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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 12.19.2014 | 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 12.17.2014 | 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 12.15.2014 | 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 12.13.2014 | 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 12.11.2014 | 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.

The Doha Ajyal Diaries: For the Love of Cinema and Khalil Gibran's The Prophet

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.05.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

This beautiful city, with its azure seas is the epicenter of where I first realized that the stories being told in the region held the potential to unite us and ideally, help save the world.

The Abu Dhabi Diaries: Making the Impossible Possible, for Great World Cinema

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.03.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

After all is said and done, the movie screenings finished, the red carpets rolled away and the party venues dismantled, what should a film festival leave a cinema lover with?

European Film Screenings in the UAE: Trying for Peace, Love and Understanding

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.17.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I love what Quentin Tarantino says, "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, no, I went to films." It's so true, just as art is only learned by looking at paintings and then drawing, doing, so filmmaking can only be achieved by watching the masters at work, and then trying to capture their essence.

Best of Venice: Talking Melbourne With Payman Maadi and Nima Javidi

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.05.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Don't come to Melbourne expecting over-the-top displays to deal with the tragedy at hand. The film is perfect for those of us who recognize that most of life, even in moments of drama, is lived in shades of grey, not black and white.

Six Films That Could Save The World

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 09.22.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I still hope for a day when Israeli filmmakers will be allowed to show their films in festivals throughout the Arab world and Palestinian filmmakers will once again show their oeuvres in Jerusalem, Haifa and other festivals around the country.

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

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 08.04.2014 | 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.