x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

DIFF reveals screenings from Asia and Africa

DIFF's line-up from Asia and Africa includes a host of critically acclaimed films.

A scene from Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, a detective story that will screened at DIFF. Courtesy DIFF
A scene from Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, a detective story that will screened at DIFF. Courtesy DIFF

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced its Asia­Africa out-of-competition segment.

“The films selected for this year’s AsiaAfrica programme will enthral audiences with their gripping storylines, brave and poignant themes and moving performances,” said the director of the programme, Nashen Moodley. “This segment is about providing access to a truly global box office, uniting DIFF audiences with film lovers around the world in their experience of these wonderful stories.”

On the list is Half of a Yellow Sun, starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, the screen adaptation of the Orange Prize-winning novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The story spans a generation of Nigerian history through the tumultuous late 1960s, when the country fell into civil war. Through the historical looking glass, two sisters battle for love and independence in a patriarchal society in the throes of ethnic strife.

Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon from China, directed by the 2008 DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Tsui Hark, is a detective story set in the Tang dynasty, where Dee Ranjie, a provincial magistrate, is appointed by the empress to stop a sea dragon that is ravaging the Imperial City.

The Filipino romantic comedy Instant Mommy by the first-time writer and director Leo Abaya is a funny take on relationships through the story of Bechay, a commercial wardrobe assistant who finds herself two months pregnant. Desperate not to lose her Japanese lover and dreaming of a better life, she hatches a plan, with outrageous results.

The dark drama Of Good Report, a neo-noir from the South African director Jahmil X T Qubeka, depicts the dark side of a rural township, where a teacher arrives at the local school and gets romantically involved with one of his students.

Rounding up the selection is Sang-Il Lee’s Unforgiven, a samurai adaptation of Clint Eastwood’s 1992 film of the same name. The Japanese star Ken Watanabe plays an ageing warrior who comes out of retirement one last time.

DIFF runs from December 6 to 14. For more information, visit www.dubaifilmfest.com. – The National staff

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