Dubai film festival announces short-film nominations

The Muhr Gulf Short Category is now complete, with the second slate of films announced to the line-up for the 15-strong category at the 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF). Premiering the latest and greatest short films from across the region, the category pays homage to the finest in Arab filmmaking from some of the region’s most progressive directors, in what will be a celebration of cinematic triumph.

From economic hardships to the struggle between right and wrong, all set against the rich regional backdrop of the Gulf, the category is set to broaden the cultural horizons of local and international audiences alike at the 12th Festival, which is being held on 9-16 December.

The first of the highly-anticipated short films set to join the line-up for the Muhr Gulf Short Category is ‘Zaina’s Cake’, by Saudi Arabian director Nada AlMojadedi.

‘Peddiers’, a second short film from a Saudi Arabian director. Itdepicts the daily challenges faced by a group of women.

Iraqi actor and director Shwan Attoof joins the line-up for the Muhr Gulf Short Category with his gripping film, ‘My Father’s Garden’. Depicting a young Mujahid’s inner struggles with right and wrong, and his belief in Tasawwuf, ‘My Father’s Garden’ is a religious allegory that questions the morality of the world in which the young Mujahid has become involved.

Avid street art and graffiti documenter Rana Jarbou uses her background of highlighting underlying societal issues to create her latest work, ‘Hajwalah’, a short documentary concerning the illegal street racing phenomenon known as Arab Drifting (Hajwalah).

Joining the exceptional line-up is the final film of acclaimed actor Omar Sharif’s career before his untimely passing in July, ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’. From award-winning director and producer Ahmed Salim and enjoying its world premiere at the Festival, the UK and UAE co-produced film focuses on the scientific journey of 11th Century Arab polymath and philosopher Ibn Al-Haytham.

Multi-award-winning director Bahaa Al Kadimy, renowned for his work on the novelistic film ‘Feet That Hanging Roses’ and short film ‘Men Only’, returns to the film festival scene with his dramatic short ‘Dialing…’. Set in a war torn neighbourhood, ‘Dialing…’ follows an Iraqi woman bereft of her son and unable to accept his death. Refusing to accept the evidence before her, she journeys through the neighbourhood in search of a phone she can use to contact him, despite not knowing how to use one.

Six other films complete the line-up for the Muhr Gulf Short Category.