Egyptian film 'Introduced Labor' (photo courtesy of DIFF press release) Egyptian film 'Introduced Labor' (photo courtesy of DIFF press release)

11 films to debut 'Arabian Nights' at 14th DIFF

Tue, Nov. 14, 2017
CAIRO – 14 November 2017: Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced on Monday that 11 films will be participating in the ‘Arabian Nights’ segment as part of its 14th edition that will run between December 6 and December 13.

“Arabian Nights is one of the most highly anticipated categories each December, as it celebrates the cultural diversity within the Arab region through the exceptional medium of film. This year’s lineup tackles pressing issues facing the world today and aims to overcome these boundaries, bringing communities together through compelling storytelling,” said Delphine Garde-Mroueh, Arabian Nights Programmer in a press statement by DIFF.

Featuring regional and international filmmakers who shed light on Arab culture, the festival’s ‘Arabian Nights’ will Egyptian film ‘Introduced Labor’ by film writer Khaled Diab will also participate in the segment showcasing the story of an Egyptian couple who take control of the American Embassy in Egypt after being denied entry to the United States. Diab has previously released ‘Clash’ that was the opening film at Cannes International Film Festival.

Another Egyptian film world premiere ‘Kiss Me Not’ by Egyptian-American writer and director Ahmed Amer will be closing the Arabian Nights lineup. The mockumentary revolves around director Tamer who struggles to deal with an actress, who quits a kissing scene and the film industry after she decides to wear a Hijab, and his producer as he films his first feature. The film stars Yasmine Rais, the award winning director Khairy Beshara, Sawsan Badr, with an honorary to the late renowned director Mohammed Khan and Mohamed Mahan. Amer has previously released the worldwide recognized hit film ‘Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim’.

Algerian filmmaker Karim Moussaoui debuts the segment with his film ‘Until the Birds Return’ that was nominated for a Cannes award. The film depicts the process of tough choices made by Mourad, Aisha and Dahman who are on a quest for new life beginnings. ‘Beauty and the Dogs’ by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania will feature her film as well that revolves around a Tunisian woman who struggles for her dignity and rights.

tunisian girl
Film 'Until the Birds Return

Presenting the supported feature in the segment, French-Lebanese director Nadim Tabet will introduce ‘One of These Days’ which experiences identity and existentialist crisis through young adults who question the notions of love and sex. The film has previously participated in DIFF 2016.

Other films include ‘Orchestra Class’ by film actor and director Rachid Hami that revolves around the power of music in influencing lives. Award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha will also participate in the segment with her film ‘Naila and the Uprising’ that tells a story of family, love, and freedom in the late 1980’s peaceful mobilization in Palestinian history.

Film Naila and the uprising

Feature film ‘Catch the Wind’ by French film director Gaël Morel will be taking place in the segment as well. Previously participated at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film revolves around 45-years old Edith who is a textile factory worker who experiences a turning point in her life following the strict austerity measures applied by her company.

‘Arabian Nights’ will also feature ‘Never Leave Me’ by Bosnian filmmaker Aida Begić about three boys who become friends at a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey after being separated from their families. ’69 Minutes of 86 Days’ is the first feature film participating in this segment; directed by Norwegian filmmaker Egil Håskjold who films three-year old Lean who embarks a journey in Europe to reunited with her grandfather after fleeing from war-zones.

little girl
First feature film ’69 Minutes of 86 Days’

Engaging documentary by Stefanie Brockhaus and Andreas Wolff ‘The Poetess’ stands out in the segment as it features the journey of an ambitious Saudi writer Hissa Hilal who participates in Abu Dhabi’s multi-million dollar TV show ‘Million’s Poet’.

“Since its inception, Arabian Nights has served as a platform for Arab and international filmmakers to cross borders and tell stories that address very real themes in the Arab world with compassion and creativity. We know this year’s slate will bring incredible and unique perspectives to the fore, and I know DIFF audiences will be as engrossed as I will,” DIFF’s Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali, commented on this year’s program lineup in the press release.

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