Monday, October 26, 2009

Gulf Film Festival takes best of UAE filmmaking

· Over 20 films from the UAE screened to tens of thousands at prestigious international film festivals
· More than 43 GFF films show in Australia, India, Italy, Tanzania, Lebanon

Dubai, October 26, 2009: More than 43 films from the Gulf states, including 20 made in the UAE, will be screened to thousands of movie enthusiasts in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa this year, thanks to the Gulf Film Festival (GFF). The Dubai-based annual cinema event, which offers filmmakers from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE a dedicated platform, completed its second edition earlier this year.

Film festivals around the world, from the Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania, the Ahmedabad International Film Festival in India to the upcoming Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Australia’s Gold Coast, have included significant numbers of GFF films in their repertoire for 2009. In the last two months alone, 43 films from the Gulf Film Festival have screened at global festivals.

Commenting on its unprecedented success, GFF Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said, “The Gulf Film Festival is working hard to provide an avenue to celebrate and encourage the best regional product and talent, and to bring our world a little closer through the art of cinema. Today, the results of our efforts are evident across the globe, and we are delighted by the positive response to our films in every continent.”

The festival, Al Ali added, will continue to champion Gulf talent across the region and around the world. GFF, for example, is this year the official GCC nomination body for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, one of the most prestigious cinema events in the southern hemisphere.

APSA collaborates with UNESCO, CNN and the International Federation of Film Producers International to honour and promote the films, actors, directors and cultures from more than 70 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. GFF is sending six Gulf films to APSA 2009, which will be held on November 26 at Australia’s Gold Coast.

Some of the UAE films featured in GFF are: ‘The Circle’, ‘Henna’, ‘Baab’ (Door), ‘The Sound of Life’, ‘Only A Beginning’, ‘Young Sadness’, ‘The Half Heart’, ‘Finding Mr. and Mrs. Right’, ‘Amal’s Cloud’, ‘Bint Mariam’, ‘Mountain Sheikh’, ‘Bint Al Nokhitha’, ‘Paradise Evening’, ‘Tenbak’, and ‘Wedad’.

The GCC films will also participate in Spain’s International Euro Arab Film Festival (AMAL 2009) in October. Closer to home, GFF will also screen a selection of films at the Al Ain Municipality, and participate in the Beirut International Film Festival and the Beirut International Documentary Festival later this year.

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, screened a total of 169 films from 32 countries around the GCC and other countries last April.

The festival comprised 47 world premieres and 18 international premieres, and screened eight feature narrative films, 27 documentaries, 106 short fiction selections, and 28 animation films. In addition to films from the region, GFF 2009 also showcased films from India, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, USA, Germany amongst many others in its international programming.

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