x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

The Heritage Film Festival begins in Abu Dhabi

The Heritage Film Festival brings together a selection of Emirati, German and Swiss films to be screened at an open-air cinema.

Abu Dhabi's second annual Heritage Film Festival, which launched yesterday at the capital's Heritage Village and runs until Saturday, brings together a selection of Emirati, German and Swiss feature and short films to be screened at an open-air cinema. The 13 films aim to tackle the theme of the young and old.

The festival will see a return screening of the coming-of-age Emirati film Sea Shadow, which premiered at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival last year.

A mobile phone film competition will also be launched as part of the festival, where aspiring filmmakers from the region are invited to create short films using phone cameras.

"This is not your standard film festival like Abu Dhabi's or Dubai's," said Ali Al Jabri, the managing director of the Emirates Film Competition and the curator of the local films in the festival. "This is also about cultural exchange and how we all speak about issues that are universal, but expressed through our individual, local lens."

His German counterpart, the artistic director of the Max Ophüls Film Festival, Philipp Brauer, said the selected German and Swiss films dealt with local issues such as multiculturalism and family relations.

Highlights from the festival include the screening of the popular 2010 German film Almanya (Welcome to Germany), tracing a Turkish family's move to Germany and their struggle to find their identity in their new homeland. Its lead actress, Petra Schmidt-Schaller, will be on hand to answer questions following the screening.

Switzerland's film industry will be represented by the director Fredi M Murer, who will attend the festival to showcase his 2006 film-fable Vitus, about a young prodigy who is happier spending time with his eccentric grandfather than mastering the piano.

The festival will also show a repeat screening of Dinner #7665 by the American University of Sharjah student Salma Serry.

The film neatly encapsulates the festival's theme, detailing the strained relationship between a father and daughter as they eat dinner together without exchanging a word. The film premiered last year as part of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival's Emirates Short Film Competition. Serry will be present at the Q&A session after the screening.

  • The Heritage Film Festival runs tonight until Saturday at Heritage Village, Breakwater Island, Abu Dhabi. Visit www.goethe.de/heritagefilmfestival


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