Dubai film fest celebrates the best of Arab cinema
The ninth edition of the Dubai Film Festival, one of the most acclaimed and anticipated yearly film events in the Middle East, began its week-long programme Sunday, which highlights many Egyptian successes.
The festival's lifetime achievement award went to Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdelaziz in its opening ceremony for his 48 films across his career and for bringing true art to Arab cinema.
Furthermore, several films of the 158 set to be screened involve Egyptian production.
The festival categorises the films by: Muhr Emirati & Shorts, Muhr Arab Feature, Muhr Arab Documentary, Muhr AsiaAfrica feature, Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary, FIPRESCI Feature and Shorts and, finally, FIPRESCI Documentary.
In the Muhr Arab Feature competition category, up-and-coming director Nadine Khan presents her filmHarag wa Marag (Chaos, Disorder) which follows the lives of people in an isolated society next to a garbage dump.
Participating in the same category is acclaimed revolution feature El Sheta El Fat (Winter of Discontent) directed by Ibrahim El-Batout, which follows a political activist, a journalist and a State Security officer's lives during the 18-day uprising of the Egyptian revolution in January of 2011.
Also within the same category is Moondog, an Egyptian film with English dialogue by Khairy Bishara on a spiritual journey in the director-producer's psyche.
Finally in the Muhr Arab Feature category is a joint production between Egypt, Syria, Germany, France and the UAE Round Trip directed by Meyar Al-Roumi following the journey of a taxi driver and his lover as they drive from Damascus to Iran.
In the Muhr Arab Shorts competition is Ahmed Ibrahim's 15-minute film Noor (Light) about a young boy who wishes to decorate his neighbourhood with lights for the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
The Muhr Arab Documentary competition sees the participation of Egyptian-UAE film Doaa... Aziza by Saad Hendawy. It focuses on two women from 2005 until present day; one who decided to leave Egypt and live in France, and the other who stayed.
Egyptian jury members include actor Asser Yassin for the Muhr Arab Features competition and writer Tarek Elshennawy for the FIPRESCI Documentary competition.
According to the Dubai Film Festival's latest press release, the opening red carpet ceremony saw top celebrities from the Arab world: Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Poussy Shalaby, Nelly, Shirine, Amir Karara, Caroline Khalil, Ezzat Abu Ouf, Ghada Adel, Magdy El Hawari, Hany Ramzy, Hassan Hosny, Khaled Al Nabawy, Mohammed Saad, Nermine Al Feki, Salah El Sadany, Sherine Adel, Ismail Al Ojaili, Waleed Tawfik, Samer Ismail, Ramzy Lehner, Mohammed Farrag, Khairy Beshara and Ibrahim El Batout.