Arabian Nights and Celebration of Indian Cinema: Dubai Film Festival
The 4th Dubai Film Festival, which runs December 9–16, '07, will offer several world premieres, mostly in its Arabian Nights and Celebration of Indian Cinema sidebars.
Among the Arabian Nights premieres are the following:
- Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch's Whatever Lola Wants, starring Carmen Lebbos and Laura Ramsey as, respectively, a legendary Egyptian dancer and a New York dance student.
- Amin Matalqa's Captain Abu Raed, starring Nadim Sawalha, and reportedly the first Jordanian feature in decades.
- Borhane Alaouié's Khalass, about four characters struggling to resume their lives in post-civil war Beirut.
Celebration of Indian Cinema
The premieres in the Celebration of Indian Cinema sidebar are:
- Jag Mundhra's political thriller Shoot-on-Sight, which follows a Scotland Yard inspector investigating the police shooting of an alleged Muslim terrorist – an incident inspired by the 2005 murder of a Brazilian man by London police. Naseeruddin Shah stars.
- Remo D'Souza's Story of the Red Hills, about a broken-hearted dancer.
- The director's cut of Akbar Khan's costly Bollywood romantic epic Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, starring Kabir Bedi, Zulfikar Syed, and Sonya Jehan.
Frozen body in the Kashmiri Himalayas
Another entry at the Dubai Film Festival's Celebration of Indian Cinema sidebar is Shivajee Chandrabhushan's feature-film debut, Frozen, which is set in the Kashmiri Himalayas.
Written by Shanker Raman (from a story by Chandrabhushan), Frozen follows a teenage girl living with her father and younger brother in a remote mountain village. The family's harsh but peaceful existence is drastically disrupted after the army settles at a nearby camp. The title refers to a frozen body found after the arrival of the military.
Spoken in Hindi and Ladakhi, and shot in black and white (by screenwriter Raman) so as to convey the region's stark beauty, Frozen was filmed at freezing temperatures at 12,000-foot altitudes (approx. 3,600 meters above sea level).
Earlier this year, Frozen won the Special Jury Award at the Osian-Cinefan Film Festival in Delhi.
In the cast are veteran action hero Danny Denzongpa, Gauri, and Skalzang Angchuk.
Cinema of Africa
And finally, the Dubai Film Festival's Cinema of Africa sidebar will screen the premiere of Rayda Jacobs' comedy Confessions of a Gambler, the story of a devout Muslim whose moral compass goes awry following his jackpot win at a casino.
Belly-dancing Laura Ramsey Whatever Lola Wants image: Pathé.
Frozen movie image: Seagull Media Productions.
Dubai Film Festival website.