Curtains go up on Gulf Film Festival today with a vivid showcase of 194 films from 41 countries

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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

  • Celebrities from the region to walk the red carpet at opening ceremony
  • Emirati film ‘City of Life’ to open the festival

The third edition of the Gulf Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), will open today (Thursday, April 8) showcasing a vivid collection of 194 contemporary films from 41 countries over the next seven days at Dubai Festival City.

A celebration of excellence in Gulf cinema, the festival will open with the Emirati film, ‘City of Life,’ directed by UAE national filmmaker Ali Mustafa and shot entirely in Dubai with a cast and crew drawn from around the world. An array of Gulf film celebrities will walk the red carpet for the glittering opening ceremony.

Emirati actress Raziqa Al Taresh, internationally renowned Iraqi actor & playwright Khalil Shawki and Kuwait’s applauded actress Hayat Al Fahad will receive the Lifetime Achievement Awards, as part of the GFF Honouree Programme at the opening ceremony.

The 194 films being screened at Gulf Film Festival include 81 World Premieres, 11 International Premieres, 33 Middle East Premieres, 17 GCC Premieres and nine UAE Premieres, assuring a novel cinematic experience for filmgoers. Entry to the film festival is free to public. In all, GFF 2010 will screen 128 short fiction films, 28 short documentaries, 8 features, 5 feature documentaries and 25 animation films.

Gulf Film Festival Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said the festival has played a key role in elevating the appeal of cinema from the Gulf region internationally. “Over the past three years, the festival has achieved two tangible achievements. Firstly, it has set the base for a robust GCC film industry, as is evident in the number of films – 111 – from the region. Secondly, the festival helped audiences evolve as serious, discerning cinema lovers, which in turn inspires filmmakers to pursue their passion and convert their dreams into reality.”

Festival Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali added: “The Gulf Film Festival is now undisputedly the home to a new wave in Arab cinema, and serves as the only venue for all members of the larger film fraternity to meet, discuss and explore films, several of them providing compelling glimpses into life in the Gulf region. This year’s selection has a rich collection by debutants, which highlights the growing appeal of films as a preferred tool for creative expression.”

Among the films being screened from the GCC region, the UAE has a clear dominance with 36 films followed by Saudi Arabia (24), Oman (10), Kuwait (8) and Bahrain (6). Also from the Arab world is a rich showcase of (25) Iraqi films.

Celebrities to walk the red carpet include accomplished film professionals from the GCC region. The UAE film industry will be represented by Huda Al Khatib, Bilal Abdulla, Mohamed Saeed, Ibrahim Salim, Saoud Al Kaabi, Abdullah Saleh, Ashwaq, Moosa Bogeesh, Mariam Sultan, Abdulla Al Jafali, Guzlan, Abdul Hamid Al Bolushi and Sougah.

The Kuwaiti talent-contingent includes Khalid Ameen, Abdulemam Abdullah, Mohammed Jabir, Mariam Al Saleh, Khalid Al Breeki, Ismahan Tawfeeq and Hayat Al Fahad. Bahraini film personalities to walk the red carpet include Hayfa Hussain, Mariam Zeman, Ameen Saleh, Fareed Ramadan, Hassan Haddad, Ghahtan Al Gahtani, Khalid Al Rowaiei, Ali Al Gherer and Parween Atiya.

Talent from Saudi Arabia include Ibrahim Al Hasawi and Badriay Al Bashar. Qatari talent Abdul Aziz Al Jasim, Ghazi Hussain, and Wedad Al Kuwari will join on the red carpet.

The Gulf Film Festival will be held until April 14 and is supported by the Dubai Culture and is held in association with Dubai Studio City. For more information, please visit the Festival website: www.gulffilmfest.com.

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