Franco Film Festival 2014, in association with Institut Français, UAE  which will run from March 26-29 at VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates.

As part of #DXBArtSeason14 and Francophone, the March celebrations by French-speaking countries in the UAE, this festival will feature nine films, with English subtitles, by nine participating French-speaking countries, including Canada, Lebanon, Morocco and more.

The Festival also offers film fans the opportunity to watch some of the best short films from the GCC. Ahead of every feature, there will be a screening of a short film from a Gulf filmmaker that has previously screened and won acclaim at DIFF and The Gulf Film Festival.

Opening the Festival on Wednesday, 26th at 10 pm from Senegal is Under The Starry Sky (Des Etoiles) from director Diana Gaye which screened to much acclaim at DIFF’s 10th edition. 

‘Dyana Gaye Talks Story, Inspiration, Challenges In Making Feature Debut 'Under the Starry Sky' Indiewire:

To check out the trailer:

Omani filmmaker and Gulf Film Festival regular Maitham Al Musawi’s short film Crossing preludes the opening film.

Crossing' is the 4th film from award-winning filmmaker Maitham Al Musawi.

Check out the trailer:

On Thursday, 27th at 6pm, Swiss director Manuel von Stürler presents his compelling and exhilarating documentary Winter Nomads (Hiver Nomade).

Review: 'Winter Nomads' captures beauty, hardships of European shepherding’:

Here is the trailer:

Ahead of the feature screening Saudi Arabia filmmaker Bader Alhomoud presents his latest short Scrap which screened and picked up an award at The Gulf Film Festival in 2013.

Click here to watch the trailer:

The second feature screening is the French-Chadian drama Grigris, by the emerging master of African cinema Mahamet Saleh Haroun who joined us at DIFF’s 10th edition to present his film. This is the fifth feature from Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and was considered by critics as an outside bet for the Palme d'Or in this year's Cannes competition race.

DIFF interview by E.Nina Rothe: ‘Mahamat-Saleh Haroun: Cannes Juror, Exceptional Filmmaker…’

For the trailer:

Gulf Film Festival 2013 Best Film winner Baghdad Messi, by Sahim Omar Kalifa leads us into our feature screening; the short has received 50 international Awards and was selected for more than 200 international film festivals.

Check out the trailer that has won praise around the World:

Friday, 28th offers a triple bill of films for fans and begins with the beautifully shot documentary On the Way to School (Sur le chemin de l'ecole) by French director Pascal Plisson.

The Hollywood Reporter: ‘Pascal Plisson’s documentary follows four kids heading to school in four corners of the Globe’:

Have a look at the touching and inspiring film:

Introducing this extraordinary film is Moments by student filmmaker Ebrahim Najem Al Rasbi from the UAE who won Best Short Film in the Official Gulf Student section at last year’s Gulf Film Festival.

To watch the trailer:

At 6pm, the Franco Film Festival introduces audiences to the Canadian drama film Gabrielle directed by Louise Archambault.

‘Louise Archambault's heart-tugger fits into the solid market for well-made, uplifting stories about individuals with special needs’.

Ready Variety’s review:

Check out the trailer:

Rounding off the day at 9pm a film close to our hearts is the creative documentary Heritages (Mirath) from Franco-Lebanese filmmaker Philippe Aractingi . The film was supported by DIFF’s post production and production fund Enjaaz and screened to warm praise at DIFF back in December.

‘Philippe Aractingi offers a deeply personal take on his family's experiences in and out of war-torn Lebanon.’

For Variety’s review:

Here is the trailer:

Ahead of Heritages, Award winning Emirati Amal Al-Agroobi presents her social documentary Half Emirati that explores the lives of children who's Emirati parent has married a foreigner.

The film was well received at both Dubai International Film Festival and Gulf Film Festival.

To watch the trailer:

The 4th edition of the Franco Film Festival 2014 closes with another triple bill of exceptional films. First up at 3pm from Belgium is The World Belongs To Us (Le monde nous appartient) by Stephan Streker.

Synopsis: Pouga and Julien are two youngsters in their twenties, who both lead an ordinary life in the suburbs of Brussels. Despite their differences, they share one thing in common, an uncertain future. Julien is an aspiring professional football player, but the way to the top is not easy. Pouga is a small time crook, who steals luxury cars for a living. When their destinies meet, little do they know that tragedy is just around the corner. Featuring the most promising actors of their generation, “Le monde nous appartient” is sure to resonate with teens.

For the trailer:

Our short screening of Safi comes courtesy of award-winning Emirati film-maker Ahmed Zain who is enjoying box office success across the UAE with his latest film Grandmothers Farm. 

Here is the trailer:

The second feature of the day, Rock the Casbah will be presented in person by director Laila Marrakchi. The DIFF Arab Gala at the 10th edition delighted audiences and picked up a Muhr Arab award.

A strong cast of North African and Middle Eastern stars highlight this stirring sophomore effort from director Laila Marrakchi.

With a powerhouse Arab cast, ROCK THE CASBAH is a family drama set one summer in Tangiers. 

Check out the trailer:

Ahead of Rock The Casbah, Bahraini filmmaker Mohammed Buali presents his popular short This Is London which picked up an award at The Gulf Film Festival last year.

A regular on the Festival circuit, his films have been screened and won awards around the world.  

Here is the trailer of the film that was supported by DIFF’s funding programme Enjaaz.

Closing the Festival is the Egyptian film Chaos, Disorders/ Harag W’Marag from Nadine Khan.

The film was awarded the Arab Film Competition jury's prize at the 9th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival. It is Khan's feature debut, and hints at many aspects of rebellion against the established rules of Egyptian cinema.

“Nadine Khan’s dose of clever and entertaining Egyptian social drama Chaos, Disorder (Harag W’ Marag) is a gently subversive metaphor for the current state of the country and while it wears its heart well and truly on its filmic sleeve its strong performances and unusual backdrop set it apart from other recent Egyptian film output.”

Read the full review from Screen International:

Independent Kuwaiti filmmaker Yousef Almujeem’s short Passport Photo is the final short film to be screened at the Festival.

Check out the trailer:

The 4th edition of the Franco Film Festival 2014, in association with Institut Français, UAE runs from March 26-29 at VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates.  For more info:

The seventh edition of GFF is set to take place at the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC) and Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, from April 9th to April 15th.

For booking and more details, visit:

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