Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum toured exhibits at the festival Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council, on Friday inaugurated the second ‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’ festival at the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve. The festival, which runs till December 11, is screening a total of 27 films and hosting 23 talks and workshops aimed at promoting local cinema and nurturing homegrown and regional creative talent.

The festival is aligned with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to cement Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

Platform for talent

Sheikha Latifa affirmed that the festival will contribute to Dubai’s efforts to create a vibrant cultural environment and develop the emirate’s creative economy, adding: “The festival provides a platform for celebrating creativity and talent in the local and regional film industry and encouraging the production of creative films that convey Dubai’s modern ethos and highlight its customs, traditions and heritage. The festival is also an innovative platform for emerging filmmakers to explore the opportunities offered by Dubai’s growth as a film production hub.”

She said: “Cinema plays an active role in the growth of the creative economy, enhancing cultural tourism and promoting interest in Dubai’s cultural, historical and artistic richness. The Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve provides a vibrant natural venue for this unique festival.”

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During her tour of the festival, accompanied by Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education; Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority; and Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library Foundation; Sheikha Latifa watched a performance by the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra and visited other events at the festival, including artist Ammar Al Attar’s ‘History of Cinema’ exhibition that takes visitors on a nostalgic journey through the history of cinema in the UAE and the region.

She also saw the exhibition of Emirati photographer Ali Khalifa bin Thalith, secretary-general of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA), featuring photographs of wildlife in the Al Marmoom Desert; Emirati artist Fatma Al Ali’s mural about filmmaking; a public art installation ‘Moving with the Dunes’ created by the artist Ayesha Hadhir; another public art installation by Shamma Al Mazrouei; and a Sadu-inspired graphic design by Sarah Alkhayyal.

Spotlight on Emirati heritage

As part of its aim of shedding light on the nation’s history and aesthetic heritage, the festival has a heritage corner dedicated to exhibiting crafts and other elements of Emirati heritage including Al Talli, a traditional embroidery craft; Al Sadu, a traditional weaving technique; Al Ghazal, a traditional textile technique, Lugaimat, a local delicacy, Rigag bread and Arabic coffee.

The ‘Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert’ festival is also aligned with the objective of the Dubai Destinations campaign to highlight the exceptional experiences, events and activities offered by the emirate.

Dubai Culture has ensured that the festival’s activities are accessible to people of determination and provided facilities for them to enjoy the movies, art installations and exhibitions featured at the event.