This month at Film Buzz, DIFF's popular monthly screening series at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, audiences are invited to watch two days of award winning films that present a realistic and fascinating insight into life in the Arab world. Our line-up takes you on a journey to the enthralling cities Cairo and Damascus and focuses on the small-town dreams of our characters versus big-city realities.
Novelist and filmmaker Mohammad Malas widely acclaimed first feature film “Dreams of the City” opens June’s Film Buzz on Monday 24th June at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai from 7:30pm.
In this semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film the Syrian filmmaker Malas takes us back to Damascus in the fifties and tells the story of a young widow and her two sons are who are forced to move from their native Quneitra to Damascus, where her brutish father offers little emotional or financial support, forcing all of them to fend for themselves. Against the backdrop of successive military coups that punctuated the turbulent 50s in Syria, Adib, the eldest of the two boys, comes of age in the overwhelming urban magic of Damascus.
“Dreams Of The City” won awards at Valencia Festival of Mediterranean Cinema, Berlin International Film Festival and Carthage Film Festival.
Our next destination is Cairo in “Birds of the Nile” from veteran filmmaker Magdi Ahmed Ali which screens on Tuesday, 25th June at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai from 7:30pm.
Based on Ibrahim Aslan's novel by the same name, “Birds of the Nile” is an artful look into the lives of a rural family that moves to Cairo and struggles to make a name for themselves. Over decades, the city turns hopelessly naive Abdel Rahim (Fathi Abdel Wahab) into one of its many victims as he suffers a broken heart and eagerly searches for a suitable replacement for his beloved Bassima. Meanwhile, his sister and her family struggle to stay afloat as they slowly retreat to the outskirts of society.
Magdi Ahmed Ali's fascinating and at times provocative look into urban life and the political and social issues of Egyptian society picked up awards at both the Cairo International Film Festival and The Dubai International Film Festival.
Entry is free and operates on a first come, first served basis. The Pavilion can only accommodate 60 people per screening, so punctuality is essential.