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Short, sharp tales from far-flung reaches of Asia, Africa to make for close competition at 8th Dubai International Film Festival

Mon Nov 14,2011

Dubai, UAE; November 14, 2011: Ten short, sharp tales of action, adventure, chills and human drama from the canals of Singapore to the trains of Yerevan will compete for honours and public acclaim at next month’s eighth Dubai International Film Festival.

The 10 films, among them two world premieres, three international premieres and five Middle East premieres, comprise the Festival’s fourth Muhr AsiaAfrica shorts competition, which offers prestige and prizes to the best filmmakers from the world’s most populous continents.

The 2011 shortlist – selected from hundreds of entries – marks one of the Festival’s most diverse competitions yet, with entries from Kyrgyzstan to South Korea and Armenia to India. 

DIFF’s Director of AsiaAfrica Programmes, Nashen Moodley said: “We are thrilled to have such a diverse selection of very strong short films competing for the prizes. The Muhr AsiaAfrica Short Film Competition is an ideal section in which to discover new talent and this year is no different.”

Making their world premieres are: Award-winning Malaysian filmmaker Edmund Yeo’s Fragments of Winter, a curious and dreamlike story of a boy who runs an errand for his dying mother, a man who attends the funeral of a former lover and speaks to her ghost, and a woman who learns to appreciate the little things; and from India, Rohit Pandey’s Safe, the story of a city shaken by violence, a man who looks after its dead, and a woman wandering its empty streets.

From Asia, three short films are making their international premieres: From Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, director Baktiyar Seitkaziev’s Headphones follows a wheelchair-bound husband and his near-penniless wife abandoned by the world at large; Lebanon-Armenia-Qatar co-production February 19, by director Tamara Stepanyan, takes place aboard a train between Yerevan and Tbilisi; and Taiwanese filmmaker Jay Chern’s Thief, is a crime caper set in Taipei’s night market.

Thrills and chills abound in the rest of the lineup, beginning with Charles Lim Yi Yong’s All The Lines Flow Out. Set in the waterways of Singapore, the film snowballs when a seemingly innocent activity triggers a mysterious event, which results in an intensive search.  From Mali, Daouda Coulibaly’s acclaimed Tinye So or the ‘House of Truth’ in Bambara, refers to the afterlife. In Bambara tradition, a deceased person is supposed to be the holder of truths. The ancestors decide to speak – one last time.

From Japan, Nobuyuki Miyake’s Raft links a young boy visiting an island to a man building a raft. There is a connection between them, dating back to an accident years before. Modern Family by South Korean director Kwang Bin Kim, an official selection at the Busan International Film Festival, is a gripping tale about Hyun-Soo, who receives a call from home in the midst of a meeting that bears unexpected news. Now Hyun-Soo must choose between loyalty to his family or respecting the law.

Finally, CédricIdo’s Hasaki Ya Suda is an innovative, energetic take on life in the year 2100. Global warming has caused aridity, famine and conflict, and the farmlands of the past are fast becoming the battlegrounds of the future. Three swordsmen battle for their very survival.

In addition to screening to an international jury, all the short films will be screened to the public in packages at the Mall of the Emirates. The DIFF Box Office opens November 22, 2011.

The eighth edition of DIFF will be held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Accreditation for the Festival is open. For more details, log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
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