While Emirati films have broke through quality barriers and achieved tremendous growth in the past few years, the country’s filmmakers must focus on exploring new layers in story-telling and not let complacency creep in, the 3rd Gulf Nights held on the sidelines of the fourth Gulf Film Festival heard.
Hosted every night from 12 am to 1.30 am, ‘Gulf Nights,’ attended by filmmakers, industry experts and the public, is one of the hugely popular public forums held at the film festival, organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).
The third Gulf Nights focused on ‘Khaleeji 2011’ with several Emirati filmmakers attending the discussion, moderated by Nasser Al-Yaqoobi. Eliciting strong and insightful responses from the participants, the session observed that Emirati films have achieved significant growth – both in terms of numbers and the overall quality of content.
The participants said this growth can be attributed to the evolution of new filmmaking technology as well as the growing interest by a larger number of Emiratis in cinema, led by initiatives such as Dubai International Film Festival and Gulf Film Festival.
However they urged the Emirati filmmakers not to go for the easy way out but to take concerted efforts and time to improve the standards. One of the areas that will further strengthen Emirati cinema is by exploring new themes.
Commenting on the overall quality of films, the participants noted that Iraqi filmmakers, despite the environment they operate in, have astonishing talent and are making compelling films. Although reflecting the social realities, most of the films tend to portray only negative and depressing aspects, the participants said. They also said that some filmmakers tend to borrow ideas liberally or resort to creating basic reportage without exploring in depth the situation at hand.
GFF 2011 is being held at the InterContinental Hotel, Crowne Plaza and Grand Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. The Festival includes a Gulf competition, student competition, out-of-competition segments including children’s cinema, and other special events. All the 153 films from 31 nations screened at GFF 2011 until April 20 are free for entry for the public.
The Gulf Film Festival box office is open from 10.30 am to 10 pm daily at the Grand Cinemas Dubai Festival City. All patrons are welcome to up to two tickets per person on a first-come, first-served basis. The full schedule  of films is also available online.
The Gulf Film Festival is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is held in association with Dubai Studio City.