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DIFF puts the spotlight on European cinema with gala of German film ‘Three Quarter Moon’ and strong French selection on Monday

Sun Dec 11,2011

Dubai, UAE; December 11, 2011: Europe, the crucible of new wave cinema, will take centrestage at the eighth Dubai International Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday with the international premiere of the German film, Three Quarter Moon.

Screening at 8 pm at the Madinat Arena, the film also marks the red carpet gala of DIFF’s ‘In Focus’ programme, which celebrates German cinema this year. Directed by Christian Zubert, Three Quarter Moon is a delightful human story of a grumpy, xenophobic taxi driver who finds himself stuck with an energetic, six-year-old Turkish girl who speaks only Turkish.

The Italian film La-Bas A Criminal Education, screening on Monday (Dec. 11) 5.15 pm, at Mall of the Emirates Vox Cinemas 1, narrates the story of a young sculptor who has arrived from West Africa to Italy looking for his uncle. He is taken in by the local African community, and meets his uncle, who step by step sucks him into his criminal drug-dealing life. Directed by Guido Lombardi, the film won the Flash Forward Award this year at the Pusan International Film Festival.

Directed by Franco-Algerian filmmaker Yasmina Adi, Here We Drown Algerians – October 17th, 1961, is a powerful documentary on the protest by thousands of Algerians from Paris and its suburbs against the curfew imposed on them. Blending testimony and never-before-seen archive footage, the film presents the different stages of the day. It will be screened at 7.15 pm at MoE 4.

DIFF also showcases its two films from the Philippines, on Monday: Director Arnel Mardoquio’s Crossfire (MoE 5, 12 pm), in Binisaya, illustrates how the government declared war on hundreds of thousands of internal refugees in the city of Mindanao. A decade later, these refugees or “bakwits” have accepted their fate to avoid being trapped in the crossfire of the armed forces. Members of the cast including two-time Gawad Urian Award nominee for his role in Melancholia (2009) and Sheikha (2010), Perry Dizon and AC Macheca, are accompanying Mardoquio at DIFF 2011.

Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr’s Fable of the Fish (MoE 5, 3 pm) interweaves natural and magic realism elements with folk tales, urban myths and traditional faith, explores a woman’s faith in miracles being tested when she becomes pregnant despite her age. She, however, gives birth to a fish, and now her marriage is tried by strange and surreal incidents. Director Adolfo Borinaga and leading actress Cherry Pie Picache are attending the festival.

South Korean director Seung-Jun Yi’s Planet of Snail, screening at 6.15 pm at MoE 5, traces the story of Young-Chan, who has been deaf and blind since childhood. His participation in the world is limited until he meets Soon-Hoo, who also has a physical disability. They wed and he learns to communicate with the outside world through her.

The Indonesian feature-length documentary, The Land Beneath the Fog (MoE 6, 4 pm), directed by Shalahuddin Siregar brings a new perspective to climate change, by following the lives of a farming community that relies on the traditional Javanese calendar system to read the seasons. They are flabbergasted by the dramatic change of climate.

From India is The Sound of Old Rooms (MoE 11, 10 pm), directed by Sandeep Ray. The Bengali film chronicles the coming of age of Sarthak, a poet living in Kolkata. The up-close and personal documentary filmed over 20 years takes the viewers through the life experiences of a man who tries to hold on to his calling of being a poet, whilst juggling a regular family.

Featuring dazzling animation, Tatsumi (MoE 10, 12 pm), directed by Eric Khoo, celebrates the work and life of Japanese graphic artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, while another charming animated film for children and adults alike, A Letter to Momo (MoE 12, 12 pm), directed by Hiroyuki Okiura, has the magical and the real intertwine in fascinating ways in the life of Momo.

The DIFF box office is open online at www.dubaifilmfest.com and at the DIFF box offices in Dubai Media City, JBR The Walk, Mall of the Emirates and Madinat Jumeirah. Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the title sponsor of the Dubai International Film Festival, which is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
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