The winner of the top award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is to head up an impressive programme of movies at Dubai’s very own celebration of film.
Fruitvale Station – which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Utah festival – is among the latest batch of impressive international movies to be announced for the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
Produced by Forest Whitaker and directed by newcomer Ryan Coogler, the film follows the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
Taking place from December 6 to 14, the festival will also showcase Academy Award winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in The Railway Man, the true-story a captured British soldier in World War Two who endured force labour on the Thailand Death Railway.
Other movies screening as part of the Cinema of the World programme, which focuses on movies from outside the GCC region, are:
Walesa. Man of Hope – A decade-spanning biopic of former Polish activist Lech Walesa, who rose from a career working on the docks to lead a revolution which toppled Communist rule. From veteran director Andrzej Wajd.
In Bloom – A powerful coming-of-age drama which follows two young girls navigating the oppressive familial and societal expectations of post-Soviet Georgia, directed by directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross.
The Unknown Known – An explosive documentary about Donald Rumsfeld, which uses declassified memos to navigate the former US Secretary of Defence’s controversial role in Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm and the War on Terror. From The Fog of War director Errol Morris.
The Referee – A football comedy-drama from Italian filmmaker and writer Paolo Zucca, which develops his earlier short film with the same title which won the Prix Spécial du Jury at Clermont-Ferrand in 2009.
Class Enemy – Loosely based on actual events, Slovenian director Rok Bicek’s gripping debut feature is about a high-school class that spins out of control – with one classmate committing suicide.
The Past – as a follow-up to Oscar-winning success A Separation, Iranian heavyweight Asghar Farhadi is back on familiar turf with a drama about a man travelling from Paris to Tehran to finalise his divorce. It stars Ali Mosaffa and The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo, who won the Best Actress Award at Cannes earlier this year.
Labor Day – starring both Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, this romantic mystery-thriller is the latest from director Jason Reitman, the man behind Up in the Air and Juno.
The Selfish Giant – Inspired by the Victorian fairytale of the same name, and from writer-director Clio Barnard, comes this gritty British drama about two council estate teenagers who get caught up in crime.
Mystery Road – Australian filmmaker Ivan Sen presents a thriller set in the outback, with a cast including Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving and Ryan Kwanten.
The Great Beauty – Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino paints a decadent Rome of social climbers, politicians, high-flying criminals, journalists, actors, artists and intellectuals.
Tenderness – A comedy from Belgium’s Marion Hänsel about a separated couple who find themselves reunited after 15 years for a road trip when their son is hospitalised.
For more see www.dubaifilmfest.com.