Sunday, December 12, 2010

Journey of self-discovery is dominating theme of Iraqi, Turkish and Mongolian showcase at DIFF 2010

Dubai, UAE; December 12, 2010: Discovering one’s self, history or legacy is a dominating theme in the films from Iraq, Turkey and Mongolia, being showcased at the seventh edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) 2010, several of them making their World Premiere at the festival.

There is a powerful element of self- and community introspection by filmmakers from Asia and Africa in the film line up from the region this year - a natural response to the powerful socio-economic shifts that are happening across the region, which are deftly captured on camera by the talented filmmakers.

Leading the line-up of Muhr AsiaAfrica features is a stylish debut feature by Turkish director Emre Sahin, which explores modern-day Istanbul, through the eyes if three distinct protagonists, a disillusioned taxi driver, a bewildered illegal immigrant, and a Turkish woman. Filmed on location throughout the city, ’40,’ blends rough realism with allegorical edge. The GCC premiere of 40 will be on Dec. 18 at Cinestar, Mall of the Emirates, followed by an additional screening on Dec. 19.

Acclaimed Iraqi director Kassem Hawal has been active in Iraqi theatre and cinema since the late 1950s. In his feature, The Singer, screening at Cinestar 2 on Dec. 15 at 9.30 pm and at Cinestar 8 on Dec. 18 at 3.45 pm,  he brings an insight into the era of dictatorship in Iraq, with the story of Bashir, a singer who is due to perform for the despot. Unfortunately, due to a series of mishaps, Bashir is delayed and scared - no-one in their right mind would dare insult the choleric ruler by being late. But there it is, he is very late and nothing can be done. What happens to Bashir when he finally reaches the palace and faces the raging commander?

An exhilarating and politically powerful road movie, Mandoo tells the poignant tale of a family ripped apart by conflict. As a small Kurdish girl, Sheelan migrated with her parents to Sweden, leaving behind her extended family and the turmoil of life in Saddam-era Iraq. Twenty years later, Sheelan is a thriving doctor in Sweden, longing to connect with her family roots. Encouraged by the downfall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, she resolves to return home and reconnect with her family. However, when her uncle suffers a stroke, shortly upon her return, Sheelan prepares to embark on a trip to fulfil the old man’s dying wish to return to his childhood homeland of Iranian Kurdistan. Directed by Ebrahim Saeedi, Mandoo will mark its Middle East premiere on Dec. 15 at Cinestar, Mall of the Emirates, with a second screening on Dec. 16.

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Mongolian landscape Byamba Sakhya’s Passion follows Binder Jigjid, the son of legendary director Jigjid Dejid, who takes his films from village to village, trying to eke out an existence. This compelling story of a complex relationship between artists and the system and the impact of social and political transition on individual destiny, will be screened Dec 13. and 15 at Cinestar, Mall of the Emirates.

DIFF 2010 box office locations are: Cinestar Mall of the Emirates, Madinat Souk and 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

The seventh edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2010, is held until Dec. 19 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.

For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit

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