Final Films Confirmed to Complete DIFF’s Cinema of The World Programme
Wed Nov 30, 2016
Prestige category celebrates the diversity of cinema featuring more than 50 films from some of the world’s most respected directors and actors
Dubai, 30 November 2016: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has completed the exciting Cinema of the World line-up with a final 15 titles from internationally acclaimed directors and actors. This year’s impressive selection of 59 films will take DIFF’s audiences on journeys across the globe, with the slate boasting a compelling range of narratives, genres and unique perspectives.
DIFF Artistic Director, Masoud Amralla Al Ali commented on the importance of the category: “DIFF has cultivated a programme that is fundamental to the Festival’s vision. Showcasing a plethora of international films, the category offers audiences the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of a range of diverse cultures thanks to the powerful and unique stories that transport viewers to unfamiliar worlds.”
Nashen Moodley, Director of the Cinema of the World programme, commented: “DIFF is constantly aiming to provide the best cinematic experience to its audiences and the Cinema of the World category never fails to impress. This year’s vibrant line-up includes some of the most celebrated works of 2016 from cinematic masters. These bold stories are guaranteed to touch the hearts of DIFF’s audiences, bringing laughter, tears and suspense.”
Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Behnam Behzadi, best known for his films ‘Before the Burial’ (2008) and ‘Bending the Rules’ (2013), is welcomed to DIFF with his latest drama ‘Inversion’, starring Sahar Dowlatshahi and Ali Reza Aghakhani. As the youngest member of the family, 30-something year old Niloofar is forced to accompany her sick mother, who must evacuate Iran’s highly polluted capital for the sake of her health. Left feeling torn between family loyalties and obtaining her own independence to pursue a love interest, Niloofar must disobey her elders and stand up for herself for the first time.
A knockout true story, which won the Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes, ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’ is the first feature film from Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen. Featuring Jarkko Lahti, Oona Airola and Eero Milonoffis, the film follows famed Finnish boxer Olli Mäki as he prepares to take the world championship title in featherweight boxing. His promising future is set to bring him fame and fortune until his focus is shifted when he is hit by love.
British award-winning director Ben Wheatley returns to DIFF with his newest film ‘Free Fire’ after previously screening his black comedy ‘Sightseers’ at the Festival in 2012. Featuring Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Noah Taylor, Michael Smiley and Brie Larson, the film sees two gangs meet in a deserted warehouse to discreetly hand over a stash of firearms. However, the tense transaction soon turns into a heart-stopping fight for survival when shots are fired, escalating into an epic gunfight.
‘White Sun’ from Nepalese director Deepak Rauniyar, featuring Dayahang Rai, Asha Maya Magrati and Rabindra Singh Baniya is a touching political drama. Following the death of his father, anti-regime partisan Chandra returns to his remote mountain village for the first time in almost a decade. Faced with his confrontational brother, who is part of an opposing political party, Chandra struggles to put his past behind him and reintegrate with the unwelcoming village.
Kristen Stewart leads a star-studded cast, including Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, James Le Gros, Jared Harris and Lily Gladstone, in ‘Certain Women’, the latest drama from American director Kelly Reichardt. The film empathetically explores touching and relatable stories that shape the identity of independent women who are looking for ways to understand the world around them.
‘The Road to Mandalay’ from talented Taiwanese director Midi Z, and starring Kai Ko and Ke-Xi Wu, is an impactful drama following two illegal immigrants who travel together on their treacherous journey to Bangkok. Once in Thailand, the couples’ loves and fears become apparent as they begin to earn money and build their own opposing ambitions for the future.
Along with screening ‘Jackie’, renowned Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s ‘Neruda’, starring Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Mercedes Morán, Diego Muñoz and Pablo Derqui, will also screen at the Festival. Inventively combining fantasy with real moments from the life of acclaimed Chilean poet-politician Pablo Neruda, the story depicts Neruda’s troubles with the Chilean government. An inventive biopic, DIFF’s audiences will find the offbeat story delightfully comical, intriguing, insightful and entertaining.
After making a prominent name for himself on the festival circuit, gaining an Oscar nomination, recognition at Cannes and previously showcasing ‘The Good Lie’ at DIFF in 2014, renowned Canadian director Philippe Falardeau returns to the Festival with boxing biopic ‘The Bleeder’, starring Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Elisabeth Moss. A true-life story of New Jersey boxer Chuck Wepner, famed for his ability to endure pain and punishment, the film not only documents his boxing career but also explores his eventful life outside of the ring.
Renowned American director John Lee Hancock returns to DIFF with ‘The Founder’, after showcasing ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ at the Festival in 2013. Featuring Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch and Linda Cardellini, the intriguing drama intimately tells the true story of how the legendary Ray Kroc built up a small-scale burger operation to generate a billion-dollar empire, known internationally today as McDonald’s.
Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz explores his homeland with the powerful drama ‘The Woman Who Left’, which won him the highly esteemed Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival 2016. Starring Charo Santos-Concio and John Lloyd Cruz, the story centres around a generous and simple woman who is released from prison after being locked away for 30 long years for a crime she did not commit, her homecoming is not as happy as she intended. Discovering that her homeland, the Philippines, has dramatically changed whilst she has been away fills her with feelings of revenge that take over her usually gentle nature.
Director Makoto Shinkai is represented by his latest animated science fiction film and Japan’s latest blockbuster hit ‘Your Name.’, where audiences will be transfixed in a world of fantasy following a time-traveling love story about two teenagers who are united through their dreams as they switch bodies.
Internationally acclaimed Indian director Haobam Paban Kumar connects with his roots in his drama debut ‘Lady of the Lake’, starring Ningthoujam Sanatomba and Sagolsam Thambalsang. Inspired by a government action in 2011 which saw villagers being forced out of their homes, Kumar subtly blends real-life drama with a touch of the supernatural. When a depressed fisherman finds a gun, his life and manner completely alter as he is filled with an overwhelming sense of power.
French filmmaker François Ozon returns to DIFF to with period war drama ‘Frantz’, having previously showcased ‘The Refuge’ (2009) at the Festival. Set in the aftermath of the First World War, the tale of love follows a young woman, played by Paula Beer, who meets a mysterious man (Pierre Niney), when she mournfully lays flowers on the grave of her fiancé, Frantz. As time goes by, she grows closer to the man and the shocking truth slowly emerges about how he knew Frantz.
Joining the historical beat is ‘On The Milky Road’, a wartime drama about passionate yet forbidden love from Serbian director Emir Kusturica. Staring Emir Kusturica, Monica Bellucci, Sergej Trifunovic, Sloboda Mićalović and Maria Darkina, the story follows an unusual couple who have been brought together by fate. As their love blossoms, they are lead into a series of dangerous adventures.
Norwegian director and writer Erik Skjoldbjærg completes the vibrant slate of films in the Cinema of the World programme with ‘Pyromaniac’, an intimate portrait that delves into the confusing mind of a young and ruthless arsonist who is spreading fear across a small, rural community. A burning truth is revealed; the terrorizer is shockingly one of the local firemen and the son of the fire brigade’s chief.
The 13th edition of DIFF will see films screened over eight days at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and THE BEACH – opposite JBR. Cinemagoers will be able to buy tickets from the DIFF box office, which is now open www.dubaifilmfest.com and at the box office at VOX Cinemas Mall of the Emirates. Tickets will also be available from the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah from Tuesday, December 6th and from the Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah on Wednesday, 7th December.