DIFF’s Rhythm & Reels celebrates legends in world music

Published November 28th, 2010 - 09:10 GMT

Celebrating the union of cinema and music, the Rhythm & Reels segment of the Dubai International Film Festival this year showcases a spectacular line-up of bio-pics and musicals, complemented by live performances by popular Arab and international acts from Rima Khcheich, Massar Egbari and Y-Crew to a mariachi ensemble specially flown in from Mexico.

The DIFF 2010 Rhythm & Reels line-up includes compelling documentaries on John Lennon and American rock band The Doors, as well as leading underground acts from Egypt. Screening at DIFF venues at the Mall of the Emirates and the new DIFF outdoor venue, The Walk at JBR, Rhythm & Reels will feature 11 films – four documentaries and seven features – all with a rich musical undercurrent.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director, Dubai International Film Festival said: "DIFF's Rhythm & Reels is aimed at integrating two vibrant artforms – films and music. In addition to paying cinematic tribute to some of the world's legendary musicians, this year DIFF is showcasing an eclectic selection of music-based movies from around the world. We have also worked to maximize the community's interaction with these films by organizing concerts and a new outdoor venue."

Mexican classic Enamorada, the story of guerrilla general José Juan Reyes and his love for a rich man's daughter, will screen at The Walk at JBR on Wednesday, December 15. The screening, part of DIFF 2010's celebration of Mexican cinema, will be followed by a concert featuring 12 performers from Mexico, the six-member mariachi Grupo Impulsor de la Musica Representativa de Mexico and a six-member team of folk dancers from the Ballet Folklorico Yolitzi Widen de La Laguna.

My Wife's Husband (Jaoz Marti) starring DIFF's Lifetime Achievement Award's recipient, Sabah, is the comic love story of a woman torn between two husbands. Renowned Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich, a musical icon in the Arab world, will perform at The Walk at JBR following the screening on Thursday, December 16. Celebrated internationally and in the region for her classical Arab singing as well as her fusion work, Khcheich has multiple albums and awards to her name.

Microphone, a film by Heliopolis director Ahmed Abdallah El-Sayed, stars Khaled Aboul Naga, Menna Shalaby, Atef Yousef, Yosra El-Lozy and Hany Adel. It traces the life of Khaled, who returns to Alexandria after years of travel only to discover that things aren't going too well with either his girlfriend or his aging father. By chance, he stumbles upon the city's hidden subculture - rappers, rockers, graffiti artists, a whole world of creativity, expression and art – and his life takes a turn for the better.

Following the screening of Microphone, Rhythm & Reels will host Arab rock-fusion band Massar Egbari, and underground hip-hop band the Y-Crew in concert on Friday, December 17. The award-winning Massar Egbari, which formed in 2005, specializes in alternative Egyptian music, fusing rock, jazz and blues with pure Oriental music. Y-Crew, the three-member Egyptian hip hop band, will also perform at the concert at The Walk at JBR.

LENNONNYC, from the genius mind of Michael Epstein, gives audiences a glimpse of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's life in New York in the 1970s. Featuring exclusive interviews with Ono and behind-the-scenes access to one of rock and roll's biggest legends, LENNONNYC is guaranteed to leave music lovers wanting more.

In a compelling take on the musical stylings of The Doors, Tom DiCillo's When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors uncovers rare footage of the band that changed the outlook of rock n' roll music. The film reveals the creative chemistry of the band, and provides glances into the magic of the music created by The Doors.

Rahma Benhamou El Madani's Tagnawittude delves into the Gwana music ritual in the Maghreb. The documentary analyses the life of Amazigh Kateb and his band Gwana Diffusion, the talent behind a unique style of music since 1992. The film reveals interviews with musicians and participants of the Gwana music ritual, unlocking a fascinating glimpse of its intricacies.

Shahin Parhami's Amin is about a postgraduate music student, researching for a doctorate degree at the Kiev Conservatory. Part of his programme requires him to explore the increasingly elusive folk music of the ancient Qashqai tribes of southern Iran. This journey of discovery, a fascinating exploration into the heartlands of Iran uncovers a once-vibrant cultural force now eroded into near obsolescence.

To fight for the custody of his daughter, a steel factory worker decides to create a piano from scratch to compete for her love for the instrument in Zhang Meng's The Piano in a Factory. A ballad of friendship and dedication, the film captures the essence of unspoken wisdom and nostalgia in uncertain times.

Tickets for Rhythm & Reels screenings will be available at all DIFF Box Office, and are priced at AED 25 for movie screenings only and AED 45 for the screening and concert. Students/children can purchase tickets for AED 25.

DIFF 2010 box office locations are: CineStar Mall of the Emirates, the Madinat Souk and at the CNN Building in Dubai Media City. Tickets can also be purchased through DIFF's Dial-a-Ticket service at (04) 391 3378 and from the website, www.dubaifilmfest.com.

The DIFF Rhythm & Reels section is presented by Dubai Pearl and Dubai Properties.

The seventh edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2010 will be held from December 12 to 19. DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The event is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. 

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