"Life" in Dubai: Controversial Premiere Marks First Major Emirati Feature

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The very first big-budget feature to come out of the United Arab Emirates, Ali F Mostafa’s “City of Life”‘s world premiere was the talk of the Dubai International Film Festival this weekend.  While the country turns out 60-70 short films a year, and seven domestic features are screening at DIFF, none of them have been close to the budget of “Life” (Dh26 million, or US$7 million), or its potential for controversy.  The festival was vocally supportive …

"City of Life" director Ali F Mostafa with the film's star Alexandra Maria Lara. Photo courtesy of the Dubai International Film Festival.

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