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Diff 2017: Films you can watch for free

Annual beach screenings as part of the film festival to bring well-loved classics as well as new features


The Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) has announced its line-up for the free-to-attend Beach Screenings at The Beach opposite JBR. Eight films have been scheduled this year, to be screened from December 6 to 13.

The Man Behind the Microphone

On the festival’s opening night on the December 6, film lovers will be able to watch renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s latest feature, Beyond the Clouds, starring Ishaan Khatter, the brother of Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor, and Malavika Mohana. The film dwells on the adoration of love, life and nuanced human relationships.

December 7 will see award-winning director Jennifer Peedom’s new documentary, Mountain, narrated by two-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe. It looks at our obsession with mountains and demonstrates the force of high places.

A Grain of Sand

On December 8, it will be A Grain of Sand, from renowned British guitarist and composer Jason Carter. A look at the precarious way of life shared by the pearl divers of the Gulf and the music that surrounds them, the screening will also feature live performances of figjeri, or ‘sea music’, with the musical accompaniment of Jason Carter’s guitar, Ahmed Al Ghanem’s flute and Dar Burshaid Shabab Al Hidd.

December 9 will see British-Tunisian filmmaker Claire Belhassine’s debut feature film, The Man Behind the Microphone, which tells the complex story of Hedi Jouini, dubbed the Frank Sinatra of Tunisian music. This non-fiction, biographical piece reveals the incredible story of the godfather of Tunisian music, and will again be followed by performances from singer Afifa Belhassine and multi-instrumentalist Adel Belhassine, known as Jouini, who will bring the spirit of their father’s legendary repertoire to life.

The ‘Grandfather of Lebanese cinema’ Georges Nasser’s 60-year-old directorial masterpiece, Where To?, is acclaimed as the benchmark of its genre, and the 1957 black and white film makes will return to the big screen on December 10, following its restored print version as part of the Cannes Film Festival Classics event.

Then on December 11, visionary director Michael Roberts will make bring Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards, a documentary biopic about Manolo Blahnik, one of the World’s most influential designers. The film will peek into the inner world of the usually mysterious designer, along with interviews from Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, Rupert Everett, and Anna Wintour.

King Kong

The December 12 film is a black-and-white adventure-fantasy epic from 1933, King Kong, with a restored edition. From directors Merian C. Cooper, and Ernest B. Schoedsack, the film shows the terrifying gorilla’s rampage through 1930’s Manhattan in all its splendour.

On the last day, on December 13, is writer and director Kurt Voelker’s American comedy-drama, The Bachelors, starring Oscar winner J.K Simmons. The films tells the story of a widowed man and his son moving across America, their lives are changed forever by two unique women who teach them to embrace life, and love again.

The Bachelors

Admission to the free beach screenings is on firs-come first-served basis.

The Diff box office is now open for all other screenings in other locations. Go to