Exclusive showcase of Algerian film Mascarades at The Picturehouse from June 3
Mascarades won the Muhr Arab Award and FIPRESCI prize for Best Film at DIFF 2008. Mohamed Bouchaid, a key cast member of the film, went on to win the Most Promising Young Actor at the French annual Lumiere Awards in 2009.
The exclusive screening of Mascarades at The Picturehouse, distributed by Founoon Film Distribution, follows a strategic partnership announced last year between DIFF and Reel Cinemas to screen a selection of films that have won critical and audience acclaim. Mascarades is the first film selected as part of the distribution support initiative.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Retail, which owns and manages Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall, said the exclusive screening of Mascarades at The Picturehouse marks the emergence of a new wave in film appreciation in the UAE.
“Reel Cinemas opened The Picturehouse, a concept that is unique to the UAE, with the single-minded objective of giving the movie-loving audience in the region broader access to critically acclaimed arthouse films. Our partnership with DIFF will further enable us to bring a strong roster of powerful movies to a wider audience, and thus help to build a culture of excellence in cinema in the Gulf region.”
DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said the exclusive screening of Mascarades at The Picturehouse is a testament to the success of DIFF in showcasing its films to the wider public.
“Encouraging cinema appreciation and promoting regional talent are two key objectives of the festival. By facilitating the distribution of acclaimed movies to the Dubai audience, we are further contributing to the awareness of quality movies among the audience here. A powerful story narrated in a unique style, Mascarades highlights the evolution of regional filmmaking talent.”
Mascarades is the story of Mounir (played by the director Lyes Salem himself), who lives with his family in the heart of the Algerian Aures. An arrogant man, he has only one dream: to finally be appreciated by his fellow citizens. He adores his sister Rym, who falls asleep anywhere and whom the village is convinced will end up a spinster.
One evening, Mounir returns from the town, and announces that he's found a rich suitor. And the organisation for the ceremony begins but without a bridegroom. The romantic comedy, which also brought into focus life in Algerian villages, has earned admiration from critics around the world.
Lyes Salem is a versatile actor and director, having proved his mettle in theatre, television and films. His films include Lhasa and the award-winning Jean-Fares.
The 22-screen Reel Cinemas is the largest cineplex in Dubai and has introduced several innovative cinema concepts to the region including The Picturehouse and the luxurious Platinum Movie Suites. The cinema features the latest audio-visual technologies known as THX and has an elegant Hollywood Chic design concept.