Eight documentaries make the final cut for Gulf Film Festival official competition

Published April 3rd, 2010 - 08:17 GMT

Eight documentaries make the final cut for
Gulf Film Festival official competition

Dubai, UAE; April 3, 2010: The third 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), has selected eight compelling documentaries that will vie for the top honours in the in-competition documentary segment.

The entries are from upcoming filmmakers in the UAE, Iraq and Kuwait, among others, hand-picked from submissions featuring documentaries by Gulf-based filmmakers and those with a subject-matter inspired by life in the Gulf.  A jury of filmmakers and cultural personalities will evaluate the entries for the top three prizes of AED 25,000, AED 20,000, and AED 15,000 respectively, as well as a special jury prize of AED 20,000.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Festival Director, said: “Documentaries involve bold creativity and their ability to explore social and political issues continues to serve as the ideal outlet for inspiring directors to address important issues through the medium of cinema. The Gulf Film Festival is promoting talent through the documentary competition, which gained strong response from filmmakers across the world.”

He added: “The eight films that have made the final cut are as varied in their subject matter as the treatment and will be revelations for movie lovers on the command young filmmakers have on the medium.”

Emirati filmmaker Muneer Ibrahim documents the symbolism of UAE’s national bird, the falcon, in his documentary To Fly A Dream, highlighting the centres where the falcons are bred, trained, and looked after. UAE-based Indian filmmaker Soniya Kriplani narrates the silent revolution led by Emirati women to dispel all misconceptions associated with the Hijab – from oppression to expression in Dobuy- The Fabric of Faith.

Iraqi filmmakers have presented evocative narratives that highlight community concerns and personal stories set against societal upheavals. Upcoming filmmaker Hady Mahoud’s Collapse looks at how the country’s cultural institutions were destroyed after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. UK-based Iraqi director Farouk Dawod addresses the impact of social and political suffering and the effect it has had on the emergence of modern-day Iraqi music and poetry in Kawkab Min Babel.

Hameed Haddad examines the deportation process adopted by the former Iraqi regime, tracking down the Iraqi communities that have dispersed into foreign lands in his documentary titled 80-82. Dreams Look for Wings by Abbas Muter pulls no punches in revealing how the poverty-stricken people of Baghdad survive in the backstreets of the city, while Khalid Alzhraou questions the disappearance of Iraqi cinema after the political downfall in 2003 in Tonight, Next Week.

Kuwaiti filmmaker Talal Al Muhanna has documented the 5-week long journey of Western dancers on the road to partake in the 5th Dadao Live Art Festival in China as part of their commitment to promote the spirit of cross-cultural exchange through cutting-edge performances in Dancing on the Edge.

The Gulf Film Festival, to be held from April 8 to 14, is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is held in association with Dubai Studio City. More details on the festival are available online at www.gulffilmfest.com.

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