The Gulf Film Festival (GFF) kicks off on April 11, screening 169 films from 43 countries, of which 93 originate from within the GCC. All screenings are free to the public from April 11th – 17th at Grand Cinemas, Dubai Festival City.
In a clear testament to the growth of the Festival as the first-choice for filmmakers, GFF 2013 will host 78 world premieres, 15 international premieres and 42 Middle East premieres.
Abdulhamid Juma, Festival Chairman, commented: “Since 2008 we have seen the festival reach a wider audience on an annual basis and elicit more attention from both emerging and established artists around the region. This year the response was overwhelming, and in direct response to filmmakers across the region, we have broadened our industry platform and strengthened our existing programmes. In this exciting week, hundreds of GCC filmmakers will converge on Dubai, exchange ideas, meet international peers, and share their unique perspectives on their society and their world. Each year this meeting of minds creates an alchemy that generates more ideas and creativity, leading to more diverse and fascinating cinema in the year following. Our 2013 line-up is proof of this phenomenal maturing process, and has something to offer UAE residents and visitors alike.”
The Festival will open with a screening of Wadjda, the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia by the country’s first female filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour, who will be in attendance. The award-winning film has firm roots with GFF having originally debuted on the festival circuit at script stage during GFF. The film has won critical acclaim and been an audience favourite in festivals around the world, winning 3 awards at the prestigious Venice Film Festival as well as the Muhr Arab Feature award and Best Actress award for the film’s young protagonist at the Dubai International Film Festival 2012.