Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

New alternative film festival launches at Manarat Al Saadiyat tomorrow

CineMAS festival promises Abu Dhabi cinephiles the best in 'off-the-radar' cinema

Award-winning director Soudade Kaadan will answer the audience's questions following the screening of her film 'The Day I Lost My Shadow'. AFP
Award-winning director Soudade Kaadan will answer the audience's questions following the screening of her film 'The Day I Lost My Shadow'. AFP

The CineMAS underground film festival opens its doors at Manarat Al Saadiyat tomorrow, offering a carefully curated selection of the best under-the-radar short films, documentaries, comedies and dramas. Also on the agenda are panel discussions, workshops and question-and-answer sessions with some of the people behind the films on the screen.

The festival opens with a screening of the Image Nation Abu Dhabi-produced Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo. It tells the story 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.

Other screening highlights include Lorna Tucker’s documentary on the punk fashion legend Vivian Westwood, Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (Wednesday, 9pm), Hirokazu Koreeda’s Oscar-nominated family drama Shoplifters (Saturday 7pm) and Steve Loveridge’s intimate portrait of the musician and artist MIA, Matinga/Maya/MIA (Friday 8pm). There are plenty of Middle Eastern films in the programme, too, with highlights including the recent award successes Capernaum (Wednesday 9pm) by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki and The Day I lost my Shadow (Friday 5pm and Saturday 3pm) from Syrian director Soudade Kaadan, who will also take questions from the audience following the screenings.

Panels include a talk on Arab cinema from Emirati director Ali F Mostafa (City of Life, The Worthy) and Dubai-born writer/director Mahdi Fliefel (A World Not Ours), and an “in conversation” session with French producer David Rosier, who produced Wim Wenders’ critically acclaimed The Salt of the Earth.

Workshops, meanwhile, will cover areas such as script writing, casting and making music for film. Most sessions are free, although some require advance registration, while screening tickets are available from Dh20.

CineMAS runs from Tuesday 16 April to Saturday 20 April with screenings taking place both in the main auditorium and the garden. Check the CineMAS website for full line up details and ticket information.

Updated: April 15, 2019 04:55 PM

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