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LATEST NEWS

Mother of the Unborn

DIFF: Zawya plots arthouse expansion

Egypt’s Zawya Cinema is expanding outside Cairo to other Egyptian cities as it taps into the country’s small but growing audience for arthouse films.

Ali Mostafa

DIFF: Image Nation sneak previews The Worthy

Abu Dhabi film company Image Nation gave a sneak peak of Emirati director Ali Mostafa’s upcoming feature The Worthy, set in a dystopian future in chaos following a chronic water shortage, at DIFF on Sunday. 

Annemarie Jacir

DIFF: Jacir scoops top prize at DFC

Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir’s Nazareth-set dark comedy Wajib scooped the top prize at DIFF’s co-financing event the Dubai Film Connection on Sunday.

Ted Sarandos

DIFF: Netflix plots move into Arabic-language content

Netflix is hoping to produce a scripted series set in the Middle East as the streaming giant gears up to launch across the region next year, said content chief Ted Sarandos in a live link-up to the Dubai Film Market (DFM).

Sean McAllister

DIFF: Sean McAllister plans UK narrative feature

Award-winning British filmmaker Sean McAllister, whose documentary feature A Syrian Love Story plays here at the Dubai International Film Festival, is working on a story about the UK housing crisis.

Rula Nasser

DIFF: Nasser seeks shelter with Kharsa debut

Jordanian producer Rula Nasser has boarded Egyptian filmmaker Kasem Kharsa’s feature debut Shelter.

Dubai 2015 Day 5

Dubai 2015: Screen's dailies

Browse Screen International’s daily magazines from the Dubai International Film Festival here.

Samr Al Marzooqi

Dubai restructures distribution programme

The DFM’s fledgling Dubai Distribution Programme (DDP), aimed at supporting the theatrical release of Arabic-language cinema, has been restructured to include more local distributors as well as companies from outside the region.

Kteer Kbeer

DIFF: Front Row, VOX team on Very Big Shot

Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment and regional exhibitor VOX Cinemas have co-acquired Lebanese thriller Very Big Shot (Kteer Kbeer) for a Gulf release.

Film Bureau team

DIFF: Film Bureau maps out Gulf strategy

Former Doha Film Institute director of film financing Paul Miller and development producer Stephen Strachan are launching Abu Dhabi-based company, The Film Bureau, aimed at supporting the development and financing of projects by Gulf region directors. 

Mohanad Yaqubi

DIFF: Palestinian producers build global platform

Palestinian producers have teamed up to create a new platform to represent their national cinema at market and festivals, which has its first outing at the Dubai Film Market.

Paul Higginson

DIFF: US studios eye Iranian market

Iran could become a major market for the US studios, surpassing even the UAE, if sanctions are lifted as planned under a long-negotiated nuclear deal between the country and major world powers, according to 20th Century Fox executive vice president, EMEA, Paul Higginson.

Manish Mundra

DIFF: Drishyam to make Arabic debut

Indian producer-distributor Drishyam Films is in pre-production on its first Arabic-language project, Triangle, to be directed by Iranian filmmaker Shahram Alidi.

ACC

DIFF: MAD's ACC expands footprint

MAD Solutions’ Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is expanding its activity in 2016 by attending 15 international film festivals and markets to promote Arab cinema.

Mohamed Hefzy

DIFF: Fortress ramps up Egyptian zom-com

Dubai-based investment fund Fortress Film Clinic has boarded Zombie Gozombie, Egypt’s first zombie comedy, which is set to be directed by award-winning filmmaker Ahmad Abdalla.

Mohammed Samir

DIFF: Egyptian indies unite on The Bridge

Egyptian producer Mohamed Samir has boarded compatriot film-maker Hala Lotfy’s Cairo-set drama The Bridge, ahead of its presentation at the Dubai Film Connection co-financing event, which kicks off today (Dec 11).

Layla Kaylif

DIFF: Kaylif’s Letter Writer wins IWC Award

Layla Kaylif’s The Letter Writer was awarded the $100,000 IWC Filmmaker Award at a ceremony at the One & Only Mirage in Dubai on Thursday night.

DIFF opens on anti-extremist note

Dubai festival opens with Room and anti-extremist message.

Julien Khabbaz

DIFF: Bankers make case for film investment

Arab filmmakers hoping to unlock the vast reservoir of regional money need to equip themselves with proper business plans that explain their projects’ audience appeal and how financiers should hope to make their money back.

Nouria Kevorkian

DIFF: Kevorkian wraps Syrian refugee doc

Lebanese film-maker Noura Kevorkian has wrapped shooting on her feature-length documentary Batata capturing the lives of Syrian migrant potato pickers turned refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Brie Larson

'Room', 'The Big Short' to bookend Dubai fest

Spotlight, Truth and Concussion are also among the festival’s programme.

The Foreign Son

Dubai confirms first 7 films in Muhr competition

The Dubai International Film Festival has unveiled the first seven selections for its Muhr feature film competition, which will in total include 18 films from across the Arab world.

IWC Filmmaker Award

DIFF unveils shortlist for IWC Filmmaker Award

Qatari director Khalifa Al Muraikhi, Saudi filmmaker Shahad Ameen and Emirati director Layla Kaylif have been shortlisted for the IWC Filmmaker Award at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

Jane Williams

Jane Williams returns to DIFF's Dubai Film Connection

Co-production market to focus on 10 projects with 20% of budget in place.

DIFF reinstates Dubai Film Connection

Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced a series of industry initiatives for this year’s edition of the festival (Dec 9-16), including the return of co-production market Dubai Film Connection (DFC).

FEATURES

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Desert heat: shooting in the UAE

The UAE is fast becoming one of the most popular shooting destinations in the Middle East.

Deniz Gamze Erguven

Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Mustang

The Turkish-French director says the production of her debut feature Mustang is itself a tale of female emancipation.

Samir in the Dust

Mohamed Ouzine, Samir in the Dust

Burying his father in Algeria prompted the French-Algerian director to make a documentary film that explores his own identity.

A Tale of Water, Palm Trees and Family

Nasser Al Dhaheri, A Tale of Water, Palm Trees and Family

The Emirati director talks about his feature documentary on the importance of water and date palms to life in Dubai.

Joyce Nashawati

Joyce Nashawati, Blind Sun

Nightmarish thriller Blind Sun, the debut film by the Lebanon-born director, is one of the festival hits of the year.

Majid Al Ansari

Majid Al Ansari, Rattle The Cage

The director talks about his ‘kick-ass’ thriller Rattle The Cage (Zinzana), which screens in Dubai’s Muhr Emirati competition

Rifqui Assaf

Rifqi Assaf, The Curve

The film-maker who hails from Jordan and Palestine talks about his debut feature, road movie The Curve.

Omar Shargawi

Omar Shargawi, 'Al Medina'

The Danish-Palestinian film-maker was inspired by dark days — with echoes of the Dogme movement — for his latest film Al Medina.

Hany Abu-Assad

Hany Abu-Assad, The Idol

The prize-winning director talks about why he was unable to resist making The Idol, the story of the Palestinian winner of Arab Idol

Deepa Mehta

Dubai: Meet the jury

DIFF has assembled an eclectic group of international film-makers to take a seat on the festival juries, Screen meets Deepa Mehta [pictured], Nujoom Alganem, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Ali F Mostafa and Kim Magnusson.

Larry Yang

Larry Yang, Mountain Cry

Larry Yang talks about how he adapted a rural Chinese story set in the 1980s for contemporary audiences in China and overseas.

Anu Menon

Anu Menon, Waiting

London-based director Anu Menon talks about her second feature Waiting, which is receiving its world premiere in Dubai

Sean McAllister

Sean McAllister, A Syrian Love Story

The film-maker says he wanted to make a film about the ‘hidden gem’ of the Middle East, but then events made Syria anything but.

Noura Kevorkian

Noura Kevorkian, '23 Kilometres'

The Lebanese director explains why a very personal film about her father’s illness is a metaphor for the state of her homeland.

Dubai Film Connection

Dubai Film Connection: up close and personal

Dubai Film Connection is dominated by intimate, character-driven tales from voices that are often ignored or marginalised, DFC artistic director Jane Williams says.

The Idol

Dubai film festival rides a wave

This year’s Dubai International Film Festival is a celebration of film-making from throughout the region as well as an important showcase for new projects.

DIFF REVIEWS

Nawara

'Nawara': Review

Dir/scr. Hala Khalil. Egypt, 2014, 122 mins,

23 Kilometres

'23 Kilometres': Review

Dir/scr: Noura Kevorkian. UAE, Canada, Lebanon, 2015, 78 mins.

Waiting

'Waiting': Review

Dir. Anu Menon. India, 2015, 92 mins.

Before The Summer Crowds

'Before The Summer Crowds': Review

Dir. Mohamed Khan. Egypt, 2015. 90 mins.

Rattle The Cage (Zinzana)

'Rattle The Cage (Zinzana)': Review

Dir. Majid Al Ansari. UAE/Jordan, 2015, 95 mins.

El Clasico

'El Clasico': Review

Dir. Halkawt Mustafa. Iraq/Norway/UAE, 2015, 97 mins

Parisienne

'Parisienne': Review

Dir: Danielle Arbid. Fr. 2015. 119mins