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Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert

Dubai Culture announces programme of events

DUBAI, February 24, 2020

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) announces a robust series of programming for the first edition of ‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’, which will take place from March 4 to 7, 2020 in the Al Marmoom Desert. 
 
As part of Dubai Art Season, the event aligns with the new cultural vision of Dubai to establish the city as a global centre for art and culture, position it as an incubator for creativity, and ensure that it remains a thriving hub for talent. ‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’ is a unique concept in the region, where enthusiasts can watch films under the stars amid the golden dunes of the desert and learn more about the industry from experts. 
 
It also has a focus on heritage, within which visitors can witness some of the cultural richness of Dubai and experience an authentic taste of what life was like in the desert for generations in the past. Designed for all members of society, including to families, the event is set to take a firm place on the cultural landscape of Dubai.
 
Acting as curators for the film programme, Cinema Akil, the first arthouse cinema in the GCC, will be bringing critically acclaimed films from around the world to audiences at Al Marmoom. The organisation, founded by Butheina Kazim, opened a permanent home for independent cinema in Alserkal Avenue in September 2018 to educate and build awareness on cinematic arts. For Al Marmoom, the selection of films will be screened on a four-sided cinema screen, offering a unique watching experience for audiences of all ages.
 
The film programme in the desert brings Cinema Akil back to its nomadic roots, having started its long journey for the love of film as a traveling cinema bringing film to audiences all around the UAE.  
 
The line-up will present a series of films speaking the language of the desert, which has captivated filmmakers since the beginning of film.
 
Over four nights in Al Marmoom, through the common language of deserts, the programme will present both narrative and documentary films, such as the award-winning feature-length film, You Will Die at Twenty, by Sudanese director Amjad Abu Alala; and Nearby Sky, a documentary film by Emirati filmmaker Nujoom Al Ghanem, which follows the journey of one woman’s devotion to her camel.  The selection includes the critically acclaimed Mimosas by Oliver Laxe as well as George Miller’s 1981 fantasy, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Finally, the line-up will also feature the premiere of the restored classic The Lion of the Desert by Moustapha Akkad and a programme of short films featuring some of the most established voices of Emirati film.
 
The event will host two key activation spaces, designed to host hands-on workshops centred on various aspects of filmmaking. The space dedicated for workshops will feature multiple experiences, including one dedicated to children and youth, comprising workstations fitted with green screens and movable toys for participants to create stop motion animation films. Those taking part will also be able to create handmade VR binoculars using stencilled, folded paper. Through a guided session, participants can also produce their own short films by going through a process of storyboarding, role allocation, as well as scene and stage setting. At the end of the workshops, the films will be exported and stored for later use.
 
A series of masterclasses will take place through one-off sessions featuring seasoned experts of the industry, who will address topics and stimulate discussions for the interests of amateurs, expert filmmakers, and enthusiasts. 
 
Topics will include the stereotyping of Arabs in film as well as the future of the film industry in an age of streaming, digital media and the so-called ‘death’ of the studio.
 
In addition, industry conversations with members of the local and regional film scene will be using the masterclass as a platform to share their experiences. 
 
There will also be a conversation about animation, and the UAE as a filming destination and the use of the country’s landscapes as a location for international films as well as a discussion about film distribution and how to enrich the existing film scene.
 
‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’ is an event designed with all society in mind. It is a place for young people to come and learn, for industry talents and emerging film makers to hone their craft, for families to enjoy their time together, and for students to expand their experience. For amateurs and enthusiasts, there will be a series of bespoke filmmaking workshops and an opportunity to use green screens to recreate stunts. There will also be one-off, intimate discussions or huddles around fire-pits designed to give authentic desert experiences. These discussions will take place with local industry experts and filmmakers accommodating for up to 20 people. These sessions will offer participants direct access to ask questions about their personal stories and the art of filmmaking, hearing directly from the experts themselves.-- Tradearabia News Service
 



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