Arab films to be showcased at Cannes Film Festival

A delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to participate in the acclaimed annual Cannes Film Festival which is going to start from May 17 and continue till May 28. The delegation comprises key industry players including Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), Dubai Studio City (DSC), Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

Scene from the film 'Joint Possession' which will be showcased at Cannes Film Festival.
Scene from the film 'Joint Possession' which will be showcased at Cannes Film Festival. Photo courtesy: Joint Possession

A UAE pavilion will also be set up at the Cannes Film Festival which will offer international audiences the perfect window into new and compelling stories coming out of the Arab world and a chance to discover the best of local, Arab, Bollywood and Hollywood films produced in the Emirates over the past year. UAE Pavilion will be the epicentre of information, business connections and Emirati filmmaking promotion to international markets, helping maximise opportunities and further cement Arab cinema’s place on the world stage.

This time, there are five films from the Arab world which will be showcased at the Cannes Film Festival including Joint Possession, Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf, Poisonous Roses, Until the End of Time and Wajib. The participating filmmakers will deliver a brief introduction of their project before each clip is screened.

Also read: Dubai International Film Festival : Showcasing of 156 films from 55 countries

In addition to this, a further six films presented at DIFF’s 13th edition and supported by the DFM’s Enjaaz production funding for Gulf short films are also set to impress at Cannes. Taking part in the Cannes Short Film Corner, the exclusive line-up comprises of- Fadhilat An Takona La Ahad (The Bliss Of Being No One) directed by Bader Alhomoud (winner of Best Muhr Gulf Short), Laila Fe Taxi (A Night In A Taxi) directed Aisha Alzaabi, Mahal Bu Teir directed by Sager L'Khrebani Al Nuaimi,
Mamsous directed by Shatha Masoud (winner of Best Muhr Emirati Short) and Robian (Shrimp) directed by Yaser Alneyadi (winner of Muhr Emirati Director).

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF
Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF ( extreme right) will be part of the UAE delegation going to participate in the Cannes Film Festival. Photo courtesy: DIFF

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), said, “It’s such a pleasure to be once again returning to the Cannes Film Festival and showcasing film talent and innovation of the Arab world. The UAE’s film offering continues to grow from strength to strength and Cannes remains to the perfect platform for us to present the endless opportunities available in the Emirates to the film world. We hope all festival delegates take the chance to visit the UAE pavilion and discover the benefits of working with the UAE, from world-class facilities and infrastructure, a unique choice of locations and incredible film festivals putting the spotlight on the very best of Arab and world cinema.”

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of DIFF.
Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of DIFF. Photo courtesy: DIFF

Praising the partnership and promising line up presenting at Cannes, Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director, said, “The collaboration between the DFM and the Marché du Film is really an incredible tool for Arab filmmakers to pitch future projects and forge international connections, tapping into the host of sales agents, festival programmers and distributors in attendance. It’s undoubtedly a very exciting time for Arab cinema and we are proud to be headed to Cannes with some of the most up-and-coming filmmakers from the Arab world. ”

Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF), said, “Movies and film-making are an essential component of the cultural import and output of Sharjah. We are indeed delighted to be a part of the 70th Cannes Film Festival."

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.


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