Life Of Pi
Three previous directors may have abandoned bids to bring Yann Martell’s Booker Prize-winning novel to the screen, but now Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee has succeeded, creating a 3D fantasy land said to rival the meticulous world of Avatar. Expect to see star Suraj Sharma on the red carpet at this Middle Eastern premiere, which opens the festival.
(12+) Arabic, French subtitles. Runtime: 126 minutes. Madinat Arena, 20.00. Gala screening.
A Few Hours of Spring
French drama about a son who moves back in with his mother after a spell in prison, triggering a violent outburst that recalls their past relationship. From writer-director Stéphane Brizé.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 108 minutes. First Group Theatre, 18.15.
All Is Well
Coming-of-age tale about two Angolan teenage sisters who arrive in Lisbon as refugees, and struggle to adapt to the European city.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 96 minutes.MoE 5, 15.30.
Ask Your Shadow
In this film, documentary filmmaker Lamime Ammar Khodja documents his return to Algeria in 2011 after nine years away. He arrives in the midst of riots that rock the country.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 82 minutes. MoE 11, 15.45.
The title is translated to English as ‘parent-less’. Two young orphaned Iraqi Turks resolve to escape to the US after seeing Superman in the town’s first movie theatre. The superhero is an allegory of hope, but the children wonder whether he can really stand up to Saddam Hussein.
(PG) English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. Madinat Arena, 19.00. Gala screening.
A musical road movie. When her lover leaves her, French musician Leila Albayaty resolves to depart Brussels and begins a nomadic existence wandering from town to town with just her voice for company.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 80 minutes. MoE 9, 18.30.
A gritty story chronicling life in urban Beirut from the perspective of three different vantages: Nour, whose parents have recently died in a car crash; India a woman who wants to bear her first child, and 12-year-old Marwan, who lives with an abusive parent. Expect a gripping story of life in a fast-paced, ever-evolving city.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. MoE 1, 18.15.
Austrian thriller about a TV journalist who travels to Bosnia to film a report about a missing woman who returned to her native land to bury a relative. Here she encounters the remnants of the ethnic cleansing machine that killed thousands of Muslim civilians.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 86 minutes. MoE 1, 21.30.
Defining Love: A Failed Attempt
Two heartbroken actors travel to the remote Atlas mountains in Morocco to research an upcoming production, where they meet Mohammed, a meditative shepherd.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 90 minutes. MoE 6, 18.00. World Premiere.
Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
Music documentary tracing the real-life story of Arnel Pineda, a Filipino who was plucked from obscurity thanks to a YouTube clip to become the new touring frontman of Journey, the ’80s rock band responsible for omnipresent cheese slab ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 113 minutes. MoE 12, 14.45.
Here and There
Winner of the Critics’ Week Grand Prix at Cannes this year, this debut from director Antonio Méndez Esparza chronicles the life of a Mexican immigrant who leaves the US to return to his home town, where he hopes to use what he saved to help form a band to play local events.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 110 minutes. MoE 5, 21.30.
I Love You All
This low-key drama from Argentina sees five thirtysomething friends sit around and discuss how their lives didn’t quite turn out how they expected. A quiet reflection on hopes and ambition.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 75 minutes. MoE 7, 21.15.
Kahrizak, Four Views
Four short chapters, each from four different Iranian directors, presenting views of the Kahrizak Charity Centre.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 86 minutes. MoE 4, 18.15.
German thriller about a suicidal teenager who finds an escaped murderer in her family barn – and asks him to commit the deed.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 91 minutes. MoE 7, 18.15.
Moving documentary about the ‘last travelling shepherd’ living in the wilds of the Italian Lombradi landscape, with just a dog and hundreds of sheep for company.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 76 minutes. MoE 10, 18.45.
A Syrian filmmaker looks back on his life, and anticipates a new love.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 116 minutes. First Group Theatre, 21.30.
The UAE’s Youssef El Deeb – best known for founding TV channel Fatafeat – directs this joint Canada/Egypt/Lebanon/UAE production, which traces the ups and downs of a relationship, from first meeting to marriage.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 77 minutes. MoE 10, 21.30. World Premiere.
Me and You
Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci’s latest movie is about a 14-year-old boy who decides to spend a week’s solitude in the family basement by faking a ski trip. However, his solitude is disturbed by his sister, and things are never the same for either again.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 103 minutes. First Group Theatre, 15.00.
Nairobi Half Life
A fast-paced comedy drama about a young aspiring Kenyan actor who leaves the family home to head to Nairobi. Unfortunately, he soon realises why it is nicknamed ‘Nairobbery’ after all his possessions are stolen, and he soon falls into a life of crime.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 96 minutes. MoE 10, 15.45.
A generous Belgian doctor brings a young Moroccan boy home to raise him as his son. But as Mounir grows old and marries, he never stops relying on his older benefactor.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 111 minutes. MoE 9, 21.15.
A ruthless loan shark who regularly harms others for a living is confronted by a women who claims to be his mother. After letting her into his life, she is kidnapped, leaving the protagonist with certain choices.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 104 minutes. MoE 4, 21.15.
Moving documentary about a homeless man in New York who has appeared as an extra in more than 100 movies after hanging around numerous movie sets. Actors including George Clooney and Robin Williams line up to be interviewed.
(12+) Runtime: 70 minutes. MoE 7, 15.30.
San Zimei – Three Sisters
This documentary looks at a poor Chinese family in rural Yunnan, focusing on three sisters aged ten, six and four who are expected to contribute to the family coffers.
(PG) English subtitles. Runtime: 153 minutes. MoE 4, 14.45.
The Love Songs Of Tiedan
Chinese director Hao Jien presents a six-decade love story mixing local opera, music and traditions, about a boy who falls in love at the age of six.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 91 minutes. MoE 1, 15.15.
A documentary about women’s involvement in the uprising against the Yemeni dictatorship.
(PG) English subtitles. Runtime: 80 minutes. MoE 11, 22.00. World Premiere.
A poignant satire on the Gulf’s influence on Kerala from director Joy Mathew, who himself worked in Dubai as a migrant before returning home to become an actor, director and activist of note.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 134 minutes. MoE 12, 18.00. World Premiere.
Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema, this fiction is about a Bengali ‘foley’ artist who makes a living using his vocal cords to imitate different sound effects for movies. As a result, he lives a strange, disconnected, back-to-front existence.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 100 minutes. MoE 12, 21.45. World Premiere.
A Bangladeshi satire about a town chairman who bans all television and mobile phones in his village on religious grounds, dividing the town and forcing the young to adapt.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 106 minutes. MoE 8, 18.30.
Drawn from the experiences of real women, this drama from Mozambique is about a 16-year-old girl from the country who is mistakenly taken to a re-education camp when the streets of Maputo are cleansed of women of the night following the country’s 1975 revolution.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 90 minutes. MoE 5, 18.30.
Iranian drama about an upper-class woman living in modern-day Tehran who is suffocated by her environment, living an alienated life, meeting individuals she cannot relate to.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 82 minutes. MoE 8, 21.45. World Premiere.
Silent Spanish movie inspired by the tale of Snow White. Carmen escapes her stepmother to join a travelling troupe of bullfighters.
(12+) Runtime: 104 minutes. MoE 1, 18.00.
Three twentysomethings living in a forgotten community in modern Egypt face bleak prospects. The two males both love their female friend – a competition that can only be resolved with football.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 76 minutes. MoE 2, 22.00. World Premiere.
Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D
Expect dazzling cinematography and thrilling 3D in this fantasy based on the hit stage show. Shrek and Narnia director Andrew Adamson directs, and Avatar mastermind James Cameron produces,
so expect stunning visuals.
(G) Arabic subtitles. Runtime: 91 minutes. Madinat Arena, 17.00. Gala screening.
An insightful documentary about Mozambican president Samora Moises Machel, who was killed in a controversial plane crash in then-apartheid South Africa.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 89 minutes. MoE 11, 21.45. World Premiere.
Dance Of Outlaws
Documentary about Hind, who suffered an assault as a child that caused her to give up any ambition. She now works as a ‘dancer’, and seeks motherhood.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 85 minutes. MoE 11, 18.45.
Arriving in Dubai straight from its world premiere in Toronto, where it won the prized Discovery Award, Detroit Unleaded is described as the world’s ‘first Arab-American romantic dramedy’. Lebanese-American boy Sami takes over his family’s filling station, while Naj seeks escape from her family’s jewellery trade.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 92 minutes. MoE 7, 18.30.
Finding Refuge In Ishinomaki
Following the great earthquake that shook Japan in 2011, thousands were left homeless and sought refuge in schools. This documentary looks at those forced to seek shelter in one particular school, tracing the refugees over six months.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 124 minutes. MoE 10, 18.00.
The Great Kilapy
In Angolan, ‘kilapy’ means ‘swindle’. This drama is about the life of Joan Fraga, a scamster who rinsed the colonial administration’s coffers in the last years of Portuguese rule, while living a Casanova lifestyle.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 100 minutes. MoE 9, 18.15.
Based on Joseph Conrad’s novel Almayer’s Folly, this Malaysian film is the story of a European father who wants the child he bore to a Malay mother to be considered European, shifting focus from him to his wife.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 116 minutes. MoE 1, 21.15. World Premiere.
Set during the period in which he filmed all-time classic Psycho, this glowing biopic charts Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with wife Alma Reville. The pair are played here by acting heavyweights Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. Expect a warm, puffy portrait of a great, but flawed, man.
(12+) Arabic and French subtitles. Runtime: 98 minutes. Madinat Arena, 21.00.
Documentary about Palestinian ‘adventures’ while coping with the demands of the Israeli Wall.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 70 minutes. MoE 8, 19.00. World Premiere.
Lesson of the Evil
The latest movie from long-standing Japanese director Takashi Miike, known recently for 2010’s 13 Assassins, is described as ‘ultra-violent’. A college professor with evil urges goes on a killing spree.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 129 minutes. MoE 12, 21.30.
Shot throughout the US over 11 years on various camcorders, Moondog is Egyptian director Khairy Beshara’s highly personal meditation on the psyche.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 136 minutes. First Group Theatre, 18.00. World Premiere.
To mark the 150th anniversary of legendary Bengali poet, playwright and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, director Buddhadeb Dasgupta directed 13 short films, each based on one of Tagore’s poems. In accordance with the director, this brings together a quartet of four of these shorts.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 114 minutes. MoE 12, 18.15.
For Syrian taxi driver Walid, the only place he can enjoy a private moment with his love, Suhair, is in his car. When Suhair plans a trip to Tehran, the train journey gives them their first opportunity to spend time together properly.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 73 minutes. MoE 6, 18.45. World Premiere.
A dramatic love story about a French-Iraqi who returns home for the first time in four years, where he falls in love, establishing a relationship that has the distance of tradition to traverse, as well as the miles between the two countries.
(15+) English subtitles. Runtime: 105 minutes. MoE 6, 21.30. World Premiere.
A brutal documentary shedding light on Lebanon’s civil war through a high-ranking intelligence officer who was responsible for many deaths.
(12+) Arabic, English subtitles. Runtime: 128 minutes. MoE 5, 21.00.
Documentary about an Finnish accordion player who performs in bizarre locations, such as down an ice hole.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 86 minutes. First Group Theatre, 21.30.
This fun-packed action thriller – about the heist of a Macau den by a group of thieves – is the best-grossing film in Korean history. Like Ocean’s Eleven with an Asian twist.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 135 minutes. MoE 2, 18.15.
Touch of the Light
Based on the true story of Taiwanese piano talent Huang Yu-Siang, this film charts the young musician’s life and how he inspires a young dancer.
(12+) English subtitles. Runtime: 110 minutes. MoE 7, 21.30.
True Story of Love, Life, Death and Sometimes Revolution
Filmmaker Nidal Hassan arrived in Damascus on the eve of the Syrian uprisings, and has collected the testimonies of women who were drawn to speak and act.
(PG) English subtitles. Runtime: 65 minutes. MoE 9, 22.00.
A mother living in the Algerian mountains is forced to drag the dead body of her son from her home and bury him after he is killed by her other son, a member of an extremist group.
(PG) English subtitles. Runtime: 90 minutes. MoE 5, 18.00.
Moroccan director Nour Eddine Lakhmari presents a drama about a Casablanca cop who is caught between his domineering father and bullying boss, before deciding to make his mark by searching for a missing 15-year-old girl.
(18+) English subtitles. Runtime: 111 minutes. MoE 8, 21.45. World Premiere.