The 14th Dubai International Film Festival
The UAE event, one of the premier festivals in the Arab world, showcases approximately 90 features, among them just 17 works of nonfiction, down from a slight uptick in last year’s program.
STORIES OF PASSERS THROUGH
Nearly have of these documentaries appear in the Muhr Feature Competition, and include work such as Nujoom Alghanem’s SHARP TOOLS
, about the late Gulf conceptual artist Hassan Sharif; Baz Dinka Shamoun’s 73° C
, about three people struggling to survive in Iraq in the wake of the US-led invasion; Koutaiba Al-Janabi’s STORIES OF PASSERS THROUGH
, a personal film charting decades of the Iraqi diaspora; and Claire Belhassine’s THE MAN BEHIND THE MICROPHONE
, which uncovers the story of a once popular Tunisian singer who hid his fame from his family.
GRAIN OF SAND
Nonfiction appears in other sections, including the Beach screenings, which offer Jason Carter’s GRAIN OF SAND
, an ethnomusicological portrait of Gulf pearl divers, and Michael Roberts’ MANOLO: THE BOY WHO MADE SHOES FOR LIZARDS
, a biopic on the legendary fashion designer; the Arabian Nights section, which includes DOC NYC alumni Julia Bacha’s NAILA AND THE UPRISING
, about the undercover female leaders of the First Intifada; and in Cinema of the World, the Cannes-debuting THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
, Sonia Kronlund’s portrait of the eccentric and prolific Ed Wood of Afghan cinema, Salim Shaheen.