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Dubai International Film Festival

Mohamed Hefzy: Ismailia Film Fest Director, Film Clinic Producer & Filmmaker

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.04.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

To Egyptian audiences Hefzy offers a new type of movie, modern and urban, while to the rest of the world a blend of wonderfully written characters and slice-of-life poetic interpretations of today's land of chaos and humanity, so often watched on the news and yet so seldom understood.

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.

Challat of Tunis at ACID in Cannes: Urban Legend or True Lunatic?

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

Kaouther Ben Hania's film Challat of Tunis screened in front of an overpacked, sold-out audience this year in Cannes, part of the ACID program. ACID is a French film directors association that helps films find an audience, but also distribution and more screening options.

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.

'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.