DUBAI, Nov 6: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced the next slate of thrilling cinema from around the globe for its celebrated Cinema of the World category. Held during the 14th Festival, the 11 new titles join a stellar lineup that will take DIFF audiences on a storytelling journey from the idyllic English countryside to the horse lords of Kyrgyzstan and the revolutionary sixties, and beyond.
The first addition in the vibrant lineup is critically appraised film ‘Darkest Hour’, from festival heavyweight Joe Wright. Having premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and already an anticipated entrant into this year’s Oscar race, ‘Darkest Hour’ takes place during a tense six-month window in 1940 as the fall of France appears imminent. With the threat of invasion looming, Britain faces its darkest hour as the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces are advancing and the Allies are cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk.
From British director Dominic Cooke and based on the novel by Ian McEwan comes a unique incisive film on relationships in the early 1960s. ‘On Chesil Beach’ follows Florence, played by actress Saoirse Ronan, and Edward, played by Billy Howle, on their honeymoon in the tranquil English countryside. Raised in a time where conversations about sexual difficulties were next to impossible, the drama-comedy surveys the newlyweds as they try to consummate their marriage in the face of awkward situations.
Academy Award winner and legendary screenwriter Aaron Sorkin presents ‘Molly’s Game’. Starring Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner, Sorkin’s writing prowess turns to the world of poker. ‘Molly’s Game’ tells the true story of Molly Bloom, played by Chastain, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons.
Seven years after his international breakthrough with ‘The Light Thief’, acclaimed Kyrgyzstani filmmaker Aktan Arym Kubat comes to DIFF with his latest film, ‘Centaur’. Recipient of the prestigious CICAE Art Cinema prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, ‘Centaur’ is a quiet, modest man, a loving father of a little boy that has never spoken a word and the husband of young, deaf-mute Maripa. Together they lead a simple life in a small village of Kyrgyzstan.
Fresh out of the London Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, where it premiered to an eight-minute standing ovation, is the British documentary ‘My Generation’. Directed by David Batty and produced and narrated by Michael Caine, the documentary is pieced together during the height of 1960s British pop culture. The raw footage includes the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Twiggy, Marianne Faithfull and photographer David Bailey.
From one of Iran’s most prominent filmmakers, Mohammad Rasoulof, comes ‘A Man of Integrity’, the winner of the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes earlier this year. An emotional journey into the corruption and injustice in modern day Iran, the film focuses on Reza, a 35-year-old farmer, who lives a simple life with his family in a remote village in northern Iran. At the same time, a private company with powerful connections is slowly taking over every aspect of the region’s agronomy.
Award winning German-Turkish director Fatih Akin brings his latest feature film ‘In the Fade’. Winning Best Actress Award at Cannes Film Festival for Diane Kruger’s leading performance as Katja, the film watches as her life is shattered by the shocking death of her husband, Nuri, and young son in a bombing. After a difficult funeral and mind-numbing search for the perpetrators, Danilo, a lawyer and Nuri’s best friend, represents Katja in the trial against the two suspects: a young neo-Nazi couple.
Acclaimed Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton presents his latest feature, ‘Sweet Country’ which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and was named as the Toronto Film Festival’s Platform winner, a prize championing directors from around the world. Inspired by real events, ‘Sweet Country’ is a period western set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory, Australia. When Aboriginal stockman Sam kills white station owner Harry March in self-defence, Sam and his wife Lizzie go on the run.
Thirteen years after ‘Super Size Me’ hit the big screens to shock and awe, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is back with his sequel, ‘Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!’. Spurlock’s latest documentary heads to battle once again against the fast food industry, but this time from behind the counter as he decides to open up his own fast food restaurant.
From Academy Award winning director Alexander Payne comes the much anticipated ‘Downsizing’. When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation, Paul (celebrated actor Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (comedic legend Kristen Wiig), decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community.
From award winning writers and directors Agnès Varda and JR, comes the enchanting travelogue/road documentary ‘Faces Places’ which has already accrued a bevy of festival awards, including the Golden Eye for Best Documentary at Cannes and the People’s Choice Award for documentary at TIFF.
Ticket packages are on sale now for the 14th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival which will take place from 6 – 13 December, 2017. For more information on ticket packages and registration for media, students and industry professionals, visit the DIFF website at diff.ae.