Power-packed roster of movies on Day 2 of DIFF

Thu Dec 10,2009

Curtains are up on DIFF with the global premiere of the musical Nine, and Day 2 of the region’s most definitive film festivals packs a punch with some of the most-awaited movies.

The day’s crowning glory is the World Premiere of Indian film Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year (7pm, Madinat Arena), starring young and dashing Ranbir Kapoor, who makes an appearance along with director Shimit Amin, at the Red Carpet Gala.

During the day, there is much to choose from: Amal’s Cloud and The Half Heart from the UAE, Banana and Naked Human from Kuwait, and The Good Omen from Bahrain flag off the Gulf Voices Shorts at 4pm at Mall of the Emirates Cinestar 3.

These movies mark the coming of age of Arab filmmakers, said DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali. “They stand proud despite being screened alongside some of the heavy-weight productions.”

A surefire pick of the day is Un Prophete (A Prophet), a French production directed by Jacques Audiard, about a young man sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin. A critics’ favourite and toast of Cannes film fest, the film will be screened at 7.15pm at First Group Theatre in Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

Already the talk of the town is Peruvian entry The Milk of Sorrow, the story of Peru’s civil unrest in the 1980s and winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Picture at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, is directed by Claudia Llosa Bueno. The film will be screened on Dec. 11 at 3.30pm at Cinestar 7 followed by two more screenings on December 13, 10pm at Cinestar 9 and December 16, 7pm at Cinestar 11.

Another compelling tale is Iraqi production Whisper with the Wind (6.30pm; Cinestar 6) by Iranian/Kurdish director Shahram Alidi. It is a strange, surreal and allegorical tale of Mam Baldar, a very unusual postman who travels among the mountainous villages of Iraqi Kurdistan recording and delivering people’s messages.

Also at the Mall of the Emirates Cinestar 5 at 6.45pm is Piombo Fuso (Cast Lead), featuring footage taken by Italian film-maker Stefano Savona on January 6, 2009, the eleventh day of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.

Rhythm and Reel lovers are in for a musical treat from 8pm the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre with Woodstock directed by Michael Wadleigh. It is a lavishly restored and extended version of the award-winning rock-umentary, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the legendary festival.

Other picks of the day are: Corso: The Last Beat (Cinestar 11, 4.15pm); Lilly and the With: The Dragon and the Magic Book (Cinestar 12, 5pm); Muhr AsiaAfrica Shorts (Cinestar 11, 6.45pm); Norwegian production North (Cinestar 10, 7pm); Senegal-French production The Absence (Cinestar 7, 7pm); UAE-Kuwait production The Circle (Cinestar 3, 7pm); Chinese film 1428 (Cinestar 8, 7.30pm); and Syrian production Half Mg Nictoine (Cinestar 12, 7.45pm).

DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). Full listings of films can be accessed via the DIFF website ( and downloaded on to your mobile phone.

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