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Powerful insights from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait in Dubai International Film Festival’s ‘Gulf Voices’ showcase

Wed Nov 16,2011

Dubai, UAE; November 16, 2011: Five short films offering powerful insights into the changing face of life in the Gulf region will be screened in the ‘Gulf Voices’ segment of the eighth Dubai International Film Festival to be held from December 7 to 14, 2011.

Each of the films – from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait – stands out for its bold and innovative interpretation of complex and unusual issues, from the ties that bind within families to the fragility of social progress.

Kuwaiti director Mohammed Walid Ayyad’s I Wish We Were Dancers, for example, is the story of a girl with multiple sclerosis who is confined to a wheelchair, but has vivid dreams of being a ballerina. The film will make its world premiere at DIFF.

From Oman, directors Mohammed Al-Harthy and Shabib Al-Habsi’s Pillar considers the challenges of familial ties that bind, particularly parental control of children from a young age and into adulthood. The allegorical short is set in a castle, and will make it its world premiere at DIFF.

Three additional films were selected from this year’s Gulf Film Festival, the home of bold, innovative and contemporary cinema from the Arabian peninsula.

Six Blind Eyes, by acclaimed Saudi filmmaker, critic and founding member of the Saudi Film Competition Abdullah Al-Eyaf, follows a psychiatrist who takes on a case he could never have imagined.

Omani filmmaker Amer Alrawas’ Spices, which received the ‘Special Mention’ Award at the GFF Gulf Competition, interlocks four stories of four unrelated individuals: an infertile woman seeking a cure, a 90-year old man waiting, a child preparing for change, and a blogger, at the same moment in time.

Bahraini director Mohammed Jassim’s The Power of Generations shines a light on the rapid developments that the region has witnessed, and addresses the fragility of progress. The thought-provoking film won the second runner-up prize in the GFF Gulf Competition for short films.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of the Dubai International Film Festival and Director of the Gulf Film Festival, said: “These five filmmakers are powerful voices for the contemporary Gulf region, in the subjects they choose to focus on, the way they interpret them, and the style of their execution.”

The Gulf Voices showcase will screen to the public at VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, from December 8 to 14. The DIFF Box Office opens November 22, 2011.


The eighth edition of DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Accreditation for the Festival is open. For more details, log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
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