Tue Nov 05,2013

DIFF is proud to announce a second line-up of stellar international films in the Cinema of the World section for the 10th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) which takes place from the 6th – 14th December, 2013.

The winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; “Fruitvale Station”, is a confident, touching and, finally, shattering directorial début by Ryan Coogler. Produced by Forest Whitaker the film follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.

Academy Award winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman star in “The Railway Man” the true story of Eric Lomax, a British soldier in World War II who endured gruelling conditions as a forced labourer on the Thailand Death Railway after being captured by Japanese troops. Director Jonathan Teplitzky’s adaptation of Lomax’s bestselling memoir chronicles the stunning true story of one man’s epic journey toward forgiving those who had done him unspeakable harm.

From the acclaimed filmmaker Andrzej Wajda and Poland’s candidate for the Academy Awards in the Foreign Language Film category comes “Walesa. Man of Hope”. The impressive, decades-spanning biopic is the story of one of the most famous and heroic men in Polish history, former dockworker, Solidarity founder, and eventual Polish president Lech Walesa, who helped millions of people by leading a revolution that ended up not only toppling a dictatorship in his own country, but also eating away at the crumbling edifice of the Soviet empire in the 1980s.

Another contender for the Oscar in the Foreign Language Film category is Georgia’s submission “In Bloom” directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross. This absorbing and powerful coming-of-age drama follows two young girls navigating the oppressive familial and societal expectations of post-Soviet Georgia. This fascinating story is loosely based on debut writer and co-director Ekvtimishvili’s childhood memories of growing up in newly independent Georgia in the early 1990s.

Academy Award winning and one of the most important and influential non-fiction filmmakers of his generation, Errol Morris (The Fog Of War) returns with the documentary “The Unknown Known”. The gripping exploration details the career and philosophy of former U.S Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Using declassified memos, Morris guides Rumsfeld through a discussion of his controversial career as a high-level executive under four different Republican presidents. Such absorbing topics as Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm and the War on Terror are all examined through the words of one of America’s most divisive and complex public figures.

“The Referee” (“L’arbitro”) is the brilliant first feature by Italian filmmaker and writer Paolo Zucca, a development of his earlier short film with the same title which won the Prix Spécial du Jury at Clermont-Ferrand in 2009. The drastic reversal of fortunes for two Sardinian third league teams, the corruption scandal that destroyed an international referee’s career and the ancient codes of sheep breeding are among the stories woven around each other in this unique football comedy-drama.

Slovenian director Rok Bicek’s gripping debut feature “Class Enemy” is loosely based on actual events about a high-school class that spins out of control. The compelling film revolves around a group of teens who blame their demanding new teacher and his demeaning methods when one of their classmates commits suicide, leading to rising tension as the situation approaches a boiling point. Only gradually do the students come to realise that things are not always as black and white as they seem, but at that point it may be too late.
Nashen Moodley, DIFF’s Co-Director of the Cinema of the World programme, said: “This year’s Cinema of the World slate is guaranteed to take you on an emotional rollercoaster this December. From inspiring and uplifting to heartbreaking and shocking, the diversity of the stories in this section is truly remarkable. The performances are magnetic and engaging with acclaimed directors at the helm, and it’s a pleasure to present some of the most anticipated films of the year.” 

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