Maryam Touzani Aya Goes to the Beach is her second short film at the fesival after When They Slept. Image Credit: Courtesy: DIFF

Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) has released the last eight films for the Muhr Short Competition line-up. The competition will host 15 films this year. The Muhr Short line-up includes the following: 

- The Purple Field by Palestinian director and previous Muhr winner Nasri Hajjaj will premiere at the festival. It is a film based on current affairs and the effects of the refugee crisis. It is the story of a young refugee who flees a war-torn Syria in search of a better life, a journey that takes the young Palestinian-Syrian through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria. 

- Stranded by Tunisian director Jamil Najjar will also premiere at the festival. The film portrays a day in the life of Arbi, a taxi driver whose sudden urge to go to the toilet throws him into the unexpected. 

- Jordanian director, producer, writer and literary critic, Yahya Alabdallah’s latest feature 5th Floor Room 52 will also premiere at Diff. The silent film touches on the troubles of a young woman searching for room 52 where she hopes to meet a construction worker. 

- Basil Khalil’s Ave Maria will be seen after competing at the Cannes Film Festival and winning at the Grenoble Short Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival this year. The film is set in a Palestinian convent where the routine of five nuns is disturbed when a stray Israeli family shows up at its doorstep. 

- Mariam by Saudi director Faiza Ambah is set in 2004 France, just as the country passed a law banning religious symbols in public schools. Mariam, who recently began wearing the hijab after performing the Hajj with her grandmother, is unable to accept the change. 

- Previous Muhr winner Egyptian director, Sherif Al Bendary, returns to Diff with the world premiere of his latest film, Dry Hot Summers. The film is about two lonely people who accidentally meet one summer’s day in Cairo. 

- In The Future, They Ate from the Finest Porcelain directed by Larissa Sansour and Soren Lind, is a sci-fi film that tackles issues relating to the complexity of life in Palestine. It tells the tale of a resistance group that buries elaborate porcelain — suggested to belong to a lost civilisation of hi-tech Palestinians — for future archaeologists to excavate. 

- Director Maryam Touzani brings her second short film after When They Slept. Aya Goes to the Beach, that premieres at the festival sees a 10-year-old child forced to take on the responsibilities of an adult by working as a maid in Casablanca. 

The 12th Dubai International Film Festival runs from December 9 to 16. Ticket packages start from Dh275. For more information log on to dubaifilmfest.com