Films covering 15 intriguing themes battle it out for Muhr Arab Shorts Awards at DIFF 2009

Thu Nov 19,2009

Films with subjects as diverse as boxing, poetry and honour killing are among the 15 entries short-listed for this year’s Muhr Arab Shorts Awards at DIFF 2009.

Erfan Rashid, Director of Arab Programme said: “Shorts challenge the creativity of its makers and this year’s entries have something for everyone with an interesting mix of stories from across the region.”

Lesh Sabreen, directed by Muayad Alayan, is a short romantic film in which two young Palestinians in Jerusalem contemplate a future free from the oppressive dictates of family tradition and military occupation.

In Their Blood is set 19 years after the Beirut Civil War, in which Farès, a former fighter and member of the political party, New Lebanon, must convince his son not to sink into the violence that has taken hold of the country. The film is by Katia Jarjoura.

World premiere, The Shoemaker by Ahd Kamel is the story of Saber, an Iraqi shoemaker, who returns to his family after being wrongfully detained by the occupation forces for two years.

Mounting political tensions surface in The Mourning of the Merry Stork, directed by Eileen Hofer-Boutros. The short narrates the story of a couple, Nasri and Nour, who decide to escape from the Lebanese war, little realising what they are leaving behind.

A multi-layered film Shut Up It’s Shameful from Iraqi Kurdistan is a world premiere directed by Hussein Hassan. History threatens to repeat itself when a young woman and her film-maker neighbour and friend strike up a friendship, against the will of her heavy-handed brother.

A tribute to Mahmoud Darwish, the late master of Arabic poetry, world premiere 9 August, directed by Talal Khoury, is a bittersweet film that explores the aftermath of a death in both public and private contexts.

Director Bassam Ali Jarbawi’s Chicken Heads narrates the story of young boy Yousef who must act quickly when he accidentally kills his father’s favourite sheep.

Situated between reality and imagination, Promenade by Sabine El Chamaa reflects on the connection between war, memory and dreams. It is the silent portrait of an elderly woman, who travels back to her former home to collect stones, with which she builds a memorial wall in her new residence.

Naji Abu Nowar’s short biopic, Death Of A Boxer, follows Mohammed Abu Khadija as he struggles to become Jordan’s first Olympic boxer and prior to his departure for Athens, his dreams are suddenly shattered.

World premiere Teena by Amjad Abuala tells the tale of girl awaiting her father’s return in a deserted village.

Aida Elkashef’s Rhapsody in Autumn depicts an old man’s choice to celebrate life to the full regardless of its consequences.

Samia Charkioui’s Fatma chronicles the life of an old and crippled maid working in a luxurious property

The death of an unassuming young girl and the variety of memories it evokes on those who knew her is the theme of Shadow of a Picture, a world premiere by Eman El Naggar . The memories overshadow major events of the day and give her moments of significance.

The heat is turned up in Mohammed Aldhahri’s Sunrise/Sunset, which examines family, society and security through the eyes of a young boy, and 37 Kilometres Celsius by Othman Naciri in which the destiny of a man and woman changes after meeting on a remote film set.

Now in its sixth year, DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and will be held from December 9 to 16.  Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

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