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Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Fear and the Filmmaker in Cannes: The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.22.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Despite its short length, The Aftermath is a full and significant film, and although bare and minimalist in look, it's crowded with expectation. It is also groundbreaking, as I've endlessly mentioned before, the first film from Egypt to be included in the Cinéfondation.

The Cannes Diaries: Star Wars in Abu Dhabi, Adrien Brody as an Emperor and Ranvir Shorey

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.21.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Here's to hoping that one day, soon, cinema may bring cultures together, and great actors, world directors and multi-lingual writers may work alongside each other to create masterpieces that can transcend borders and labels.

The Cannes Diaries: Divorce Orthodox Style, the Next Arab Superstar and Hugs on the Croisette

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.17.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Walking up the stairs of the Theatre Croisette inside the JW Marriott after the screening, I felt as if I was thankfully coming up for air, after having been submersed in feelings and beautifully cinematic anguish for nearly two hours.

The Cannes Diaries: Grace of Monaco, a Slasher, a Party Girl and SANAD

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.19.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

The festival kicked off perfectly for me inside the Palais on Wednesday morning, to watch the first Cannes screening of Olivier Dahan's Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman. I expected entertainment from the film and instead, got a lesson in what it means to be a woman, a strong woman.

'The Cannes Diaries': A Pre-Festival, Last-Minute Checklist

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.11.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

If you're looking for reviews, there are brilliant men and women out there who do it all beautifully. But if you're looking for highlights, fun tidbits and a slightly different way of looking at the grandest film festival in the world, you're in the right place.

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.

Love, FEMEN and a Bottle Revolution: Four to Watch at Hot Docs

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.25.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I've personally discovered the truth behind the world's headlines from documentaries.

'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."

The Miracle of Salvo: Can You Still Believe?

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 05.26.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I adore fairy tales and have never really grown up from that joy I felt as a child, listening to my grandfather read me stories by the Brothers Grimm or watching the Disney videos. But these days I require a little more heft, turmoil and character development. That's where Fabio Grassadonia's and Antonio Piazza's touching drama Salvo comes in.

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.

'The Shawati' Interviews': Cinematic Pioneer Nawaf Al-Janahi

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.23.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Al-Janahi doesn't mince his words when it comes to the business and culture of filmmaking in the Emirates. He'd rather see great quality and professionalism than cater to the much-promoted attitude of nurturing everyone who tries, at the risk of undermining the true talents of Khaliji (Gulf) cinema.

'The Shawati' Interviews': When I Saw You Filmmaker Annemarie Jacir

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

"Listen to your heart. If my films can touch one person and maybe give them the feeling that they don't have to be swallowed up by this world."

'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.

Hala Matar's Streetcar, a.k.a. Getting Chloë Sevigny to Act in Your First Film

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.01.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

"I want people to know it's possible. If you want to do anything, anything is possible, you can make it happen. We got all the funding just three days before shooting."

'To Set Off Is to Die a Little': Who Is Dayani Cristal? by Marc Silver and Gael García Bernal

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.14.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Who Is Dayani Cristal? asks important questions about migration, the need for cheap labor in today's consumeristic world and the impossibly high human price of that low cost. It also points a cinematically provocative finger at all the walls that are being built around the world.

Creating an Audience: The Doha Film Institute Introduces Ajyal Youth Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

In just three short years, the Qatari organization has managed to fund incredible projects, create a hub for film education, production and showcase in the Gulf.

'Sexual Jihad': Peace After Marriage Premieres at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Peace After Marriage is not one of those serious, deeply absorbing films that, while important, can also be quite a commitment to watch. Instead, Albuliwi works best in light, romantic comedy tones and helps his cause with great humor.

Finding One's Own Truth: Irrfan Khan at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.28.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Anyone who has ever been to India doesn't need me to explain the incredible, mystical vibe of this great country. But to those who have yet to journey there and experience its beauty, its undeniable magnetism, its incredible culture and its depth of spirituality, I suggest watching an Irrfan Khan film.

Saleh Bakri at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival: 'Nothing Is Impossible'

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

"They want to erase Palestine from the memory of the new generation, and anything I can do to fight that, I will be more than happy." -- Shafiq Al-...

The 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival: Life's Better at the Movies

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Give me a film to learn my history, politics and geography any day, over news bulletins, newspapers and professors. I'll admit with pride that I've learned about everything worth knowing from filmmakers.

'Portrait Chinois': Getting to Know Abu Dhabi Film Fest Director Ali Al-Jabri

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.25.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I knew behind Emirati filmmaker and actor Ali Al-Jabri's public persona, always interested, incredibly humble and so wonderfully representative of great Emirati culture, there was a special story. If only I could get him to open up.

Of Middle East Cinema and Filmmakers in Cannes: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.27.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

As much as I admire filmmakers, they are modern-day heroes for managing the nearly impossible feat of creating the magic of cinema despite financial restraints and all kinds of obstacles, we must recognize and applaud, encourage these cultural organizations that aid and assist.

Cooking in Cairo: Catching Up with Master Filmmaker Yousry Nasrallah

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.09.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Meeting Yousry Nasrallah face to face is a true luxury. Not because the Egyptian filmmaker makes himself precious -- quite the opposite really -- but because Nasrallah's extraordinary insight, languid expression and sensual voice all combine to create the most perfect conversation.

From Argo to Beth Murphy's The List: Will We Ever Learn?

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.03.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Argo deserved the Best Picture Oscar, but perhaps not for all the obvious reasons. I personally found in Ben Affleck's film another reminder that when we don't pay close attention to our history, we tend to repeat the same terrible mistakes, over and over again.

Khaled El Nabawy: The Actor and the Activist

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.20.2013 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Khaled El Nabawy has notoriously refused to play terrorists and the garden variety of stereotypical Arab bad guys throughout his career. A move that has left Hollywood a bit baffled.