Dubai 2017: Documentary Overview

The 14th Dubai International Film Festival

December 6-13

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.


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.


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.


Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.