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VOICES FROM ASIA AND AFRICA: GROUND-BREAKING FILMS TO BE SHOWCASED AT 10TH EDITION OF DIFF

Mon Nov 11,2013

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced its lineup for the AsiaAfrica out of competition programming segment, which puts the spotlight on this year’s most dynamic, visionary and critically-acclaimed cinema from Asia and Africa. The programme will allow audiences to discover new cinematic voices, and some of the most celebrated contemporary filmmakers, from the two diverse regions offering tales of hardship, love, and the struggle for freedom.

Director of the AsiaAfrica programme, Nashen Moodley said: “The films selected for this year’s AsiaAfrica programme will enthrall audiences with their gripping storylines, brave and poignant themes, and moving performances. This segment is about providing access to a truly global box office, uniting DIFF audiences with film lovers around the world in their experience of these wonderful stories.”

No strangers to Hollywood, stars Thandie Newton (Crash) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) shine in a lavish screen adaptation by Biyi Bandele of the Orange Prize-winning novel Half of a Yellow Sun by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The story spans a generation of Nigerian history through the tumultuous late 1960s, when the country fell into civil war. Through the historical looking glass, two fiercely intelligent sisters battle for love and independence in a patriarchal society in the throes of ethnic strife.

Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon has dominated the Chinese box office and is a spectacular and wildly entertaining film. Directed by 2008 DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Tsui Hark, the film is an action-packed detective story set in the seventh century Tang dynasty, where Dee Ranjie, a provincial magistrate, is appointed by the Empress to stop a sea dragon that is ravaging the Imperial City. Dee must fight off assailants, avoid being poisoned, and rescue beautiful courtesans - all while avoiding being eaten alive!

The sleeper hit Instant Mommy, by first-time writer/director Leo Abaya, is a hilarious take on relationships through the story of Bechayda, a commercial wardrobe assistant who finds herself two months pregnant. Desperate not to lose her Japanese lover and dreaming of a better life, she hatches a ‘fool-proof’ plan, with outrageous results.

The disturbing Of Good Report is a neo-noir from South African director Jahmil XT Qubeka, depicting the dark side of a rural township where an unassuming teacher arrives at the local school. Despite his excellent references and innocent demeanour, he promptly starts an affair with one of his students, which leads to horrendous consequences. The film was banned, and then unbanned, by the South African censor board earlier this year.

Sang-Il Lee’s Unforgiven is an ‘Eastern Western,’ a Samurai adaptation of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 film Unforgiven. Japanese star Ken Watanabe (Inception, The Last Samurai) takes on the Eastwood role as an aging warrior who comes out of retirement for one last time to hunt down the men who have brutalized a local prostitute.

DIFF’s landmark tenth edition will take place from December 6 to 14, 2013. Schedules for screenings, public lectures and other events can be found on the festival website: www.dubaifilmfest.com.

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