The 13th Dubai International Film Festival begins today, Wednesday, December 7, and runs through next Wednesday, December 14. The Gulf State event ups its nonfiction offerings this year slightly, presenting 23 documentary features compared to last year’s slim 17. Among these are the following:
Documentaries in competition include a single entry in the Muhr Emirati category, Nujoom Alghanem’s HONEY, RAIN & DUST (pictured), about three individuals involved with apiary and honey collection; as well as several in the Muhr Feature section, such as: Laurent Aït Benalla’s TERRA FIRMA, a study of a French harbor and its traffic with north Africa and the Middle East; Mohamed Rashad’s LITTLE EAGLES, in which the Egyptian filmmaker explores 1970s political activism while contemplating his career; Iman Kamel’s EGYPTIAN JEANNE D’ARC, an experimental meditation on present-day Egyptian women’s lives; Eliane Raheb’s THOSE WHO REMAIN, a portrait of a Christian Lebanese farmer and restaurateur; Hady Zaccak’s 104 WRINKLES, about the filmmaker’s centenarian grandmother; and Alfoz Tanjour’s A MEMORY IN KHAKI, which shares story of refugees from Syrian repression.
Nonfiction screening out of competition has largely been covered on this site at other events. Of note are several titles from the Arab world, showcased in the Arabian Nights section: DOC NYC alum BEZNESS AS USUAL (pictured), Dutch director Alex Pitstra’s personal reckoning with his Tunisian father; THE WAR SHOW, Obaidah Zytoon and Andreas Dalsgaard’s exploration of Syrians set against the Arab Spring and exile; ZAINEB HATES THE SNOW, Kaouther Ben Hania’s chronicle of a Tunisian girl’s coming to terms with life in Canada; THE CHALLENGE, Yuri Ancarani’s impressionistic portrait of falconry in Arab culture; and GAZA SURF CLUB, Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine’s look at surf culture in the isolated occupied land.