Monday, October 12
Festival Daily The Cove Earns Standing Ovation On Saturday, MEIFF presented the Middle East premiere of The Cove. Part of MEIFF’s Documentary Feature Competition (and also the “What in the World Are We Doing to Our World?” environmental section), the powerful film has been inspiring audiences at festivals all over the world with its story of an activist’s struggle to save dolphins. The audience gave the film a standing ovation, and another to director Louie Psihoyos when he came onstage for a Q&A. It was a gratifying moment, as The Cove was no ordinary production - the filmmakers literally risked life and limb in order to expose the slaughter – and its success could help motivate people to change their outlook on the ongoing crisis in our oceans.
What to Watch Heliopolis
(NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION)
Heliopolis is a rare treat: a genuinely underground Egyptian movie. It was made by director Ahmed Abdalla on almost no budget over ten days in the fading turn-of-the-century Cairo neighborhood of the same name, which almost takes on a character. Five people wander through Heliopolis over the course of a day, wrestling with their own conundrums and obliviously crisscrossing paths. This atmospheric, charming tribute to the people who are the lifeblood of a great city is not to be missed for those who care about independent film in the Middle East.
Filmmakers & Industry Reception
Being Here (DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION) Huacho (NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION)
On Saturday night, Étoiles, a nightclub in the Emirates Palace Hotel, was packed for the MEIFF filmmaker and industry reception. Mohamed Al-Daradji, fresh off MEIFF’s talked-about world premiere of his Son of Babylon, was there with The Shock Doctrine co-director Mat Whitecross, Sherif Ramzy (The Traveler), Honeymoons director Goran Paskaljević, and jurors Deepa Mehta (“Elements Trilogy”), Bollywood producer Sunil Doshi, Telluride’s Gary Meyer, and producer Joslyn Barnes. Guests chatted, hung out, and hit the dance floor – and a good time was had by all to shake off the jet lag and festival stress. Monday, Oct. 12: Program Title Starts
Monday at MEIFF brings a great opportunity to see two small films about ordinary people that speak to universal issues. Being Here (directed by Mohamed Zran) is a documentary set in a hardware shop in a forgotten village in Tunisia. The film finds joy in conversation and the peaceful, neighborly values of the Arab world. Huacho is a splendid new narrative from Chile about a day in the life of a humble working family that is sure to get some consideration for Best Narrative Feature. Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras infuses this sun-kissed, naturalistic tale with the silences of country roads and people working and the rhythms of life as it is lived.
All My Mothers (DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION) Port of Memory (DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION)
90 mins *
EMIRATES FILM COMPETITION 1
ALL MY MOTHERS
60 mins *
SHORT PROGRAM 3: STRUGGLE
117 mins *
VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR
96 mins *
STUDENT SHORTS 1
82 mins *
Master Class: Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deyhim
103 mins *
Also on Monday, MEIFF’s commitment to the best and most challenging cinema from the Middle East is on display in two films. All My Mothers (directed by Ebrahim Saeedi and Zahavi Sanjavi) is a documentary that details the brutal destruction of Kurdish village life in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. It can be considered something of a “companion documentary” to Son of Babylon. Like that film, Port of Memory (directed by Kamal Aljafari) was awarded a MEIFF Production Grant. It belongs to a new and bold school of artistic documentaries that use narrative techniques to illuminate their subjects – in this case the emptying of the Palestinian port city of Jaffa. Both of these entries in the Documentary Feature Competition contain uncompromising messages about the dismantling of people’s lives.
Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deyhim: The Cosmic Symphony (Master Class)
PORT OF MEMORY
63 mins *
MY ONLY SUNSHINE
Grand Abu Dhabi Mall
EARTH WHISPERERS MOTHER EARTH
73 mins *
124 mins *
THE LONG NIGHT
94 mins *
108 mins *
WRONG ROSARY +The Sacrifice
93 +17 mins
Galas Narrative Feature Competition
Documentary Feature Competition New Cinema from Turkey
85 mins *
“What in the World Are We Doing To Our World?”
Emirates Film Competition
DJ Vas Floyd
Ten Days. One City. A Crossroads of Cinema October 8-17
For the first of four free master classes in the Festival Tent (Monday through Thursday at 11 am), musician Richard Horowitz and singer/artist Sussan Deyhim will talk about their creative process, especially highlighting how their film scores have been influenced by Middle Eastern music.
* Filmmakers to speak at Q&A after the screening.
Box office Locations: Emirates Palace (Lobby and Auditorium) Cinestar Cinemas (Marina Mall) Grand Cinema (Abu Dhabi Mall)
Join us every day from noon to 2 am on the main terrace at the Emirates Palace.
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