x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Arab cinema in the spotlight at New York City's Lincoln Center

Nineteen films will give audiences an inside view of Middle Eastern life and culture.

Nineteen works by Arab filmmakers, endorsed by the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and the majority supported by the Dubai Film Market, will be screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) in New York from August 24 to 29.

The showcase of films includes the 2009 Emirati feature film City of Life by the director Ali F Mostafa, as well as the 2010 short film Sabeel by the Emirati filmmaker Khalid Al Mahmood. Mostafa has confirmed that he will be flying to New York to attend the showcase.

The DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma said in a statement: "One of the festival's core aims is to raise the profile of regional works on a global stage. We hope that the films selected will give audiences abroad the opportunity to experience the vibrancy and multifaceted nature of Middle Eastern cinema."

The FSLC programme director Richard Peña said: "New filmmakers, often educated outside the region and well aware of contemporary international film styles, have begun to create a new Arab cinema that fearlessly engages in a dialogue with their respective societies, broaching subjects unthinkable even a decade ago."

Five of the other films included in the selection were co-produced in the UAE: Cairo Exit (Egypt/UAE, 2010), Habibi (Palestine/UAE, 2011), The Last Friday (Jordan/UAE, 2011), Zelal (Egypt/UAE, 2010) and Zindeeq (Palestine/UAE, 2009).