Every day, we ask film buffs what they hope to watch at the Dubai International Film Festival.
I am a producer with a film production company and moved to Dubai just eight weeks ago. I have been to the Tribeca and Cannes film festivals, but I am impressed by the creative line-up and the diversity at this festival. I plan to see at least one movie every day during DIFF. The ones I definitely will see are Night Shadows, Whatever Lola Wants, American East, Control, Four Women and Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I also want to see the Muhr Award winning films.
Chris Prebersen, from Norway
I work for a film production company. I have been living in Dubai for two years but did not see any films during previous festivals. This year I plan to see some of the galas such as Whatever Lola Wants and American East. I am also looking forward to seeing Four Women from the Indian cinema section, Night Shadows from the Arabian Nights section and Control from the Cinema of the World section.
Bridgette Schoen, from Germany
We have booked tickets for Loins of Punjab Present because we have heard that it is a good film with an excellent cast. It was not released in theatres in Dubai and we are happy to be able to catch it at DIFF. We are also looking forward to the Gloria Estefan concert at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
Kavita Ohri and Leena Dasani, from India
For tickets to DIFF screenings, visit the box offices at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, DMC Building 2, Grand Cineplex (Wafi), Cinestar (Mall of the Emirates) or at www.difftickets.com
Tickets are priced as follows:
Rhythm and Reels – Dh175.
Gala screenings – Dh80 for adults (Dh50 for children at the Children's Gala only).
Normal DIFF screenings – Dh25 for adults and Dh20 for students (must show valid ID card when picking up tickets).
For "10 or 25 Tix" Deals, the Rhythm and Reels Deal, Gala Deal or Day Pass, visit one of the box office locations in person or call 04-3676701 from 10am to 9pm.
Behind the scene: Volunteers
Over 500 volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to make the 4th Dubai International Film Festival
a success. They share their experiences with us in this daily column.
Osama Nahad is from Iraq and is studying mass media and public relations at Ajman University. He says, "My dream is to be a film director and I did not want to miss this wonderful opportunity to be involved in such a big international film event.
Being a volunteer is a great learning experience. My group had the responsibility of sending out the invitations for the red carpet galas and other VIP events. Over the last two weeks we have sent out 23,000 invitations.
"The best part of being a volunteer is that I get to meet new people every day and have new experiences every day. The most difficult part was travelling daily from Ajman to Dubai. To avoid the traffic I would wake up at 5am and reached so early that I had to wait three hours before the office opened. As the opening day approached we worked longer hours and I barely got three hours of sleep at home before driving back to Dubai. But I loved every moment because I like the people I am working with. We are all like a family and I will definitely be back next year."
Meet the jury
This year the Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema attracted over 300 entries from around the world. From the 50 narrative features, 76 documentaries and 112 shorts received, the jury selected 12 entries in each category for the final competition. We bring you profiles of the jury members, who are experts in various facets of filmmaking.
Pierre Abi-Saab is a Beirut-based journalist and art critic specialising in cinema, theatre and audio-visual works. He has worked for Lebanese TV, the Beirut-based Al Hayat Daily, Seventh Day and Arabies magazines in Paris and the Al Wasat Arabic daily in London. He is founder and editor-in-chief of the Zawaya Arabic cultural newspaper and supervises the cultural, art and media sections of Al Akhbar daily, Beirut.
Bassam Al Thawadi
Bassam Al Thawadi was born in Bahrain and studied filmmaking at the Higher Institute of Cinema, Cairo. He produced and directed many programmes for Bahrain TV in the 1980s. He is the producer and director of the first Bahraini narrative feature, Al Hajiz (The Barrier) released in 1990. After making several documentaries, he returned to fiction in 2004 with Visitor, Bahrain's second feature film. In 2006 he made Hekaya Bahrainiya , which was in competition at DIFF last year.
Take three films: The critic's choice
4 Luni, 3 Saptamani Si 2 Zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days)
Director: Cristian Mungiu.
Language: Romanian with English subtitles.
Length: 113 minutes.
Synopsis: Set in the 1980s, a young student (Laura Vasiliu) goes through the ordeal of having a backstreet abortion in a small town in Romania.
Watch it: Today at 2pm at Cinestar 1, Mall of the Emirates.
Ji Feng Zhon De Ma (Season of the Horse)
Director: Ning Cai.
Language: Mongolian and Mandarin with English subtitles.
Length: 105 minutes.
Synopsis: A stubborn herdsman tries to cling to tradition by keeping his horse. But his wife wants him to sell it so they can pay for their son to go to school. A directorial debut with striking visuals.
Watch it: Today at 5pm at Cinestar 8, Mall of the Emirates.
Confessions of a Gambler
Directors: Rayda Jacobs and Amanda Lane
Language: Afrikaans with English subtitles.
Length: 87 minutes.
Synopsis: Abeeda (Rayda Jacobs) is a devout Muslim mother of grown-up children who turns to gambling for solace when her son dies. As she becomes addicted, she faces mounting debts and dangerous gangsters.
Watch it:Today at 8.45pm at Cinestar 11, Mall of the Emirates.