The Arabian Nights out-of-competition programming segment at the Dubai International Film Festival 2013 (DIFF) will showcase 18 films from the region and around the world that touch on various aspects of modern Arab life.
The line-up includes The Shebabs of Yarmouk by the French documentarian Axel Salvatori-Sinz, which follows five Palestinian refugees on the brink of adulthood living in a refugee camp in Syria; the French filmmaker Mohamed Hamidi’s feature debut Homeland, a “dramedy” starring the comic Jamel Debbouze and the newcomer Tewfik Jallab; Slimane, from the Spanish director José A Ayalón, a dark, documentary-style drama about a group of young Arab immigrants in Spain; 1001 Apples by the Iranian director Taha Karimi, who died earlier this year; Apaches by the Corsican director Thierry de Peretti, which paints a chilling picture of today’s youth; and Mario Rizzi’s Al Inthitar, a film produced by the Sharjah Art Foundation – the first of a trilogy of documentaries focusing on the emergence of “a new civic imagination” in Malaysia, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria. Filmed during a seven-week stay in Camp Zaatari, the Syrian refugee camp in the Jordanian desert, the film follows Syrian women pursuing a semblance of normality through the difficulties of their condition.
Antonia Carver, the programmer for the Arabian Nights segment, said: “Fittingly for the decennial DIFF edition, the Arabian Nights programme reflects the expediential growth of the regional landscape – through voices of filmmakers embedded in their communities, their subjects and their craft. The generation coming of age now will inherit a different Arab world from the one before; this year’s Arabian Nights reflects this, and looks and feels very different from past editions.”
• DIFF runs from December 6-14. For more information, visit www.dubaifilmfest.com