The 13th Dubai International Film Festival, set to take place December 7 – 14, 2016, has unveiled part of its program with seven AFAC-supported films selected so far in the official Muhr Feature and Mhur Short competitions.
‘Tramontane’ by Lebanese Vatche Boulghourjian, which premiered in the Critics' Week during the Cannes Film Festival 2016, tells the story of a man in search for his origins in a land where people cannot retell their own past. Maher Abi Samra’s ‘A Maid For Each’, winner of the Peace Award at Berlinale 2016, observes the day to day functions of an active agency, capturing the truth of the domineering industry of domestic work in Lebanon. In Sherif El Bendary’s debut feature, ‘Ali, the Goat, and Ibrahim’, Ali who believes his late girlfriend's soul has been reincarnated in a goat and so he embarks with his friend Ibrahim and his goat on a journey of friendship and self-discovery across Egypt to reverse the curse. From Egypt too comes the debut feature documentary ‘The Little Eagles’ by Mohamed Rashad which examines the filmmaker’s relationship with his father, a blue-collar worker, who is not proud of his son’s choices. Palestinian Mohanad Yaqubi’s documentary ‘Off Frame’ which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this past September draws from recently found archive footage to insightfully explore the essence of Palestinian filmmaking.
The Muhr Short Competition welcomes two AFAC-supported short films. Mahdi Fleifel’s Silver Bear winner at the Berlinale, ‘A Man Returned’, will have its Arab premiere bringing forth the story of Reda whose dreams of escaping the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Helweh ended in failure after three years trapped in Greece. He returned with a heroin addiction to life in a camp being torn apart by internal strife and the encroachment of war from Syria. Against all odds he decides to marry his childhood sweetheart; a love story, bittersweet. Competing with Fleifel’s short is Moroccan Karima Zoubir’s ‘Behind the Wall’ which revolves around five-year-old Nadia who lives in Casablanca’s slums, surrounded by a wall that separates it from the city. One day, Nadia notices municipality workers painting the structure and wonders why the city is suddenly interested in their wall.
DIFF will unveil more titles in the coming weeks.