Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

Al Ain Film Festival officially opens tonight

The event will feature five competition sections and three out-of-competition slots

Leen Alfaisal's 'The Borrowed Dress' is among the films screening in competition. Courtesy MAD Solutions
Leen Alfaisal's 'The Borrowed Dress' is among the films screening in competition. Courtesy MAD Solutions

The debut Al Ain Film Festival officially begins today, with a host of screenings, panels and forums set to take place at Star Cinemas in Bwadi Mall over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Films are divided into five competitions – the Falcon Emirati, Falcon Gulf, Falcon Arab (UAE resident), Falcon Schools and Falcon Zayed Film Awards. Three further out-of-competition sections include films on the theme of tolerance, a Saudi cinema section, and a world cinema section, which promises to screen films of “high artistic value” in order to “raise the level of artistic and cultural taste among students, talents and the public”.

Among the world cinema highlights are the Sharm-El-Sheikh Film Festival Best Arab Film Award winner War Travellers, Joud Sa’id’s tale of a group of Syrians undertaking the long journey from Aleppo to their hometown while the civil war rages around them. The film also picked up three awards, including the Audience Award, at the Carthage Days Film Festival.

The Oscar-winning, Image Nation Abu Dhabi-produced documentary Free Solo also makes its Al Ain debut, following the adventures of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock, the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope.

Another prize winner in the shape of Dubai-based Leen Alfaisal’s The Borrowed Dress will also be competing in the Falcon Arab competition. This documentary about Alfaisal’s family’s separation around the globe following the outbreak of war in Syria picked up a Jury Award at last month’s Beirut International Women’s Film Festival.

The Borrowed Dress is one of a quartet of films that MAD Solutions, the leading regional distributor and champion of Arab cinema, will bring to Al Ain.

The distributor will also screen Lollipop by Hanaa Saleh Alfassi in the Falcon Gulf Competition, Sarmad by Abdullah Alhemairi and Musk by Humaid Al Suwaidi in the Falcon Emirati Competition.

For further details visit the festival website.

Updated: April 30, 2019 05:35 PM

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