Screening schedules are as follows:
El Clasico: Wednesday, 9th December at 8pm.
A world premiere of Iraqi-born Halkawt Mustafa’s film ‘El Clasico’, a film supported by DIFF’s post-production fund Enjaaz, takes audiences back to his Kurdish roots in Northern Iraq. Telling the story of the unmatched optimism of youth, two young brothers decide to undertake a perilous journey and leave their homeland behind to capture the attention of one of their idols, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Savva. Heart of The Warrior: Thursday, 10th December at 7pm.
A family fantasy adventure from first time director, Maksim Fadeev, in which Savva, our 10 year old hero must try and save his family and the whole village from the vicious hyena’s intent on running the humans out of town. Savva, in trying to escape the hyena’s wrath, finds himself stumbling through a magical forest where he meets Angee, an enormous white wolf and Puffy a wisecracking little creature that takes a shine to Savva. This film is about dreaming big and the strength of true friendship.
The Idol: Friday, 11th December at 6:30 pm
A truly special event that will see ‘Arab Idol’ winner Mohammed Assaf performing a selection of his most famous songs followed by a screening of Oscar-nominated director Hany Abu-Assad’s biggest feature film to date – ‘The Idol’. ‘The Idol’ tells the story of Mohammad Assaf, whose talent and drive turned what is ostensibly a talent show into one of the most watched television spectacles in the Arab world. In winning the competition Assaf became a symbol of hope for Palestinians in the region and around the world. A truly inspiring story with wonderful performances from the child actors and told with a loving hand from one of the Arab world’s most accomplished directors.
JAWS: Saturday, 12th December at 6:30
Oscar-winner and legendary actor Richard Dreyfuss will be attending DIFF to introduce the iconic ‘JAWS’ at THE BEACH, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary. When the seaside community of Amity finds itself under attack by a ferocious great white shark, the town’s chief of police (Roy Scheider), a young marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss), and a grizzled shark hunter (Robert Shaw) embark on a desperate quest to destroy the shark before it strikes again.
The Lady in The Van: Sunday, 13th December at 7:00 pm
An adaptation of writer Alan Bennett’s iconic and celebrated memoir, ‘The Lady in the Van’ is directed by Nicholas Hytner and stars acclaimed actress Maggie Smith. Miss Shepherd, played by Smith, is an eccentric elderly woman who, after falling on hard times, decides to temporarily reside in her old van in front of a playwright’s driveway – for fifteen years. The unique and witty story takes us on a journey pertaining to a very odd long-term friendship.
Song of Lahore: Monday, 14th December at 7:00 pm
Directors Andy Schocken and Oscar–winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary ‘Song of Lahore’, is a moving and uplifting look at cultural preservation and a group of passionate and skilled musicians who risk their own safety to inspire listeners from all over the globe. Since the time of Pakistan’s independence, the city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music, then with the Islamization of Pakistan in the 1970’s, many of Lahore’s most accomplished and celebrated musicians struggled to continue their life’s work. ‘Song of Lahore’ turns the spotlight on a group of brave musicians that kept on playing.
Yallah! Underground: Tuesday, 15th December at 7:00 pm
Farid Eslam, who received significant acclaim for his first feature ‘Istanbul United’, brings his latest film ‘Yallah! Underground’ to DIFF. The film follows some of the most progressive and influential musicians working in the Arab world as they display their work and share their fears and dreams in the wake of enormous societal shifts across the region. Once full of hope that the lofty ideals of the Arab Spring would be realised, the artists must now face the reality that the dreams they once had are slipping away. Featuring musical performances from a vast array of artists, ‘Yallah! Underground’ is a reminder of the importance of artistic expression and the power that it can wield.
All Roads Lead to Rome: Wednesday, 16th December at 7:00pm
A world premiere from Award-winning filmmaker Ella Lemhagen brings her latest feature ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’ to DIFF. Starring Sarah-Jessica Parker as the uptight Maggie, she embarks on an ill-fated trip to Italy in a desperate attempt to bond with her want away daughter Summer. A blast from the past in the shape of Luca, an Italian love from long ago, sets in motion a series of events that causes Luca and Maggie to venture on a cross country-trip in search of the runaway Summer and Carmen, Luca’s mother. Along the way the two rekindle their friendship and reflect upon the life choices they made many years ago that lead them to their current predicament.
For more details check out: www.dubaifilmfest.com