Dubai fest adds Gulf up-and-comers

Films from Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait to be included

LONDON — The Dubai Intl. Film Festival is doing its part to support Gulf cinema by adding a new sidebar dedicated to up-and-coming helmers from the region.

Previously, the fest concentrated on Emirati filmmakers. With Gulf Voices, however, the fest will include pics from Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Many of the selected pics already preemed at the inaugural Gulf Film Festival, which unspooled in Dubai in April.

The United Arab Emirates has the highest number of entries with five pics, including animated short “Hammer and Nails” by helmer Hamad Alawar, “Bint al nokhitha” by Khalid Al-Mahmood and “The Rescue” by Saeed Al-Daheri.

Other entries include Kuwaiti helmer Meqdad Al-Kout’s “Paradoxes,” Qatari helmer Khalid Al-Mahmoud’s “Terrorism-Tourism” and Saudi Arabian helmer Abdullah Al-Eyaf’s “Rain.”

“It will be interesting as a viewer to have a bird’s-eye view of the Gulf region through Khaleeji cinema, since although each country is subtly different, we share various cultural and political similarities,” said fest artistic director Masoud Amralla Al-Ali.

The fifth edition of DIFF unspools Dec. 11-18.

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