Endearing ‘Muppets,’ Peter Gabriel and Sicilian musicians take centre stage at DIFF

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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

Friday (December 9, 2011) promises a world of fun for the little ones and music lovers at the eighth Dubai International Film Festival. While the young and young at heart can revel in the world of The Muppets, which makes its red carpet gala at 3 pm at the Madinat Arena, music lovers can discover the world of the legendary Peter Gabriel returning to the stage with an innovative performance with Peter Gabriel: New Blood – Live in London, to be screened in 3D, at 10 pm, at the same venue.

The musical journey takes a new realm at The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence, the venue of DIFF’s Rhythm & Reel screenings with the live performance of The Silence Project, following the world premiere of Silence: All Roads Lead to Music at 8 pm. Directed by Haider Rashid, the film charts the genius of an unusual combination of musicians who meet for the first time for a one-off music concert to be held during an Arab film festival in southern Italy. The musicians’ journey takes viewers through the intense search for a unique sound that blends Sicilian, Arabic, jazz and world music into the realm of the purest music. The film will be screened again on Dec. 13, 12 pm, at MoE 4.

While on music, DIFF also brings Grammy Award winning recording artist Madonna’s directorial venture – W.E. The film charts two parallel love stories separated by more than six decades but connected by two fragile but determined women. It will screen at 7.45pm at First Gulf Theatre at Madinat Jumeirah.

A gripping drama from South Korea, Come Rain, Come Shine will offer a new cinema experience for audiences at 9.15 pm at Mall of the Emirates Vox Cinemas 9. Directed by Lee Yoon-Ki, the film is about a young woman who talks to her husband about leaving him for another man, but fate forces them to spend another day together. A second screening of the movie will be held on Dec. 14, 11.15 am at MoE 8.

Several powerful documentaries and feature films from the Arab world will also be screened on Friday. Director Taghreed Elsanhouri’s Our Beloved Sudan makes its world premiere at 5.30 pm at MoE 6, followed by a second screening on Dec. 11, 4.15 pm at MoE 4. It documents the political destiny of the Sudanese nation- from its birth in 1956 to its eventual partition in 2011.

Another world premiere is that of Marcedes by Lebanese filmmaker Hady Zaccak. It is a feature biopic chronicling the history and transformation of the country through the perspective of a car and its family. The film will debut at 10.30 pm at MoE 6 followed by a second screening on Dec. 11, 12 pm at MoE 6.

Also making its world premiere is director Simon El Habre’s Gate #5, which retraces the lives of Lebanese truck drivers through the 1960s to the present day. The film will be screened at 8 pm at MoE 6 followed by a second screening on Dec. 11 at 2.30 pm at MoE 6.

Palestinian director Laith Al-Juneidi’s The Invisible Policeman, makes its international premiere at DIFF at 3.30 pm at MoE 5, and will be screened again on Dec. 12 at 8.15 pm at MoE 7. The film is about a policeman who shares walls with his adversary.

Boiling Dreams, a feature by Moroccan director Hakim Belabbes makes its world premiere at DIFF at 10.15 pm at MoE 12. The story of a young father of two who plans an illegal crossing into Spain, the feature film will be screened again on Dec. 11, 1 pm at MoE 12.

Indian film lovers will have a full day to celebrate the diversity of the country’s cinema. At 2 pm, First Group Theatre will screen the international premiere of director Srijit Mukherji’s 7th August, a Bengali film that explores the dark underbelly of Kolkata; and at 5.15 pm, the same venue will host the world premiere of Akam, a Malayalam film directed by Shalini Usha Nair, on a man’s perfect life turning upside down when a terrible accident traumatizes him. 7th August will also screen on Dec. 10 at 2.15 pm at MoE 2, and Akam at 11.30 pm at MoE 12.

Accomplished filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade (2.30 pm at MoE 12); the international permiere of Kaushik Ganguly’s Laptop starring Rahul Bose (10.30 pm, First Group Theatre); a second screening of Maithanam, directed by Muthuswamy Sakthivel (7.00 pm; MoE 12) and the Amir Khan-starrer Lagaaan, the Academy Award nominee in the Foreign Film category, screened to mark the DIFF Lifetime Achivement Honour for music composer A.R. Rahman (2.45 pm, MoE 10) are among other Indian film selections on Friday.

For those who the adventure of dark thrillers that send a shiver up the spine is Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto’s Kotoko, a terrifying psychological thriller about a deeply disturbed young mother who suffers from overpowering frightening fantasies. The film will be screened at 11.59 pm at MoE 1 followed by a second screening on Dec. 10 at 9.30 pm at MoE 5.

Marking the tribute to German cinema in its In Focus segment, DIFF will screen director Verena S. Freytag’s Burnout at 4.30 pm at MoE 7, followed by a screening on Dec. 10 at 8.30 pm. The film is a powerful portrait of motherhood in which a single mother tends to the needs of three children by three different fathers.

The DIFF box office is open online at www.dubaifilmfest.com and at the DIFF box offices in Dubai Media City, JBR The Walk, Mall of the Emirates and Madinat Jumeirah. Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).

The Investment Corporation of Dubai is the title sponsor of the Dubai International Film Festival, which is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

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