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Dubai International Film Festival

Eight Fabulous New Finds from Middle East Now Fest

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.01.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I'll preface this by pointing out that my fellow Florentines are notoriously pragmatic. Nothing really excites them, but at the concert for Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila the crowd fell head-over-heels under their spell.

'Middle East Now': Changing the World, One Film at a Time

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.08.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Personally, I feel that the elusive "peace" -- along with inseparable companions, justice and equality -- in the region will come out of what one filmmaker calls "artistic resistance."

Radically Peaceful: Humanizing Oakland's Youth

Lila Igram | Posted 05.17.2014 | Impact
Lila Igram

Young men and women all over the world should be in charge of telling their own stories.

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun: Cannes Juror, Exceptional Filmmaker

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 05.10.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

At this year's Dubai International Film Festival, I had the privilege of sitting with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun for a talk.

Movie Review: The Lunchbox

Marshall Fine | Posted 04.27.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Ritesh Batra's moving, subtly witty and perceptive film, opening Friday in limited release, is a showcase for its two stars, the marvelous Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur, who is a fresh face to me and an actress capable of the kind of interior life that Khan always brings to the screen.

Crowdfunding for the Oscars: The Journey of Mahdi Fleifel's A World Not Ours

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 04.19.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

In his fascinating documentary A World Not Ours, and the short 'Epilogue' titled Xenos which just premiered at this year's Berlinale, filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel shows us his very personal connection to the refugee camp of his youth, Ain el-Helweh in Lebanon.

Jeremy Xido Gets to the Heart of the Matter in The Angola Project

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.15.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I've been a huge admirer of Jeremy Xido's work since watching his spellbinding documentary Death Metal Angola at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2012. His work is heartfelt and true.

'The Shawati' Interviews': Filmmaker and Mentor Scandar Copti

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.24.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

One man who has been working extensively in both Doha and Abu Dhabi is Palestinian filmmaker Scandar Copti. I caught up with the filmmaker to interview him for my piece on cinema in the Gulf featured in Shawati' Abu Dhabi.

'The Shawati' Interviews': The Brain That Sings Filmmaker Amal Al-Agroobi

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.12.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Catching up with the beautiful, intelligent, insightful Al-Agroobi, as I did to interview her for Shawati' Abu Dhabi, is always a pleasure and her answers cut to the heart of the matter.

'The Shawati' Interviews': Emirati Filmmaker Khalid Al Mahmood

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.11.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Cinema in the Gulf, the Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and all the surrounding countries that make up this region, is here to stay. But more importantly, it's here to develop, mature, expand and one day, overtake all other world industries.

'The Shawati' Interviews': Wadjda Filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.10.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

"It is easy to be pessimistic, and to feel like a victim, but we need films that inspire us to go out and change things for the better. We have plenty of tragedy in real life in this part of the world; we don't need films to reinforce an already pervasive sense of despair."

'The Shawati' Interviews': Producer Mohammed Al Turki

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.24.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Arab cinema has a humanity that connects deeply to its audiences, and year by year, is conquering fans all over the world. Perhaps it's because Arab films deal with women who look real, men who act real and stories that really get to the heart of the matter. As easily understood in Beirut, as in Berlin, Baltimore and Bombay.

Fran Mires Talks Rayhein ala Fein, Egypt's Popular Reality Show, at DIFF

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.24.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I was a bit skeptical, but in just under ten years, Al Hurra has achieved a great deal in the MENA Region and a grand part of that has been due to the presence of Fran Mires, program developer and television executive for the network.

'Eyes Wide Open, an Afghan Journey': Photos by Pia Torelli

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.20.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

"My pictures show great devastation, but also many cheerful faces, especially those of children at schools. The reconstruction of many schools, above all, seems to give hope to the Afghan people."

Shahad Ameen's Eye & Mermaid at DIFF: The Courage To Dream

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.18.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Eye & Mermaid is not the light, feel-good, easy tale, that it may appear to be from the title. We read mermaids and unicorns and we think it's going to be a walk in park. At least, I did.

Wrapping Up: 10th Dubai International Film Festival

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.15.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

I came away from DIFF a believer in this as a film festival with a vision of the future of film, from the standpoint of aesthetics, technology and business.

Mohamed Khan's Factory Girl: Coming Soon to a Heart Near You

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.15.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I don't know about you, but when someone says 'legendary' it's not often a word I associate with contemporary, entertaining and wonderfully human. Yet Khan's latest film Factory Girl, which enjoyed its world premiere at this year's DIFF is all that, and much, much more.

Live from the Dubai International Film Festival: Thursday, Dec. 12

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.11.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

A film festival is one of the few places where you can take a trip around the world in the course of a day, without ever leaving a mall multiplex. ...

Fifteen Questions with Filmmaker Ali F. Mostafa at DIFF

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.11.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I wanted to show a glimpse into the funny, charming, down-to-earth Ali Mostafa that his friends know and love, behind all the glitz and glamour of his image. So I sat down with him inside the bustling Dubai Film Market and asked him a quick round of questions.

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Wednesday, Dec. 11

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.10.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox has toured the film festival circuit since then and will open in February 2014 in the U.S. It's a soulful, thought-provoking tale featuring two central performances that can't help but stir you.

Live from the Dubai International Film Festival: Tuesday, Dec. 10

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.09.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

Having worked with the Dubai International Film Festival since its inception in 2004 - and as its managing director since 2006 - Shivani Pandya has ...

Life-changing: Catherine Breillat's Abuse of Weakness at DIFF

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.08.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

A natural-born fighter, in 2004, fate handed Breillat the fight of her life. She suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed on one side of her body, with difficult rehabilitation ahead and many more trials and tribulations to come.

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Monday, Dec. 9

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.08.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

How bad can a film-festival day be when you see four movies - and only one of them is terrible? And the best one is the last one of the day? That ...

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Sunday, Dec. 8

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.07.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

As a critic who regularly attends a couple of film festivals a year I average seeing four films a day and have been known to see as many as six in one day. So I have to admit I appreciate the more casual approach to scheduling at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Live From the Dubai International Film Festival: Saturday, Dec. 7

Marshall Fine | Posted 02.06.2014 | Entertainment
Marshall Fine

The fact that this festival tends to focus on and celebrate films from the Arab world also makes it unique. I've already put together a lineup of films to see, some of which I've missed at other festivals, most of which I'm just finding out about.