DIFF to Hold Outdoor Screenings
Mon Dec 04,2006
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will host a special outdoor screening series, “Screen on the Green,” with a wide range of film styles, from an American comedy about the hype surrounding the Oscars to a Japanese film about a shapeshifting raccoon. Several of the films have recently won international awards.
One film will be screened each evening at 8 pm, starting on December 11 and continuing until December 16, at the natural amphitheatre in Dubai Media City, across the man-made lake from Building 2; tickets cost AED 10.
The opening film in the series is the hilarious For Your Consideration, by director Christopher Guest. Guest’s Best in Show (2000), which lampooned dog show culture, won nine comedy awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe. For Your Consideration stars Guest regulars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, and sends up the machinations and hype surrounding Oscar nominations.
Other films are:
December 12: Dor: Directed by cult filmmaker Nagesh Kukonoor, who will be in attendance for a question and answer session after the screening, Dor follows two women, Zeenat (Gul Panag), and Meera (Ayesha Takia), both of whose husbands work in Saudi Arabia. The women lead completely separate lives in India until Zeenat’s husband accidentally kills Meera’s. Under Saudi law, Zeenat’s husband will be put to death unless she wins Meera’s forgiveness. The film is based on a true story.
December 13: Princess Raccoon: Directed by octogenarian Suzuki Seijun, famous for his 60s yakuza movies, this is the surreal story of a lovelorn prince and a raccoon who transforms herself into a beautiful woman, played by the ravishing Zhang Ziyi, China’s biggest star. This madly innovative musical is influenced by hip-hop and Broadway, and is popular with children and adults alike.
December 14: The Ugly Duckling and Me: An updated version of the age-old children’s story, The Ugly Duckling and Me is a captivating animated film that explores how hard it is to be cast out of society, and that relationships are more important than fame and fortune. Director Michael Hegner and producer Ralph Christians will be in attendance for the screening.
December 15: Volver: Pedro Almodovar (All About my Mother, Bad Education) is in the Oscar running this year with Volver, already an international hit starring Penelope Cruz. The film starts from the premise that the tempestuous winds of La Mancha drive its inhabitants insane. This appears to be the case when Raimunda’s long-dead mother re-appears to stay. Not suitable for children.
Volver recently won in five categories at the European Film Awards: Best Director, Best Actress for Penelope Cruz, the People’s Choice Award for Best European Film, Best Composer, and Best Cinematographer.
December 16: Vanaja: This Telugu-language film set in Coastal Andhra Pradesh revolves around 14 year old Vanaja (Bhukya), a feisty servant to landlady-danseuse Rama Devi (Urmila Dammannagari) who teaches her the Kuchipudi dance form. Rama Devi’s son Shekhar (Karan Singh) returns from America and pursues Vanaja, with explosive results. Director Rajnash Domalpalli will be present.
Shivani Pandya, Managing Director, DIFF, stated, “Screen on the Green is our most diverse programming—-children’s films, international blockbusters like Volver, and non-commercial films from the subcontinent. It is a taste of DIFF itself, and a great way to enjoy the festival and see some unusual films in an informal setting.”
The third Dubai International Film Festival runs from 10 to 17 December, 2006.