This year’s edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will once again offer a selection of 2014’s best films from around the world as part of its Cinema of the World programme.
Starring renowned actors and created by the world’s best directors, writers and producers, the films to be shown in the ‘Cinema of the World’ section will undoubtedly be eagerly anticipated by the film fans who descend on the Festival each year.
Following his success in winning the Cannes Grand Prix in 2010 with Of Gods and Men, director Xavier Beauvois has returned to the big screen with ‘The Price of Fame’. Starring Benoît Poelvoorde, Roschdy Zem and Nadine Labaki this comedy follows the true story of two crooks who exhume Charlie Chaplin’s body to hold it ransom. It is a film made in the spirit of caper and adventure that pays homage to Chaplin himself.
Theodore Melfi brings his much anticipated, heart-warming comedy ‘St Vincent’ to DIFF. ‘St Vincent’ stars Bill Murray as the cantankerous Vincent, a man set in his anti-social ways who is suddenly plagued by the presence of his young neighbour Oliver.
Oliver’s mother Maggie, played by Melissa McCarthy, is forced to leave her son with Vincent for a few hours and soon an unusual friendship blossoms that changes both their lives. ‘St. Vincent’ is an unconventional coming of age movie that teaches us you’re never too old to grow up.
Winning the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard segment of the Cannes Film Festival has thrust Ruben Östlund’s fourth feature film ‘Turist’ firmly into the spotlight. Focussing on the plight of a Swedish family who encounters an avalanche in the French Alps, the film is also the Swedish entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Oscars.
From Christian Petzold, the acclaimed German filmmaker of Barbara, Yella, The State I am In and Jerichow, comes the gripping drama ‘Phoenix’ – the story of a concentration-camp survivor who searches Berlin for her husband. Played by Nina Hoss, the character Nelly Lenz finds herself in even more traumatic circumstances during her search, even though the war is over.
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In ‘Tigers’, award-winning director Danis Tanovi? weaves the story of a man’s inner struggle as he realises what effects that infant formula milk he’s selling are having on Pakistani children. Emraan Hashmi is stunning in the lead role. Tanovi? won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Screenplay at Cannes with his 2001 work No Man’s Land.
Confronting the pertinent problem of China’s child abductions is the theme of top director Peter Ho-sun Chan’s box office hit in China ‘Dearest’. When Wen Jun and Xiaojuan’s son Tian Peng is snatched from the streets of Shenzen, their frantic search takes them far and wide. Uniting with other parents who’ve had children snatched, the couple have to confront the meaning of parenthood itself.
The history of French house music is depicted elegantly in Mia Hansen-Løve’s ‘Eden’, which chronicles the life and times of her brother Sven, who co-wrote the script. This is the French director’s fourth feature film.
With a focus on the recent Ukrainian unrest, Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary ‘Maidan’ chronicles the events surrounding the early days of the uprising in Ukraine that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. Shot within the anti-government camp at Independence Square over a period of several months, Loznitsa captures his nation’s violent rebirth.
François Girard’s Boychoir is an inspiring family drama that the entire family can enjoy starring Academy Award-winners Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates. Hoffman plays Carvelle, a demanding choir master at an American music school who finds himself having to tutor a talented youngster struggling against the odds to find his voice.
Gabe Polsky’s latest film Red Army is a documentary centered on the Soviet ice hockey team, thought by many to be the greatest team ever assembled. This documentary, however, is about much more than a game. Delving deep into the driving forces behind success in Soviet sport, Polsky emerges with a film that transcends politics and ideology and becomes a fascinating and thrilling study in humanity.
‘Meet the Patels’ is a comedic look at a man’s struggle to find a wife through traditional Indian means. Directed by Indian-American brother and sister duo Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel, the film highlights cultural and social trials and tribulations, and won the audience award at the Los Angeles Film Festival. ‘Meet the Patels’ is a joyous film exploring family, love and the search for happiness.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, DIFF Artistic Director, said: “The Cinema of the World section of DIFF is one of the most popular programming segments, bringing directors, actors and writers from around the globe to the multicultural audience at the Festival. This year, the films range from award-nominated cinematic works, to vital documentaries highlighting current affairs and potential Hollywood blockbusters: we know that there is something that everyone will enjoy.”
Nashen Moodley, Head of the DIFF Cinema of the World programme, said: “We are extremely pleased with the calibre and depth of the films in this year’s Cinema of the World programme. The diverse selection of films represents the best filmmaking from both emerging and established directors which the discerning DIFF audience will absorb with great interest.”