DOHA: Twenty-one films from the GCC nations and Yemen will be screened at the third Baghdad International Film Festival (BIFF) next month as part of a showcase presented by the Dubai-based Gulf Film Festival.
Qatari filmmaker Faisal Al Thani’s Demi-plie will feature at the Baghdad festival which will be held from October 3 to 6, beside other films from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Yemen.
The Gulf Film Festival, widely regarded as the home of bold, contemporary and innovative cinema from the Arabian peninsula, put together the selection of short films, documentaries and feature films to represent the diversity of the region’s cinema and its growing talent base. All the films have featured in previous editions of the GFF, which concluded its fourth edition in April 2011.
Seven of the films are participating in the Baghdad festival’s official competition – an additional three are in its Arab Women Directors competition. The only global film festival in Iraq, BIFF aims to set a benchmark of excellence in Iraqi cinema, providing filmmakers with a platform to showcase their works despite the challenges they face. The Festival also shines the spotlight on up-and-coming filmmakers, especially women filmmakers, with an exclusive segment titled Women Behind Cameras.
Films screening at Baghdad from the UAE include two feature films: Ali Mostafa’s City of Life, which opened the third Gulf Film Festival, depicting the parallel worlds that exist simultaneously in the city of Dubai, and Nawaf Al Janahi’s The Circle, which narrates the story of Ibrahim, a poet who discovers that he will die from a fatal disease, and finds himself exchanging lives with a thief who enters his house.
Dr Taher Alwan, Director, Baghdad International Film Festival, said:“We are pleased to have this fruitful cooperation between the Baghdad International Film Festival and Gulf Film Festival, where the goals of both festivals complement each other in playing a vital role in encouraging cinematic experiences in Iraq and the Gulf States.
The support of DIFF and GFF, have created a benchmark that we in the Baghdad International Film Festival aspire to inculcate. We are sure that this partnership will evolve into a more successful collaboration, where we can stress on the role of and importance of the film culture in contemporary life. We hope to create a substantial film industry, despite all the challenges faced by Iraq at this time.”
“On this occasion, and on behalf of myself and the Baghdad International Film Festival, we would like to salute Abdulhamid Juma and Masoud Amralla Al Ali and their teams for their efforts in collaborating with us to achieve our common goals,” he added.
The Third Baghdad International Film Festival will also host numerous workshops addressing scriptwriting, film production, and cinematography. The second edition of the Festival witnessed unprecedented success having received submissions from 20 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, and Middle East.
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