x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

DIFF unveils line-up for Asian, African films

Plus George Lucas to focus on 'own little personal films', Jude Law set for role in Werner Herzog's Middle East biopic, No Doubt apologise for Wild West video and TV's Boy Meets World sequel is in the works.

The Great North Korean Picture Show, which offers a look into one of the world's most secretive film industries, will be part of the Dubai International Film Festival line-up. Courtesy DIFF
The Great North Korean Picture Show, which offers a look into one of the world's most secretive film industries, will be part of the Dubai International Film Festival line-up. Courtesy DIFF

It may be more than a month away, but the Dubai International Film Festival is already giving us some tasters of the schedule. Several titles from the event's Muhr Asia/Africa section have now been revealed, including a look into one of the world's most secretive film industries with The Great North Korean Picture Show, the Danish-Afghan documentary My Afghanistan: Life in the Forbidden Zone, the Turkish refugee drama Your Beauty is Worth Nothing and the Iranian road movie Taboor. The Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza, who won the Muhr Best Film Award in 2009 for Lola, returns with Thy Womb, about a childless couple determined to have a child. - The National staff

Lucas plans 'little personal films' in future

George Lucas is done with Star Wars, but not with filmmaking. The Star Wars creator says he still plans to make his "own little personal films". In an interview days after announcing the sale of his storied Lucasfilm to Disney, Lucas admitted mixed emotions about letting the studio go. "It's very sad. It's 40 years of work and it's been my life, but I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things." Among them are his educational foundation, which will be a major beneficiary of the money he got for Lucasfilm. "Mostly it will be philanthropy but I'm also going to make my own little personal films," he said. While Lucas will be a creative consultant on the forthcoming Star Wars films, his longtime collaborator Kathleen Kennedy will be in control. When asked if he'd have a hand in picking a director for the films, he said: "I've turned it over to a wonderful producer, Kathy Kennedy, and I've known her for years. She's more than capable of taking it and making it better than I did." - AP

Jude Law set for Middle East biopic role

Jude Law has reportedly signed on for Queen of the Desert, Werner Herzog's long-in-development biopic of the British explorer and spy Gertrude Bell. Described as the female Lawrence of Arabia, Bell played a key role in the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire. Naomi Watts is on board to play Bell, while Robert Pattinson is set to play TE Lawrence in the film, which The Hollywood Reporter says is scheduled to begin filming in March in Morocco. Ridley Scott was thought to also have been planning his own biopic with Angelina Jolie, but was beaten to the punch by Herzog.

No Doubt apologise for Wild West video

No Doubt were forced to remove a new Wild West-themed music video and issue an apology after getting complaints from the Native American community. The southern California band, led by Gwen Stefani, posted an apology on their website following the Saturday release of their latest video for the single Looking Hot. "As a multiracial band our foundation is built upon both diversity and consideration for other cultures. Our intention with our new video was never to offend, hurt or trivialise Native American people," the band said. The video featured Stefani dressed in tribal garments as a Native Indian princess captured by her band mates dressed as cowboys. Some users took to social media platforms to criticise the band's use of tribal imagery. No Doubt added: "Being hurtful to anyone is simply not who we are." - Reuters

TV return planned for Boy Meets World

The Disney Channel is in the early stages of bringing the hit 1990s comedy Boy Meets World back to television screens. The original show ran on ABC from 1993 to 2000 and centred on the lessons learnt by Cory Matthews as he went through life. The series ended with Cory marrying his sweetheart Topanga. The Hollywood Reporter says the executive producer Michael Jacobs, who was behind the original ABC comedy, is developing a new show that features the daughter of Cory and Topanga. It's not known whether the original cast members - who included Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel and Rider Strong - will reprise their roles.