News

Last Chance to See World-Famous Films at DIFF

Fri Dec 16,2005

Dubai, December 16, 2005 – Brand new and award-winning films from around the world will be playing for the last time today (Saturday, December 17), the closing day of the second Dubai International Film Festival. The 15 films screening today at CineStar Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates and the Madinat Theatre include two films from the Festival’s new ‘In Honor of Africa’ program: the critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated South African film Yesterday, the moving story of a young HIV-positive mother determined to move on with her life and protect her daughter; and U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (Carmen in Khayelitsha), an innovative South African interpretation of the opera Carmen.

Yesterday, the focus of a special charity screening at the Festival last night (Friday, December 16), tells the story of a brave young woman named Yesterday, who lives in rural Kwazulu-Natal with her young daughter, Beauty, as her husband works the mines in faraway Johannesburg. After discovering she is HIV-positive, Yesterday finds herself ostracized by her community and at the receiving end of brutal beatings from her husband. As her husband’s life starts to succumb to the ravages of AIDS, Yesterday continues to care for him, all the while hoping that she can live long enough to see her daughter start school.

The film, directed by Darrell James Roodt, one of South Africa’s most prolific filmmakers and the creator of the anti-apartheid feature Place of Weeping, Cry the Beloved Country and Sarafina!, received South Africa’s first Oscar nomination. Also on today’s screening schedule is the lively pre-teen documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, the true story of 11-year-old public school students in New York who take up competitive ballroom dancing as an after-school activity; and Mongolian eagle master documentary Kiran Over Mongolia.

Films from the subcontinent also get one last airing today, with Sri Lankan film Guerrilla Marketing and Bengali film Reaching Silence (Nisshabd). Reaching Silence, the first feature film from documentary film maker, author and photographer Jahar Kanungo, may be the perfect antidote for city dwellers stressed by the pressures of the concrete jungle. The film focuses on Sarit, a 30-year-old executive who develops a sudden and inexplicable sensitivity to sound in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Delhi. Besieged by blaring loudspeakers, children crying and screeching tyres at every turn, he abandons his career and returns to his quiet hometown in Bengal, thinking he has found the solution.

The fast-paced and smart Guerrilla Marketing, meanwhile, has reaped a great deal of interest in Sri Lanka and with Sri Lankan populations abroad. From the Arab world, Franco-Algerian film Once Upon a Time in the Oued and Moroccan films Memory in Detention and the Wretched Life of Juanita Narboni will also have their last screenings today. Audiences around the UAE also have a last chance to see Kosovo: The Hand of Friendship, which focuses on the UAE Armed Forces’ involvement in rebuilding Kosovo at the height of the Balkan crisis.

The second Dubai International Film Festival ends Saturday, December 17. The Festival is presented by Dubai Media City and its Founding Sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Properties, Emirates, Etisalat and the Madinat Jumeirah – the Arabian Resort. The Festival’s Gold Sponsors are Bin Hendi Enterprises, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime, The Kanoo Group and The Palm Jumeirah; the Silver Sponsors are Filmworks, Motivate Publishing and Sony.

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