CINEMA FOR CHILDREN
Mon Nov 19,2007
Dubai, November 19, 2007: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced the line up of its Cinema for Children programming segment, which enters its second year with a buzz: the Gala Film will be Bee Movie, an animated comedy that will change everything you thought you knew about bees.
Bee Movie is the story of Barry B. Benson (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jerry Seinfeld), who wants more out of life than the inevitable career that awaits him: a job producing honey. When Barry meets spirited Manhattan florist Vanessa (Oscar winner Renée Zellweger), he breaks one of the cardinal rules of beedom - he talks to her. A friendship quickly develops, and Barry gets a crash course in the ways of the human race. The film also stars the voices of stellar comic talents Matthew Broderick (The Producers), Chris Rock (Madagascar), and Kathy Bates (Charlotte’s Web).
“For the second year of the Children’s Programming segment, we have selected some very fun and heartwarming films that will appeal to kids and parents alike,\” said programmer Myrna Maakaron. “The films are all family-friendly and with offerings from Cuba to India and all points in between, are also extremely diverse in a way that celebrates the DIFF motto of ‘Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds.’
Artistic Director of International Programming Simon Field said: The films that Myrna has selected contain the elements of all the best stories-friendship, loss, adventure, and love. Our selection of chidlren’s film is designed to draw children into the festival and this year we are very pleased to have added some special activities for children as well.”
The new children’s activities are scheduled to take place alongside the children’s screenings at DIFF 2007. There will be an animation workshop for children, featuring an appearance by Bee Movie director Steve Hickner. The workshop will be led by the Animation House from Denmark with the collaboration of Mohammed Saeed Harib, creator of the well known FREEJ series.
Additionally, the children at the screenings of The Peace Tree will be invited to create their own Peace Tree when the film ends. The Peace Tree is a special film about the power of children’s friendships. Shazia, a 7 year old Muslim girl and her Christian friend Kylie dream of celebrating each others’ festivals, Christmas and Eid. When their parents resist the idea, the girls must enlighten their parents to the importance of sharing and celebrating diversity together.
Friendship and community play a large part in the Children’s Programming films this year: in Viva Cuba, best friends Jorgito and Malú must cross Cuba by train, bus, car, and motorcycle to convince Malú‘s father not to allow his estranged wife to take Malú out of Cuba, which would separate the friends forever. In Quamer, the community at large must join forces to help 11 year-old Quamer go to school. Quamer lives with her family in a one-room house in India, where she takes care of the household, cooks and works decorating bracelets with her mother. Quamer believes so much in her dream that everyone wishes to help her make it possible.
The relationship between children and animals is also prevalent: in the award-winning Hands off Mississippi (Hände weg von Mississippi), Emma and her grandmother Dolly must save Mr. Klipperbush’s beautiful horse Mississippi from his horrible nephew Albert. The stakes are raised when Albert plans to build a gigantic supermarket on his uncle’s property, threatening to ruin the local shopkeepers. In the beautifully animated Japanese film Summer Days With Coo, nine-year-old Koichi finds a lost water sprite that he names Coo. The two form a very close bond, but when Coo longs for his own kind, Koichi must help him find his way, even if it breaks his heart.
DIFF 2007 runs from December 9 to 16, and is presented by Principal Sponsors Emirates, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl and Jumeirah.
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was launched in December 2004 under the theme: Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.
DIFF is held under the honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organised by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.
As the previous editions of DIFF have demonstrated, the Festival not only presents cinematic excellence from around the world, but is also an important high-profile platform for aspiring home-grown talent.
“Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds,” has been hailed by all as a unique and relevant theme to promote better understanding and mutual respect between different communities and countries.
Since its inception, DIFF has become an important meeting point for international and regional filmmakers and industry professionals setting the foundation for potential future collaborations.
The past three editions of DIFF have presented more than 250 films, documentaries and shorts from more than 48 countries.
In 2006 the festival took place at the magnificent Madinat Jumeirah resort. As a further commitment of DIFF’s endeavours to facilitate greater opportunities for regional Arab talent, the Muhr Awards was launched. Another first for DIFF in 2006 was the setting up of the Industry Office, which was established with a view to exclusively assist the needs of all registered delegates.
The fourth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will take place from December 9-16 and will present the best of Arab and international cinema in the feature film, shorts and documentary formats. Building on the success of last year, DIFF 2007 will also host the Muhr Awards and the Industry Office with new features.
For any further information and regular updates on DIFF 2007 please log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com
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