Sun Dec 01,2013

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today outlined its Gulf Voices programming segment for the 2013 edition of the festival, which highlights the best of new cinema from the GCC region this year.

With the burgeoning film community in the Arabian Peninsula continuously turning up higher production values and never before seen perspectives on GCC life and society, Gulf Voices is the go-to programming for fans of innovative and unique cinema.

DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “There is constant production going on around the Gulf, and we keep in touch with the best up and coming directors through Gulf Voices and other platforms such as the Gulf Film Festival. A new, cohesive body of work is developing, driven by young artists, with a distinctive narrative bent and a bold, unapologetic look at GCC society and its dreams and aspirations. ‘Gulf Voices’ showcases the directors of the future, and is a special segment that is close to our hearts at DIFF.”

The films in Gulf Voices originate from all corners of the GCC, many from filmmakers that have been featured in previous editions of the festival or at the Gulf Film Festival. From film director, Nayla Al Khaja’s Three takes on contentious issues in a typically unique fashion, investigating the relationship between Khalid, an average nine-year-old boy, and his sister Reem. The two enjoy playing role-playing games together, however as his birthday approaches, Khalid becomes increasingly aggressive towards his family.

Prolific Kuwaiti filmmaker Faisal Al-Duwaisan’s A Dream follows Amer, a man haunted by the same recurring dream in which his wife appears with a strange man. As Amer starts to search for the meaning of his dream, his wife’s suspicious behavior reinforces his paranoia.

Already an acclaimed visual artist, German-Iraqi director Furat Al Jamil brings Baghdad Night, wherein a taxi driver picks up a mysterious woman at a street corner. She asks him to drive her to one of the oldest graveyards in Baghdad, where she gives him a small golden bell as fare and warns him not to follow her…

Cholo, by Omani director Muzna Almusafer, depicts what happens when dark-skinned, 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned brother Abdullah for the first time, when their father Said arrives in Muscat from Zanzibar.

Eye and Mermaid, by Shahad Ameen, is a mysterious, fairy-tale story about deadly secrets. When ten-year-old Hanan’s father arrives after a long pearl diving trip, she sneaks into his fisherman’s shack and discovers his secret: he captures mermaids. Traumatised, Hanan takes the mermaid back to the sea, a decision that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

Grandmother’s Farm, the first feature film directed by Emirati filmmaker Ahmed Zain, depicts strange events that unfold when Yasser and his friends decide to spend the weekend at his grandmother’s beautiful farm, located in the middle of the desert.

Iraqi writer/director Rizgar Husen brings The Day is Gone, which follows Nasrin, a refugee from Syria who fled to Iraq after the Syrian war. In Iraq, she begins working as a housemaid, taking Frahad’s position. Angry that he lost his job to her, Frahad sets out on a mission to stir up trouble for Nasrin.

Actor Alaa Shaker’s This is My Night is the true story of a painful reality, when young Laila stands up against society and against Essam, who is driven by lust and false beliefs.

Screening schedules and tickets can be found through the DIFF box office, open online at Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).

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