The Dubai Film Market (DFM) Goes to Cannes to Shine the Spotlight on Arab Cinema
Mon May 9, 2016

DUBAI, UAE – 09 MAY 2016: The Dubai Film Market (DFM), in partnership with the Marché du Film, is proud to present an exclusive screening of four Arab films in post-production amongst the works-in-progress line-up at the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival scheduled to be held from 11 to 22 May 2016.

Films part of the Dubai Film Market Goes to Cannes programme will be screened to sales agents, distributors, producers and festival programmers with the filmmakers giving a brief introduction before screening excerpts from their films.

This special showcase, which is an ongoing collaboration between the two international festivals, not only allows a platform for Arab talent but also offers an opportunity for international audiences to discover new and exciting stories emerging from one of the fastest growing film industries.

The first of four films to be presented at Cannes is ‘4 Seasons, 2 Brothers and a Border’ directed by Syrian photographer and videographer, Maisa Safadi. Returning to her home in the small Druze community of Majdal Shams in occupied Golan Heights in Syria, Safadi documents the day-to-day life of her family, the village community and the war-torn border that cuts deep into the heart of her village. A truly gripping story for a forgotten generation, Safadi represents millions throughout the Arab World and with her camera in hand tells the story piece by piece, bit by bit.

Also bound for Cannes’ works-in-progress line-up is ‘Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces’, directed by Egyptian filmmaker Yousry Nasrallah. In essence, this film is one of politics and society, following a family of cooks who cater for peasant weddings and festivities but struggle to maintain their independence and their dignity. Attracted to the freewheeling lifestyle of the group, Nasrallah tells the story of Refaat, Galal and Yehia as they brave social constraints and muster the courage to express their feelings to the women they love.

‘Fish Killed Twice’ by Egyptian screenwriter, filmmaker, Fawzi Saleh, joins the showcase to tell the tale of a post-Mubarak Egypt. The plot follows the exceptional fates of two young men on death row, caught in the changing political landscape of modern Egypt. The film attempts to understand how the two men sentenced to death under the Morsi government were released during the military transition and then sentenced to death once again. Saleh follows their painstaking journey over three years and bears witness to how this horrific situation has affected their lives.

‘Munich: A Palestinian Story’ tells the story of the hostage situation that took place at the 1972 Munich Olympics. It is the first time an Arab filmmaker has tackled the event. The films is directed by Palestinian filmmaker Nasri Hajjaj who was childhood friends with one of the Fidayeen group members who carried out and was killed during the hostage-taking incident. Years later, Hajjaj meets Jamal, one of the two surviving members of the group. The film is an attempt to present different views – irrespective of the support for or condemnation of the events in Munich in 1972.

In addition, seven films that showcased at DIFF’s 12th edition will present their films in the Cannes Short Film Corner.

This opportunity will provide an essential platform to show their projects to a vast audience, pitch future projects, and make many important connections with industry professionals from around the world.

The films that will be showcased in the Cannes Short Film Corner in the Marché du Film, are:
- Basta (Peddiers) directed by Saudi Arabian filmmaker, Hind Al Fahhad;
- Ela Baitna Ma’a Al Taheya (My Dear Home With Love) directed by Aisha Al-Zaabi, an Emirati filmmaker;
- Munukeer by Saudi Arabian director Maram Taibah;
- Ra’ehat Al Khoboz (Smell of Bread) supported by Enjaaz and directed by Emirati filmmaker Manal Bin Amro;
- Hajwalah by Saudi Arabian filmmaker, Rana Jarbou;
- Matoor (Motorcycle) by Saudi Arabian director Mohammed AlHelail;
- Omnia (Muhr Winner – Best Emirati Short) by Emirati filmmaker Amna AlNowais;

Joining them is the winning film of the Samsung Shrt Flm Cntst, an initiative launched in 2014 to support the aspirations of the UAE’s creative minds under the guidance of Emirati director Nayla Al Khaja.
- The Act by Dorukhan Turan

Commenting on the incredible achievements of the Arab filmmakers that will be showcasing their work at Cannes, Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director, said:

“At DIFF we are committed to connecting audiences with the widest choice of Arab cinema. The partnership between the DFM and the Marché du Film is essential to realising this goal. By presenting first-look screenings of the latest works-in-progress films to an audience of sales agents, financiers, festival programmers and distributors we hope they will discover some new and fascinating projects from the region. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase the capabilities of Arab filmmakers and bring a unique selection of stories from one of the world’s fastest growing film industries to new audiences around the world.”

The 13th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will be held December 7-14, 2016.