Emirati films competing in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival later this month
A scene from the short documentary "Feeding Five Hundred", which will compete in the Emirates Film Competition at this year's Abu Dhabi Film Festival. (Image courtesy of twofour54)
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Now in its 12th year as part of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Emirates Film Competition /EFC/ showcases and celebrates the U.A.E. s fast growing film industry by providing emerging directors with a platform to showcase their short films. 39 Emirati films will be screened "in competition", and 9 "out of competition". The EFC is presented by Dolphin Energy, which returns for the second year as Principal Partner of the competition.
Saleh Karama Al Ameri, now in his second year as Director of the Emirates Film Competition, said, "The competition line-up this year mirrors the variety of short films produced in the region and highlights how strong local filmmakers are. Two of the films featured in EFC are also competing in the International Short Film Competition, showing that films produced in the region can compete on an international level." The two very different films that compete in both the Emirates Film Competition and the International Short Film Competition are "Feeding Five Hundred", directed by U.A.E. national Rafed Al Harthi, and "Streetcar" by Bahraini film maker, Hala Matar.
"Feeding Five Hundred", a documentary about a man spending all his fortune to feed stray cats, has already been screened at international film festivals. "Streetcar", produced in the U.S. and starring American actress Chloe Sevigny, is a tragic love story. The two films share a universal theme, which makes storytelling from the Gulf resonate with international audiences.
Ali Al Jabri, Director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, said, "The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is not only about bringing the best of international cinema to the U.A.E., it s about showing the world the best of Emirati cinema. The entrants in this year s Emirates Film Competition have most certainly earned their place on the international stage. At the same time, we are seeing a growing number of U.A.E. co-productions. International collaborations can help Emirati storytellers tell their story to a global audience. It is often at festivals that international collaborators meet and encounter one another s work, and that is an important part of a film festival's contribution to building a cinema culture." Film makers from all over the GCC, working in a variety of genres and styles, feature in the competition. For the first time in the history of the competition, it includes a musical, the U.A.E. produced "Freshman", directed by Deena Stevens. Through song and dance the film tells about students at their first day at university.
The Kuwaiti production "My Pink Room", directed by Vachan Sharma, is a social and political drama about a child and the effects of the Syrian crisis. The animated film "Daddy ABC", by U.A.E. national Hamad al Awar, tells the story of a father struggling with his household and baby while his wife is away, while "Something About Maids", by directors Salama Mubarak and Sara Al Mubarak, is a short documentary about the living and working conditions of housemaids in Emirati households. The Abu Dhabi Film Festival takes place between October 24th and November 2nd, 2013.
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