Impressive Zindeeq and Harragas present different portraits of Arab world

Mon Dec 14,2009

Zindeeq and Harragas, two films at the cutting edge of Arabian cinema, will go into repeat screening today (Dec. 14) at Cinestar, Mall of the Emirates, as part of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

The films have generated strong audience response with the two films presenting different portraits of the Arab world. DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said the broad selection of films from the Arab world has been immensely appreciated by the audience for their narrative brilliance, content and presentation.

Zindeeq, directed by Michel Khleifi and produced by Omar Al Qattan, features an exiled Palestinian filmmaker documenting memories of the 1948 ‘Nakba’, who finds himself having to return home to face his own fears and identity. This masterful feature – quietly witty, complex and occasionally surreal – marks a new direction in Khleifi’s work. The film screens at Cinestar 12 at 4pm.

The film is also the recipeint of the US$25,000 Desert Door DIFF Work in Progress Award to encourage Arab filmmaking. A partnership between the Dubai International Film Festival and Desert Door Productions, the DIFF Work in Progress Award is part of Dubai Film Connection, the festival’s co-production platform established to raise the visibility of Arab filmmakers and stimulate the growth of film production originating from the Arab world

Harragas, receiving only its second screening after the Venice Film Festival, is directed by Merzak Allouache. The tense Algerian drama follows three friends’ desperate attempts to flee illegally to Spain in a battered boat across the stormy straits.

DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and will be held from December 9 to 16. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). For more information on the festival, please visit

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