News

Scene Club launches ‘Lebanese Night’ at DIFF 2009

Mon Dec 07,2009

Scene Club, the UAE’s first film group will launch ‘Lebanese Night’ in association with the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). To be held on two evenings, the special screenings of four short films from Lebanon highlight the creative brilliance of some of the country’s most established and emerging filmmakers.

The screenings, which will be held at Cinestar 3, Mall of the Emirates on Friday, December 11 at 9.45pm, and on Saturday, December 12 from 9.30pm at Cinestar 6, Mall of the Emirates, provide the city’s large Lebanese expat community with a cultural taste of home, and all nationalities with a tangible insight into Levant cinema. The audience can interact with the filmmakers following the screenings on both days.

The joint event will help cement the relationship between the Lebanese community in the UAE and DIFF, and showcase the vibrant energy and unique perspective of some of Lebanon’s celebrated and applauded filmmakers to the global community, in line with DIFF’s mandate to promote excellence in Arab cinema.

DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said the partnership with Scene Club for the first-ever ‘Lebanese Night’ highlights the community outreach initiatives of the film festival.

“We seek ways to actively engage the local community and organisations to promote a strong grassroots film culture in Dubai. The Scene Club is an integral part of the UAE’s movie-watching cultural fabric, so it is appropriate that they are actively involved in this year’s festival.”

The Scene Club was launched two years ago by D-Seven Motion Pictures under the patronage of DIFF. Its goal is to provide a monthly platform for the film industry to come together and celebrate independent films. For more information, log on to www.sceneclub.com.

Nayla Al Khaja, founder and CEO of D-Seven Motion Pictures, a well-known UAE National filmmaker, said: “We are proud to be involved in this year’s festival and grateful to DIFF for the opportunity to participate in the Lebanese Night. The initiative is in line with our vision to promote indigenous filmmaking and is dedicated to improving the UAE’s cinematic offering.”

The Lebanese Night repertoire includes world premiere Off War Beirut by Myriam Elhajj featuring theatre director Ziad, his wife Sarah and actress Anna, whose lives are plunged into turmoil as Lebanon teeters on the brink of civil war.

About Those Who Have Gone, by Ali Hammoud, is another hard-hitting entry, depicting the violence that engulfed Beirut following the 2005 assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Director Gilles Tarazi’s Tomorrow 6.30 portrays Farid, a man who is planning one last celebration before setting sail from his native Lebanon, but it transpires that events don’t quite turn out as planned.

Rounding off the quartet is Shirin Abushaqra’s Hold On My Glamorous, in which Wadad, a familiar voice heard each day on Arabic radio stations, is steadily pushed towards anonymity.

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 (www.dubaifilmfest.com) and downloaded on to your mobile phone.

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