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Dubai International Film Festival

Doesn't Get Better Than This: A Wrap Up of the 2015 Dubai Film Fest

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.05.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I'm seldom impressed with celebrities, but I have to say that somehow their stars shine brighter in Dubai.

A Tale of Two Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal and Dev Patel in Dubai

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.19.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I may sound like I'm gushing when I write that meeting the wise, striking Dev Patel and listening to a talk with the handsome, funny Jake Gyllenhaal were the highlights of this year's Dubai International Film Festival for me. And make no mistake, I am.

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: Truth in Journalism, Truth in Life with James Vanderbilt

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.17.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I caught up with James Vanderbilt to ask him a couple of questions about his film, and following are the highlights of a lovely, leisurely and deeply engrossing conversation.

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: Reinventing Ibsen for The Daughter

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.15.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Henrik Ibsen's work is all about ghosts from the past that somehow find their way back into our lives and alter it. These days, his plays feel very contemporary, because this idea that those hurting then go on to hurt others is a concept we are surrounded by, especially in the Arab world.

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: The VIP Gift Lounge, Just in Time for the Holidays

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.15.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

If you think I like gifts, then you know me well. I mean, I like giving gifts as much, if not more than receiving them, and the simple act of holida...

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: Why Naseeruddin Shah Is Worth Waiting For!

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.13.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

What a beautiful film, what wondrous performances, what a perfect way to describe tragedy and its aftermath for the survivors, without dwelling in pathos or finding a simple way out of its inevitable ending. You know, just so everything can be tidy and easy, as a less talented filmmaker would have done.

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: Women Filmmakers, Arab Cinema, The Peanuts Movie and Jacob Tremblay

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.12.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

My third day here was highlighted by a touching talk with nine-year old Room co-star Jacob Tremblay, an insightful chat about Arab cinema and women filmmakers with DIFF's Managing Director Shivani Pandya and a trip down comic strip memory lane with the producer and director of The Peanuts Movie.

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: Zinzana, by the Arab Tarantino

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.11.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Ultimately Zinzana is everything I dream about for Arab cinema. A narrative that moves away from the Arab Spring, the social issues and the looming dangers on the other side of border and towards creativity and a universal appeal.

The Dubai Film Fest Diaries 2015: Changing the Narrative for the Arab World

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.10.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Extremism consists of a narrative laden with terror created by outcasts, and violence fueled by boredom. If you change the narrative, you can change the world.

'Movies Should Add Value to the Community': A Chat with Dubai Film and TV Commission Chairman Jamal Al Sharif

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.07.2015 | Media
E. Nina Rothe

I caught up with Jamal Al Sharif at last year's Dubai International Film Festival, and as the festival gets ready to kick off its 12th edition in a couple of days, once again in partnership with DFTC and Dubai Studio City, it seemed like the perfect time to celebrate its Chairman, who is also the Managing Director of DSC.

The Chef, the Designer, the Dish and the Setting: The Red Velvet Side of Life in Dubai

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.10.2015 | Travel
E. Nina Rothe

I definitely did not anticipate that a red mesh dress by Singaporean designer Max.Tan would be turned into an edible study in deconstructing, and then re-assembling, the perfect red velvet cake.

Requiem for a Cinematic Heavyweight: Adieu Abu Dhabi Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.07.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Just a few days before this year's Festival de Cannes, those of us who watch, love and write about Arab cinema received a press release from Abu Dhabi that seemed like just another announcement.

The Cannes Diaries 2015: Aishwarya, Hitchcock, Heelgate and Wajib

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 05.23.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Still a bit to go until the Palme d'Or and Un Certain Regard prizes are announced in Cannes, and speculations are aplenty regarding the winners. Some say the festival was devoid of great works of art, others complained about the Festival de Cannes typical bureaucracy.

The Cannes Diaries 2015: Stalking Jake Gyllenhaal and the Rebirth of Arab Cinema

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 05.19.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Once in Cannes, I hit the ground running. Picked up my credentials, again a flirt fest of pat-downs, s'il vows plaît madame and merci's, and went to visit the United Arab Emirates pavilion, which has seen some changes.

The Cannes Diaries 2015: Ten Reasons I'm Looking Forward to the Croisette

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 05.14.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

When a filmmaker knows how to say the right thing, I'm hooked before I even watch a film. Funny thing is, instinctually I almost always get it right, as far as my personal taste is concerned. The Other Side is a must-watch documentary by fellow Italian Roberto Minervini,

Borders Undone: The Middle East Now Festival in Florence

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.07.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

One of the brightest, loudest, flashing neon-style sign that humanity can indeed get along is the upcoming Middle East Now festival in Florence, Italy. Yes, Florence, where that original coming out of the Middle Ages happened hundreds of years ago, is the city I believe could also be at the epicenter of a new cross-cultural Renaissance.

The Berlinale Diaries: Opening Night and Why Cinema Can Heal the World

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 04.08.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I'm all for films, as Jafar Panahi says in his latest Taxi, showing here in Berlinale: "All films are worth watching; it just depends on your taste." But perhaps I wish, deep down inside, as a human being, that our collective taste was just more about peace and love. Without so much blood, so many guns.

Adam Bakri's 'Portrait Chinois': Discovering the Next Superstar, with Omar's Help...

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.25.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I asked Bakri to disclose a few things about himself, in the first person. Hidden within his answers is the key to his present and future success.

Meet Khaled Abol Naga, Egypt's International Treasure

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.09.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I need a hero. It's the reason I watch films, looking for what politicians, warmongers, our so-called diplomats and those giant corporations haven't given the world yet. And probably never will.

Five Perfect New Year's Lessons I Learned from Lee Daniels in Dubai

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.28.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Just in time for the ideal reflections on the new year ahead, I sat down with filmmaker Lee Daniels on a terrace overlooking the splendid Arabian Gulf during the recent Dubai International Film Festival.

The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: Lee Daniels Has Been Brainwashed, Virginia Madsen Is a Super Heroine and Ahd a Real Saudi Woman

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.18.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Out of the Ordinary as a film may end up being misunderstood, but I believe strongly in its message of love being the one emotion that has the power to make us a little bit magical.

What a Girl Needs: The VIP Lounge at the Dubai International Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.15.2015 | Style
E. Nina Rothe

So typically a VIP Lounge during a film festival, be it Cannes, Venice or DIFF, is a place where mere mortals aren't welcomed. It's reserved for the celebrities and their producers, an oasis where they can get pampered, fed, rehydrated and then released with about ten to fifteen bags in tow.

The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: Khaled Abol Naga, The Sleeping Tree from Bahrain and Santa Claus

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.14.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

The film is entertaining, funny, cute and having Egyptian legend Lebleba introduce the screening playing "Mama Noel," complete with red and white jacket and hat, was both surreal and cool.

The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: The Groundbreaking Dolphins, Paul Bettany's Shelter and Asha Bhosle

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.12.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Ultimately, each time we go to the movies, we, the audience, make a choice for better or worse cinema. We make a decision that influences what gets made, what gets produced, what is distributed and shown.

The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: Opening Night, the IWC Filmmaker Award and Virginia Madsen

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.10.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

As I write this, an elegant little crow has landed on the table of my luxury hotel room's balcony overlooking Burj Al Arab. Yes, it's like that here, a mix of celebrity, cinema, sweeping man-made landscapes and the best that nature has to offer.