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Dubai International Film Festival

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    Sheila Whitaker Dies

    Sheila Whitaker was one of the first people I met on the international film circuit in the days in the 80s and 90s when the London Film Festival meant much more in the world of festivals than it does today.

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    Dubai Goes Latino Via Biarritz

    Everyone should read this recent article from 'Screen Africa'

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    Dubai Film Festival: 'The Attack', 'Winter Of Discontent', 'Death Metal Angola'

    Perusing the Dubai programme deciding what to see when your knowledge of Arab and African cinema is on the rudimentary side can generate a fog of confusion, so a film titled "Death Metal Angola" stands out like a screaming neon sign. Jeremy Xido, who directed this absorbing, beautifully s...

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    Dubai Diary Four: 'Wadjda,' 'Hanyut,' "Television'

    A gluttonous day of five movies, one after another: first, a press screening of “Wadjda," touted as the first movie shot in Saudi Arabia, as well as being helmed by a woman, is about a ten-year-old girl who wants a bike, a common-enough desire, but not permitted within the strictures of her society....

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    Dubai Fest: Michael Apted on Arab Docs, Women in Film, '7 Up' Series,' & Why 'Skyfall' Isn't a Bond Film

    It seems a tad peculiar to find Michael Apted at the 9th Dubai International Film Festival, but here he is, heading up the jury for the Muhr Arab Documentary section and collecting a Lifetime Achievement Award. He also took part in a panel on non-fiction vs. fiction filmmaking, a natural fit for the...

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    Dubai Festival Diary 3: 'New Arab Films' Panel, 'Wadjda,' 'Detroit Unleaded,' 'Chaos Disorder'

    There are only two screening slots scheduled for today, both in the evening, so in the afternoon I attend one of the industry panels that are part of the buzzing Film Market. This one is entitled “New Arab Films: A Story of Success,” although after listening to a broad spectrum of views, it seems t...

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    Dubai International Film Festival: Arab Films Panel Hails 'Wadjda,' Laments Obstacles to Arab Film Success in North America

    It was only shot last spring and premiered at Telluride and Venice a few months later, but already Haifaa al-Mansour's "Wadjda" is being hailed as a beacon for successful Middle Eastern filmmaking and a role model for other regional films and filmmakers. It dominated the discussion at New Arab Films...

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    Dubai Festival Day Two: Disappointing 3-D 'Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away,' Must-Sees 'Me and You' and 'Here and There'

    After an unsuitably lavish breakfast, I catch a Mall of the Emirates-bound shuttle by the skin of my teeth and scuttle through the Mall --which looks just like a mall, only bigger, to paraphrase the well-known joke of what the unimpressed woman said to the flasher – arriving at the theater screenin...

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    Dubai International Film Fest Day 1: 'Bekas' & 'Life of Pi' Gala

    The breakfast buffet at the Beachcomber restaurant just past the more impressive of the two impressive swimming pools of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is overwhelming. My judgment collapses in the face of its multiple offerings -- Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, western. Somehow I find myself consuming excel...

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    ICE ICE Baby! En Route to the 9th Dubai International Film Festival

    It might make sense to try to sleep as much as possible during the 16-hour direct flight from San Francisco to Dubai via Emirates. Especially since one hadn’t slept much the night before, and had dutifully arrived at the check-in counter three hours before departure time, as instructed on one’s e-t...

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