EMIRATI VOICES SPEAK OUT LOUD AT DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Tue Nov 20,2007
November 20, 2007: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced its line-up of Emirati Voices (formerly Emerging Emiratis), highlighting the best and brightest contributions by UAE national filmmakers for DIFF’s fourth edition, scheduled to run from December 9 to 16, 2007.
Masoud Amralla al Ali, DIFF’s Artistic Director and Director General of Competition for the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema, commented on this year’s selection: \“This year we expanded the selection of films from five to nine films, because the choice was very difficult to make and the films were so diverse thematically. We also changed the title of the segment to Emirati Voices from Emerging Emiratis; the films that we received were not films from ‘emerging’ talents, but rather fully developed voices that were pushing to be heard. They are sophisticated in story-telling and cinematography, and offer a fascinating view into Emirati life.\”
Two documentaries in the programme serve up very different subject matter: from Shamma Abu Nawas and Sahar Al Khatib, who shared credits for writing, producing, shooting and editing, comes I’m a Man, a comedic look at the notion of Emirati manhood in which everyone has something to say. From the pink T-shirt wearing male hairstylist to the traditional-minded woman who claims that \“any man considering a manicure might a well get a sex change operation,\” there’s something scandalous in this film for everybody. Rehab Omar Ateeq’s Between Two Suns deals with class consciousness; the film is about three subjects, two of whom have been unfortunate in life, while the third does not appreciate his good fortune. The film won a prize for Student’s Documentary Film in the Emirates Film Competition 2007.
Moving away from the non-fiction lens, two thrillers will keep audiences glued to their seats: 100 Miles, the seventh fiction film from Mustafa Abbas, is a thriller about a young schizophrenic who is hired to murder an old rival for raping a girl, only to discover he is entirely innocent. Heartless comes from writer Yousef Ibrahim and director Ahmed Zain; the film depicts an estranged husband and his wife who want to kill each other. The wife’s mad brother is being used for this task. Who will win?
Many of the films have to do with lost innocence, or innocence at risk of violence. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Hammady wrote, produced and directed Houjas, about a girl’s virginity at risk. Stuck Face, written, produced and directed by Manal Ali Bin Amro, depicts a girl who hides herself away because of her haunting memories of a past trauma. Writer/Director Hamad al Hammadi’s Ashes deals with what happens when you discover that your achievements are nothing but ashes.
Love in all its guises also runs through these films: Al Ghobna, written by Talal Mahmood and Saeed Salmeen al-Murry, the film’s director and producer, deals with the elevating qualities of love. The Birthday Gift depicts the love between a husband and wife in an unexpected time and place, and its effect on the couple’s son.
Emirati Voices runs as part of DIFF 2007, which is held at the Madinat Jumeirah from December 9 to 16. The event’s presenting sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates, and Jumeirah.
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was launched in December 2004 under the theme: Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.
DIFF is held under the honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organised by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.
As the previous editions of DIFF have demonstrated, the Festival not only presents cinematic excellence from around the world, but is also an important high-profile platform for aspiring home-grown talent.
“Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds,” has been hailed by all as a unique and relevant theme to promote better understanding and mutual respect between different communities and countries.
Since its inception, DIFF has become an important meeting point for international and regional filmmakers and industry professionals setting the foundation for potential future collaborations.
The past three editions of DIFF have presented more than 250 films, documentaries and shorts from more than 48 countries.
In 2006 the festival took place at the magnificent Madinat Jumeirah resort. As a further commitment of DIFF’s endeavours to facilitate greater opportunities for regional Arab talent, the Muhr Awards was launched. Another first for DIFF in 2006 was the setting up of the Industry Office, which was established with a view to exclusively assist the needs of all registered delegates.
The fourth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will take place from December 9-16 and will present the best of Arab and international cinema in the feature film, shorts and documentary formats. Building on the success of last year, DIFF 2007 will also host the Muhr Awards and the Industry Office with new features.
For any further information and regular updates on DIFF 2007 please log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com
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