By Brian Brooks | Indiewire November 17, 2009 at 2:00AM
Twenty films will screen in the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival's "Cinema of the World" line up. "Gritty dramas" and "controversial documentaries" from Denmark, France and Peru are part of the roster, fest organizers unveiled. The sixth DIFF takes place December 9 - 16 in the United Arab Emirates. Among the films offered will be the red carpet gala screening of "Mother and Child" by writer-director Rodrigo Garcia, with Naomi Watts, Annette Bening and Samuel L. Jackson expected.
Peruvian entry "The Milk of Sorrow" is also slated. The film is the story of Peru’s civil unrest in the 1980s and winner of the Golden Bear for Best Picture at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival, directed by Claudia Llosa Bueno; and "Welcome," a French drama by Philippe Lioret, depicting the controversial story of an Iraqi-Kurdish asylum seeker trying to reach the United Kingdom from France by swimming across the English Channel.
Denmark’s "The Little Soldier," directed by Annette K. Olesen, which takes on the issue of human trafficking through the story of a young female soldier who works as a chauffeur for her father’s Nigerian girlfriend and escort girl is on tap as is investigative documentary "Picture Me: A Model’s Diary," a backstage expose of life in the Paris, New York and Milan fashion industry and "Moloch Tropical," the French-Haitian critique by Raoul Peck on absolute power and political madness.
War drama "Brothers," directed by six-time Oscar nominee Jim Sheridan, starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman will also screen in the section. Director Tarik Saleh’s Metropia, a dark futuristic animated Swedish feature voiced by Vincent Gallo and Juliette Lewis, tells the story of a post-oil Europe connected by a vast subway system. Director Tarik Saleh’s "Metropia," a dark futuristic animated Swedish feature voiced by Vincent Gallo and Juliette Lewis, tells the story of a post-oil Europe connected by a vast subway system, and Pedro Almodovar's latest, "Broken Embraces" will also screen in Dubai. Chris Rock's "Good Hair," which recently opened in the States, will screen in Dubai, as will London and AFI Fest opener, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" by Wes Anderson.
The Cinema of the World segment also features five music-themed films including director Gergely Fonyo’s "Made in Hungaria," the story of a U.S.-raised teenybopper who teaches his Communist-era peers about rock ‘n’ roll when the family moves back to Hungary in the 1960s. "Zanzibar Musical Club," is described by the fest as "a superb documentary exploration of Zanzibar’s rich musical heritage by Patrice Nezan," while "Oil City Confidential" is Julien Temple’s "loving and amusing documentary on Dr. Feelgood," the 1970s UK band which revolutionised rock music with energy, passion and excitement. "The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights," meanwhile, is a road movie and concert tour film that follows the legendary band across their Canadian expedition, filmed by Emmett Malloy.
"Bran Nue Dae," director Rachel Perkins’s film version of the acclaimed Australian stage musical, will also be screened at DIFF in December ahead of its theatrical release in Australia in January 2010. The well-received film made its international premiere in Toronto in September and has won audience awards at both the Toronto and Melbourne International Film Festivals. DIFF 2009 will also premiere "Woodstock," the restored and extended version of the award-winning 1970 rock documentary directed by Michael Wadleigh charting the performances and events of the legendary three-day festival.
“We are very pleased to once again offer an outstanding slate of feature films, documentaries and shorts from around the world to our diverse audience groups across the UAE,” commented DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali in a statement. “Despite the intense competition this year and radical changes in our industry, the stronger and larger DIFF 2009 programme is a measure of our global reach and reputation and the unmatched calibre of our team.”
[For more information, visit the DIFF website.]