Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

CineMAS returns: Manarat Al Saadiyat announces online version of film festival

The digital event will host the Middle Eastern premieres of four documentaries

Four documentaries will be shown in CineMAS, a mini film festival by the arts centre Manarat Al Saadiyat. Dogwoof / La Faena Films / ITAR Productions
Four documentaries will be shown in CineMAS, a mini film festival by the arts centre Manarat Al Saadiyat. Dogwoof / La Faena Films / ITAR Productions

CineMAS, the alternative film festival launched by Manarat Al Saadiyat last year, is coming back in a virtual format, from July 15 to August 5, the cultural centre has announced.

The arts centre, on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, will host the Middle Eastern premiere of four documentary films: Martin Margiela: In His Own Words by German director Reiner Holzemer; El Father Plays Himself by American-Italian director Mo Scarpelli; Cunningham by Russian director Alla Kovgan; and One More Jump by Italian director Emanuele Gerosa.

Here’s a closer look at each film:

‘Martin Margiela: In His Own Words’

This documentary is an intimate profile of revolutionary Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela. With a radical style unlike anyone else in the industry, Margiela rose from the role of Jean Paul Gaultier’s assistant to creative director at Hermes before launching his own brand. In this film, Margiela, who has led a private life away from the public eye, gives viewers a glimpse into his vision and career.

Film screens on Wednesday, July 15, at 7.30pm


This documentary tracks the life of the late Merce Cunningham, who started out as a struggling dancer in New York, but became one of the most visionary choreographers of his generation. Using 3D technology, the film takes viewers on a journey through his work and includes archival material that has never been made public before.

Film screens on Wednesday, July 22, at 7.30pm

‘One More Jump’

This documentary brings the frustration of life under siege in the Gaza Strip into focus, told through the prism of parkour. Jehad and Abdallah, founders of the Gaza Parkour Team, make separate life choices with very different outcomes, but the question of real freedom persists.

Film screens on Wednesday, July 29, at 7.30pm

‘El Father Plays Himself’

This documentary follows a young film director who returns to Venezuela to make a feature film about his father’s life in the Amazon, in which his parent plays himself. The project leads to a confrontation.

Film screens on Wednesday, August 5, at 7.30pm

Screenings will be followed by online discussions, including talks with directors Scarpelli and Gerosa.

Last year, the festival opened with a screening of the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo, co-produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and included panel discussions and workshops.

CineMAS will run from Wednesday, July 15, to Wednesday, August 5. More information is at


Updated: July 9, 2020 11:05 AM



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