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11 Saudi, 3 Qatar films to premiere at GFF

Dubai, April 2, 2012

Eleven films from Saudi Arabia and three from Qatar will be screened at the fifth edition of the Gulf Film Festival set to take place from April 10 to 16 at the Dubai Festival City Grand Cinemas and the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

All 11 Saudi Arabian films will make their world premiere, said a statement from GFF. Two of the Qatar films will also make their world premiers and the third its international premier.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the festival offers all screenings free to the public, providing UAE residents and visitors a unique opportunity to watch films that are not ordinarily accessible and gain rare insights into the region.

Tackling a hot-button topic in Saudi Arabia today, Mohammed Sendi’s Fatin Drives Me Crazy begins with a young newlywed couple. With no driver around, the young wife is stuck at home with several errands to run and a car in perfect working order. The film is competing in the Festival’s Gulf Shorts segment.

In the same segment is One Man’s Tricycle, directed by award-winning filmmaker Fahmi Farouk Farahat and Abdullaziz Alnjuim. It is the story of Dr. Hosam Almulhim, who sets out to make a difference with his mission to conserve energy by trading his car for a human powered vehicle as his daily mode of transportation.

Passion of the Eggs, a short comedy by Musab A Al Marri, portrays the mindset of three people connected by their passion for eggs. Fahad feels like a coward and wants to understand what it feels to be like his brave brother Sa’ad, who unfortunately has a personality disorder. The film presents these two diametrically opposite characters in hilarious situations.

Leila’s Window by Shahad Ameen, a fantasy about a seven-year-old girl who is detached from her family, will screen in the Festival’s Lights segment. Although her mother probes her, she wants to keep her life a secret – after all, she has a mystery – she sees what others can’t from her window.

Muhammed Albasha’s The Dead Man’s Sandal is the story of a family that must live with the memories of their dead grandfather. While some of the family members want to purge themselves of the old man’s memories, his cat is more loyal, thus setting the stage for some eerie moments.

The Bicycle, also a Saudi Arabian entry, will make its world premiere in the festival’s Lights segment. Directed by Mohammed Salman, the film is about the relationship between a boy and his uncle, who teaches him to cycle and also takes him out to the sea.

In the Official Gulf Shorts, Snapshot: A Trekking Man by Tareq Aldakheelallah makes its world premiere. It portrays one day in the adventurous journey of the 25-year-old Emirati trekker Jalal Bin Thaneya who covered challenging desert terrains on a 2,000-km journey by foot from Ruwais to Makkah over 51 days. Tareq joins Bin Thaneya for a day, walking beside him to learn more about what motivated the young man to undertake the arduous journey and to understand what keeps him going.

From Qatar, Hamour by Suzannah Mirghani also makes its world premiere in the Festival’s Gulf Students competition. A modern day fable about the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate lives in Doha during the spring equinox, the film traces the adventures of a family of Indian boat repairmen, who venture out into the sea without permission from their bad-tempered boss. The men catch an extraordinary hamour and are now in a dilemma - whether to feast on it or sell it for money.

A Falcon, A Revolution by students Jassim Al Romaihi and Md Rezwan Al Islam, previously won the ‘Best Film Made in Qatar’ at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2011, and the third place for Promising Filmmakers at the Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival 2011.

The docudrama narrates the experience of the Egyptian revolution through the eyes of a Bedouin who speaks of how falcons and governments are similar, his philosophy being that ‘if you keep them in check, they will do what they are supposed to do, if you let them misbehave, they will.’

GFF 2012 will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Grand Festival Cinemas at Dubai Festival City; and from April 12 to 14 at the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the presenting sponsor of the festival; Emirates airline is its official carrier. GFF is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and held in association with Dubai Studio City. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Qatar | UAE | Dubai | Gulf Film Festival |

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