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LATEST NEWS

Cairo Time

DFM unveils first acquisition deals

Dolphins, Abood Kandaishan and Cairo Time are the among the first titles set to be released theatrically in the Middle East thanks to the Dubai Film Market’s new distribution programme.

Free Range

Breish sips Mate with Germany’s Filmbucht

Lebanese filmmaker Bass Breish is gearing up to make his feature debut, Mate, with German production house Filmbucht Filmproduktion.

DIFF 2014 Ministry Of Interior Award

Al Murry wins first Ministry of Interior Award

Emirati filmmaker Saeed Salmeen Al Murry has won the inaugural Ministry of Interior Award for Best Societal Screenplay at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for his project Going To Heaven.

Dubai Film Market

DIFF’s Cinetech to extend beyond festival

The 11th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) closes today, but film industry professionals will be able to watch many of the Arab films in the selection online for the next nine months.

Nearby Sky

I Am Nojoom, Nearby Sky win top awards at DIFF

Khadija Al-Salami’s I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced was awarded best fiction film in the Muhr Feature competition at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), while Nujoom Al Ghanem’s Nearby Sky won the award for best non-fiction film.

Nawaf Al Janahi

Tharwa boards Al-Janahi’s Transparent

EXCLUSIVE: Paul Baboudjian’s new Dubai-based company Tharwa has boarded Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al-Janahi’s upcoming English-language psychological thriller Transparent.

Hissan Kiyany

Kiyany unveils first UAE interactive doc

The UAE’s first interactive documentary, ZaabiliDoc, a joint project between Emirati filmmaker Hassan Kiyany and photographer Ammar Al Attar, is set to go live this week.

Dubai ON Demand

Dubai’s Ti22 launches Dubai ON Demand

Dubai-based Ti22 Films is set to launch an interactive online channel, Dubai ON Demand, on YouTube in 2015, featuring short clips from local personalities.

Kaouther Ben Hania

Ben Hania to direct rape victim drama

Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania is developing a new project inspired by the true story of a woman raped outside a beachfront nightclub in 2012.  

Telfaz 11

Arab digital platforms race to fill content gap

A new report from PwC highlights how online platforms are starting to fill the huge demand for youth-oriented Arabic content that is not being met by the traditional film and TV industries across the Middle East.

Rebuild Nisaa Gaza Radio

Laish La crowdfunds with Aflamnah

MBC’s pan-Arab show Laish La (Why Not?) has turned to Dubai-based, crowd-funding site Aflamnah to finance a project to rebuild a women’s radio station in the Gaza Strip.

From A To B

DFM talks distribution challenges

A Dubai Film Market (DFM) panel discussed the challenges in distributing Arab films in the region and internationally, and how Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa’s From A To B may become a game-changer.

Ahd

MAD Solutions to distribute Sandfish

EXCLUSIVE: Pan-Arab distributor MAD Solutions will handle distribution in the Arab world for Saudi filmmaker Ahd’s Sandfish, which will be the first production from Paul Baboudjian’s new Dubai-based Tharwa Productions.

Maysoon Pachachi

Pachachi’s Baghdad draws co-producers, funds

Maysoon Pachachi’s Nothing Doing In Baghdad is set to start shooting in February after securing three European co-producers and funding from Visions Sud Est and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).

Dolphins

VOX takes pan-Arab rights to Dolphins

EXCLUSIVE: Dubai-based Vox Cinemas is in final negotiations to acquire pan-Arab rights to Emirati director Waleed Al Shehhi’s Dolphins ahead of its premiere at DIFF on Friday.

Short film competition

Dubai, Samsung renew short film competition

DIFF and Samsung are joining forces with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) on the second edition of the short film competition they inaugurated this year.

Amal Al-Agroobi

Al-Agroobi set to make fiction debut

Emirati filmmaker Amal Al-Agroobi, best known for her non-fiction works The Brain That Sings and Half, is developing her first narrative work.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Akinnuoye-Agbaje to voice Emirati animation

Nigerian-UK actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is set to voice the protagonist of an ambitious Emirati feature-length animation inspired by a figure in Arabic folklore.

From A To B

Highland takes on Mostafa’s From A To B

EXCLUSIVE: Highland Film Group has taken on international sales of Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa’s pan-Arab road movie From A To B.

The Theory of Everything

DIFF kicks off with Theory Of Everything

The 11th edition of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) combines a host of award season contenders with a fresh crop of Arab fare.

Asha Bhosle

Bhosle, El-Sherif to receive DIFF awards

Egyptian actor Nour El-Sherif and Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle will both receive lifetime achievement awards at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels to head DIFF Muhr feature jury

Lee Daniels is heading the jury for the Muhr Feature competition at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

The Theory of Everything

Theory of Everything to open DIFF

Festival bookended by Stephen Hawking biopic and musical Into the Woods.

The Price Of Fame

Dubai sets ‘World’ lineup

The Price of Fame, St Vincent among ‘Cinema of the World’ strand.

I'm Dead

Dubai unveils Muhr Feature Awards contenders

Titles include the world premiere of thriller I’m Dead and the new feature from Egyptian director Daoud Abdel Sayed.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt joins Dubai jury

Edge of Tomorrow star to help judge the winner of the IWC Filmmaker Award.

DIFF festival director Abdulhamid Juma with Martin Sheen

DIFF announces 2014 dates

Festival to run Dec 10-17; tenth edition saw a 150% growth in attendance since its inaugural edition in 2004.

FEATURES

Abood Kandaishan

Emirati film scene gathers steam

The Emirati film scene is celebrating a bumper year but does it have the makings of an industry? Melanie Goodfellow talks to local filmmakers about what is needed to help UAE cinema grow.

Daoud Abdel Sayed

Daoud Abdel Sayed, Out Of The Ordinary

Egyptian filmmaker Daoud Abdel Sayed talks to Liz Shackleton about working with child actors and tackling the supernatural in his latest film, Out Of The Ordinary, which is premiering at DIFF.

Jan-Wllem Van Ewijk

Jan-Willem van Ewijk, Atlantic

Dutch director Jan-Willem van Ewijk explains to Melanie Goodfellow how a passion for windsurfing in Morocco was the inspiration for his film Atlantic.

Toni El Massih

Toni El Massih, VOX Cinemas

Toni El Massih, director of distribution and film content at pan-Arab exhibitor VOX Cinemas, talks to Melanie Goodfellow about programming screens in the region.

Sherif Elbendary

Robert Bosch Stiftung builds bridges

Sherif Elbendary’s Dry Hot Summers and Dalia Al-Kury’s Possessed By Djinn are among the projects currently being produced with support from Robert Bosch Stiftung, which aims to build bridges between Germany and the Arab world.

Bikas Mishra

Bikas Mishra, Four Colours

Bikas Ranjan Mishra talks Liz Shackleton through the five-year development and production journey behind his debut feature, Four Colours (Chauranga).

Hisham Zaman

Hisham Zaman, Letter To The King

Oslo-based Hisham Zaman tells Liz Shackleton how he managed to pull together his second feature, Letter To The King, while developing his debut Before Snowfall, and how he won the Dragon award at Goteborg film festival two years in a row.

Gianluca Chakra

Gianluca Chakra, Front Row Filmed Entertainment

Middle East distributor Gianluca Chakra talks about the local penchant for action and horror movies and how he is pinning his hopes on iTunes.

Fadel Almheiri

Fadel Almheiri, Abood Kandaishan

Emirati filmmaker Fadel Almheiri explains to Melanie Goodfellow how nostalgia for a bygone way of life in the UAE inspired his tragicomic Abood Kandaishan.

Waleed Al Shehhi

Waleed Al Shehhi, Dolphins

Emirati filmmaker Waleed Al Shehhi tells Melanie Goodfellow about his passion for Andrei Tarkovsky and how he finally faced his fears and shot his debut feature Dolphins.

Nujoom Al Ghanem

Nujoom Al Ghanem, Nearby Sky

Emirati filmmaker Nujoom Al Ghanem talks to Liz Shackleton about how she worked with trail-blazing camel owner Fatima Ali Alhameli and building a film industry in the Emirates.

The Sleeping Tree

Enjaaz supported films shine at DIFF

A total of 17 films supported by Dubai’s Enjaaz programme are screening at this year’s edition of the festival, including Waleed Al Shehhi’s Dolphins and Mohammed Rashed Buali’s The Sleeping Tree, which are both receiving gala screenings.

Mario G. Haddad

Mario G. Haddad, Empire International

Mario G. Haddad, CEO of pan-Arab distributor Empire International, talks to Melanie Goodfellow about the Gulf theatrical market, as well as plans for the pan-Arab launch of Emirati feature From A To B.

Chaitanya Tamhane

Chaitanya Tamhane, Court

Chaitanya Tamhane talks to Liz Shackleton about making his debut feature Court, which won two prizes at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Rashid Masharawi

Rashid Masharawi, Letters From Al Yarmouk

Palestinian filmmaker Rashid Masharawi talks to Melanie Goodfellow about his documentary capturing life in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp on the edge of Damascus.

Dolphins

IWC Award helps Gulf cinema to grow

Now in its third year, the IWC Filmmaker Award is fast becoming an effective launchpad for projects from filmmakers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Khadija Al-Salami

Khadija Al-Salami, I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced

Yemeni director Khadija Al-Salami tells Melanie Goodfellow about her struggle to bring the issue of child brides to the big screen in I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced.

Ali Mostafa, From A To B

Emirati director Ali Mostafa talks to Melanie Goodfellow about his pan-Arab road movie From A to B, which screens in his hometown of Dubai on Thursday as part of DIFF’s Arabian Nights line-up. 

Afia Nathaniel

Afia Nathaniel, Dukhtar

Afia Nathaniel talks to Liz Shackleton about the challenges in funding and shooting a female-centric film in a remote corner of northern Pakistan.

Dubai film festival draws on Arab talent

The winds of change are blowing through Dubai International Film Festival (Dec 10-17) which, after a period of strategic upheaval, has emerged with a renewed focus on local fare.

DIFF BLOGS

Welcome Back "In Conversation"

Dubai welcomes back Bollywood

Ear-splitting screams welcomed the cast and crew of Bollywood film Welcome Back, who are filming in Dubai, and dropped in to speak to guests at DIFF.

DIFF opening party

Dubai film festival opens with a bang

This year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) got underway with two lavish parties – the opening at Madinat Jumeirah and the IWC Filmmaker Award gala dinner at the One&Only Royal Mirage on the following night.

St Vincent

DIFF heads to the beach

For those who prefer their cinema al fresco, the public screenings at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival will be held at “The Beach” opposite Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR).

DIFF REVIEWS

Breaking The Bank

Breaking The Bank

Dir: Vadim Jean. UK. 2014. 96mins

Dolphins

Dolphins

Dir: Waleed Al Shehhi. UAE. 2104. 90mins

Nearby Sky

Nearby Sky

Dir/scr: Nujoom Al Ghanem. UAE. 2104. 85mins

Diaries Of A Flying Dog

Diaries Of A Flying Dog

Dir/scr: Bassem Fayad. Lebanon-UAE. 2014. 75mins

I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced

I Am Nojoom, Age 10 And Divorced

Dir/scr: Khadija Al-Salami. Yemen-UAE-France. 2014. 96mins

The Water Diviner

The Water Diviner

Dir: Russell Crowe. Australia. 2014. 111mins