The Dubai Film Festival has unveiled the lineup of its Muhr Asia/Africa Awards section which sees a mix of established helmers and newcomers competing for some of the most lucrative prizes on the international fest circuit.
Entries by known auteurs include Filippino helmer Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb,” Chinese documaker Wang Bings’ “Three Sisters,” both of which bowed at Venice, and Turkish helmer Zeki Demirkubutz’s “Inside,” which transposes Dostoevsky’s “Notes From the Underground” to contempo Istambul.
Africa will be represented by, among other titles, Angolan helmer Zeze Gomboa’s “The Great Kilapi,” which was in Toronto, and “Today” by French-Senegalese helmer Alain Gomis.
Singaporean helmers James Leong and Lynn Lee will bring “The Great North Korean Picture Show,” touted as the first docu about the film industry in the secretive dictatorship.
Tyro Turkish helmer Hussayin Tabak’s “Your Beauty Is Worth Nothing,” about an immigrant Turkish boy who struggles with his new life in Austria, is among first works competing for the best feature nod worth $50,000. Total Asia/Africa Muhr coin amounts to $575,000 spread across 25 categories.
Fest’s Asia/Africa program topper Nashen Moodley enthused he has assembled a “bumper crop” of titles comprising plenty of “genre-bending stories that challenge what is known about these two vast regions.”
The 9th Dubai Film Festival will run Dec. 9-16.