10 captivating tales from Kuwait at the 4th Gulf Film Festival
Ten movies that draw on Kuwait’s heritage or are inspired by modern challenges will be screened next week as part of the fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).
The home of bold, experimental and contemporary cinema from the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf Film Festival runs April 14 to 20, and will screen more than 150 movies from around the world for free.
Of the nine short films and one documentary included in the Kuwaiti delegation, 9 are competing in the Festival’s Gulf competition and student competition. Fjve of the 10 are world premieres; two are international premieres; and one is a GCC premiere.
Tim Langford and Shakir Abal’s Richard III – An Arab VIP, a documentary in competition, follows a touring Arab production of Shakespeare’s play as it moves from rehearsals in the oil-rich Arabian Gulf state of Kuwait to the charged atmosphere of a U.S. premiere at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. and on to the United Arab Emirates for a performance at a desert fort.
Dawood Shuail’s film The Youngest Son, is the story of the youngest son in a Kuwaiti family who is fighting in a war, when his family no longer hears from him, while Musaed Al-Mutairi’s Any Soldier, celebrates camaraderie when a soldier decides to disobey his senior’s orders and goes back to the battlefield to retrieve his friend’s dead body.
Meqdad Al Kout’s Sneeze commences when Ali accidentally sneezes on a Kuwaiti manager's face. He knows that his life will never be the same again. Even though it was not intentional, Ali becomes obsessed with what happened and with the manager's forgiveness, in a heart-warming, comedic short film.
Fawaz Al-Matrouk’s To Rest in Peace is inspired by the true story of Malek, a Kuwaiti man, during the invasion in 1990. Day after day, he passes two dead bodies, untended on the street. Caught between his fear of death and respect for human dignity, he decides to bury the bodies himself. Jassim Al Nofaly and Mishal Al Hulail’s Human Remains (Bakaya Bashar) is the story of a Kuwaiti ex-prisoner who comes back from Guantanamo Bay and an American soldier who escaped the military and their psychological struggle with society; everything takes a surprising turn when they meet.
The lone student competition entry from Kuwait is Abdulrahman Al Salman’s Noura, a romantic tale that makes its World Premiere at GFF. The film is about Salim, who is in love with his neighour’s daughter, Noura. He flirts with the girl using made-up poems, and the film explores the reaction of youngsters as the society refuses to accept their love, while Sadeq Behbehani’s Station No. 1 discusses religious intolerance and intellectual terrorism and sectarianism.
Abdullah Boushahri’s Heaven’s Water made its premiere at the seventh Dubai International Film Festival. It narrates the story of a peddler who gets involved with a pregnant girl looking for a way out.
Finally, War Zone by Hasan Abdal will screen in the Festival’s out-of-competition Lights segment. The film follows a soldier assigned to rescue prisoners with minimum loss.
The fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival will be held at the InterContinental Hotel and Grand Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. The 2011 Festival includes out-of-competition segments, a master class by renowned director Abbas Kiarostami and other special events. All films are free and open to the public.
The festival is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is held in association with Dubai Studio City.
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The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority
The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) Was Launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Uae Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture Plays a Critical Part in Achieving the Vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 of Establishing the City as Vibrant, Global Arabian Metropolis That Shapes Culture and Arts in the Region and the World.
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