Dubai Fest Set To Launch Awards Season Contenders In Middle East

Foxcatcher” (pictured) “The Imitation Game,” and Jean-Marc Vallee’s Reese Witherspoon-starrer “Wild,” are among buzzed awards season pics set for a Middle East launch from the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival.

The World Cinema Section at the Dubai fest will also comprise Italian debut director Andrea Di Stefano’s “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” toplining Benicio del Toro as the Columbian drug lord; Canada’s foreign-language Oscar contender “Mommy” by Xavier Dolan; and British actor Paul Bettany’s directorial debut “Shelter,” among other titles.

The Dubai selection “offers everything from sneak previews of big-budget Hollywood films to no-budget films that are breaking new ground, films from first-time filmmakers through to the some of the most established directors working today,” boasted the fest’s artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali in a statement.

Rounding out the first-round of announced titles in Dubai’s World Cinema Section are Argentinian director Damian Szifron’s black comedy “Wild Tales”; Italian director Francesco Munzi naturalistic mob drama “Black Souls”; hit French dramedy “Samba,” by directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, with Omar Sy; Venice standout Indian courtroom drama “Court,” which marks Indian writer-director Chaitanya Tamhane’s feature debut; Pakistani helmer Afia Nathaniel’s road trip thriller “Dukhtar”; Brit helmer Guy Myhills’ debut “The Goob” and Croatian drama “We Are The Rules” by Ognjen Svilicic.

Its position at the end of the yearly fest season gives Dubai cachet as an awards season platform almost by default.

The eleventh edition of the Dubai fest will run December 10-17.

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