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Your guide to pop culture at Emirates Lit Fest

The nine-day event will feature talks by screenwriters and comic book geniuses alike


The cross-over between literature, television and film has long been the basis of pop culture gold.

The annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will bring those collaborations and more to the forefront over the course of nine days, starting March 3. Authors from around the world, such as House of Cards screenwriter Andrew Davies and Ms Marvel co-creator Sana Amanat, will give panel talks, masterclasses and workshops, running up until March 11.

Ahead of the main programme, Gulf News tabloid! rounded up eight must-attend events that span comics, book-to-screen adaptations and cultural representation in the media.



Wildlife in 3D! Anthony Geffen’s Attenborough Documentaries

Cost: Dh75

When: March 3, 1.30pm-2.30pm

Where: Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Innovative documentary filmmaker Anthony Geffen talks about his long-standing collaboration with veteran naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough. Using footage from their films, such as Natural History Museum Alive 3D, Penguins 3D and Conquest of the Skies 3D, Geffen will discuss how cutting-edge technology has brought us closer than ever to the natural world.


From Book to Screen: Getting Adaptations Right

Cost: Dh75

When: March 3, 3pm-4pm

Where: Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Screenwriter Andrew Davies, who adapted House of Cards, War and Peace and Pride and Prejudice for television, joins Kathy Reichs, the forensic anthropologist and crime writer whose novels inspired the Bones TV series. The pair discuss what it takes to turn a book into silver screen magic.


Make Mine Ms Marvel: Sana Amanat in Conversation

Cost: Dh50

When: March 3, 4.30pm-5.30pm

Where: Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Sana Amanat, called a ‘real-life superhero’ by former US president Barack Obama, created waves in the comic book world when she co-created Ms Marvel Kamila Khan, Marvel’s first-ever Muslim superhero, who also happens to be a Pakistani girl. In this session, she’ll speak more in depth about the comic.


KAPOW! Comics and Animation: Culture Strikes Back!

Cost: Dh75

When: March 3, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Where: Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Pioneering Emirati animator Mohammad Saeed Harib (Freej) and graphic novelist Khalid Bin Hamad (Nasser’s Secrets) join Marvel editor and Ms Marvel co-creator Amanat to talk about whether comics and animations can embrace tradition while breaking new ground and reaching a mainstream audience.




From Austen to Tolstoy: Screen Classics with Andrew Davies

Cost: Dh75

When: March 4, 11.30am-12.30pm

Where: Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Screenwriter Davies speaks in depth about his television adaptations, including Bleak House, House of Cards, War and Peace and Pride and Prejudice, as well as the screenplays for the first two Bridget Jones films.


Who Runs the World?: Diversity in Entertainment

Cost: Dh75

When: March 4, 11.30am-12.30pm

Where: Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Ms Marvel co-creator and Marvel editor Amanat, Emirati filmmaker Eman Talal Al Sayed and Emirati artist Maryam Al Zaabi speak about women’s work in interactive media and entertainment, as well as diversifying narratives and characters in pop culture.




Bourne Ready: Chaos and Conspiracies with Eric Van Lustbader

Cost: Dh75

When: March 10, 3pm-4pm

Where: Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Thriller and fantasy writer Eric Van Lustbader, who took over the adapted-for-cinema Jason Bourne series in 2004 (original author Robert Ludlum died in 2001), talks about what it takes to write a gripping, cinematic read.


Jo Malone: My Story

Cost: Dh75

When: March 10, 6pm-7pm

Where: Al Ras 1, InterContinental

A fragrance expert, Jo Malone stirred interest in 1999 when she sold her perfume and scented candle company Jo Malone London to Estee Lauder for ‘undisclosed millions’. Malone, who received an MBE nearly years later, started over with her new brand, Jo Loves. Her success came in the face of childhood adversity, dyslexia and breast cancer. In this session named after Malone’s 2016 autobiography, Malone discusses her journey thus far.


*Tickets for festival sessions range in price. They’re available from