Monday, October 1, 2012

Dubai International Film Festival films take centre stage in Paris

An exciting week is on the agenda for cinema lovers in Paris as a selection of work supported by the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) are set to make their debut at IMA’GIMA “Arab Cinemas Encounter”, a festival of Arab cinema organised for the first time by the Society CommNprod International and the Arab World Institute (IMA) in Paris.

This Avant-Première edition’s programme supported by DIFF, will be screened at the IMA Rafik Hariri Auditorium, between September 21 and September 25. Audiences can expect an intriguing mix of features and shorts from the Middle East and North Africa from a surge of emerging filmmakers eager to share their creativity and diversity with audiences across the globe.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director, Dubai International Film Festival, commented: “Expanding the visibility of Arab films is crucial and it’s encouraging to see such a strong presence of Arab filmmakers making an impression at festivals all around the world this year. We are proud to be a part of IMA’GIMA’s preview and showcase the creativity and excellence from the MENA and Gulf to new audiences and develop opportunities to encourage film production and further develop relationships between France and the Arab world.”

Nayla Khalek, Director, Society CommNprod International said: “We are delighted Dubai International Film Festival are supporting IMA’GIMA we share the same objectives and the same aspirations when it comes to the future of Arab cinema and its presence in the world.  Encouraging young Arab filmmakers while preciously preserving our traditional cinema, were the key reasons to creating this partnership between DIFF and IMA’GIMA. We are looking forward to a productive collaboration and are currently working on plans with DIFF to further develop Arab talent around the world.” 

From Uda Benyamina’s The Road to Paradise, which won First Prize at the 8th Edition of DIFF in the Muhr Arab Short category, to Emirati filmmaker Mariam Al Sarkal’s documentary London in a Headscarf which received a Special Mention at the Muhr Emirati Awards in 2011 and Zelal, from directors Marianne Khoury and Mustapha Hasnaoui which scooped the FIPRESCI award for Best Documentary. The assorted programme will give audiences at IMA’GIMA a unique insight to cultural traditions across the region.

The first edition of IMA’GIMA “Arab Cinema Encounters” will showcase a total of 32 works, ranging from documentaries to features and shorts. IMAG’IMA’s objectives are expanding the visibility of Arab cinema, supporting distribution networks and encouraging the production of films from the region.
Damascus Roof and Tales of Paradise (Syria), Zelal (Egypt), A Light Breeze (Iraq), Bahari (Egypt), London in a Headscarf (UAE), Hayat (Iraq), Cart (Iraq), Hidden Fences (Yemen), The Salt Fisherman (Palestine), A Place To Go (Lebanon), Malal (UAE), The Road to Paradise (Morocco) and Sokoon (Bahrain) were some of the selected films awarded at Dubai International Film Festival and Gulf Film Festival that were screened at IMAG’IMA “Arab Cinemas Encounter”.

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