Dubai to host first Gulf film festival

The first edition of the Gulf Film Festival (GFF) will provide a platform for local and regional filmmakers to showcase their talent.

Dubai to host first Gulf film festival

The first edition of the Gulf Film Festival (GFF), set to open on Sunday at the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre in the Mall of the Emirates, will provide a platform for local and regional filmmakers to showcase their talent, Khaleej Times reported.

The week-long festival will feature a total of 146 films, including over 40 international films from across the world.

The festival will welcome Arab stars from the region at its inaugural red carpet for the world premiere of Four Girls by Bahraini filmmaker Hussain Abbas Al Hulaibi. Kuwaiti actors Saad Al Faraaj, Ibrahim Al Harbi, Heba Al Dore, Zahra Arafat and Haifa Hussain, and Anwar Ahmed from Bahrain, Abdul Aziz Jassim from Qatar and Oman's Ibrahim Al Zadjali and Saleh Za'al will also grace the red carpet alongside the Bahraini filmmaker.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, festival director at the GFF, told reporters at a Press conference yesterday, "We know that filmmakers in the region have been dreaming of such a congregation. The purpose of the festival is to promote local and regional talent."

According to him, 90 per cent of the films screened are world premieres.

When asked was the country hosting too many film festivals, Ali said it was healthy to host more than one film festival. Besides, each one had their own identity.

"The audience will have more choice and variety. Each film festival has its own identity and more the number, more the awareness. I disagree that only one festival should be there."

He added that festivals were a cultural and educational event, besides entertainment.

Ali noted that the UAE produced about 160 films annually compared to none seven years ago. Many private companies were now investing in Arabic films in the country.

About 35 films from the UAE are being screened at the festival, including 13 entries in the shorts segment. On the fact that 18 films from Iraq will be showcased at the GFF, he said, "I salute Iraqi filmmakers for making movies despite the harsh conditions they are facing."

Three prizes are being given in features, shorts and documentary categories in the main competition, and shorts and documentaries in the students' competition. There will be a special jury prize in both categories and a separate script competition for Emirati short films.

Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2008, 13:27
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