Jim Sheridan and Festival Director Zhara Moufid's second Dublin Arabic Film Festival (DAFF) will open on Friday,
13th of November at the Irish Film Institute (IFI), Temple Bar Dublin. The festival, which has been developed in partnership with the IFI is proudly presented by Dubai Duty Free and commences with a special screening of The Prophet, an animated movie directed by Roger Alles (The Lion King), about a mischievous eight-year-old girl and features the voice talents of Salma Hayek and Liam Neeson, animation from Ireland's Tomm Moore (Song of the Sea), and music from Glen Hansard and Damien Rice
The festival will include seven movies, the bulk of which will be shown at the IFI from the 13th of November with two movies running on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of October at the Chester Beatty Library. The two movies at the Chester Beatty Library will give a flavour of what's to come in the overall festival and include classic Arab movies, Night of the Counting Years (2.30pm, Sat 24th Oct) and The Nightingale's Prayer (1.30pm Sun 25th October).
Six-time Academy Award nominee Jim Sheridan serves as president of DAFF and together with Festival Director, Zhara Moufid is one of the main organizers of the festival. After Zhara approached Jim to start an Arabic Festival in Dublin, Jim went to the Dubai International Film Festival as Jury President in 2013 and was inspired by the great movies being created in the region. This led him to bring the festival to Ireland in order to allow Irish people the chance to experience Arabian culture in an entertaining and engaging way. "We ran the inaugural Dublin Arabic Film Festival last year and it was a wonderful success. Omar Sharif, the acting legend and one of the great movie stars of all time was our guest of honour. We showcased some of Omar's classic movies including Lawrence of Arabia and his last piece of work, Monsieur Ibrahim. Omar was a dear friend of mine and sadly, passed away this year but his great work lives on through his films". He went on to say, "Movies have a great way to make people really feel something and to have great empathy with other cultures. For my part, I want to show Irish audiences a different side of Arab life; Hollywood always casts Arabs as terrorists in movies, they are always 'the bad guys'! There is a much bigger and more interesting story to be told with some fabulous Arab film makers out there right now. We are going to show some great movies at this festival and look forward to showcasing the very best of Arab movies and celebrating Arab culture."
Movies showing over the festival at The IFI include; The Prophet, Dolphins, Cairo, I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced and The Idol. Ross Keane, the IFI Director/CEO said, "We are delighted to be partnering with the Dublin Arabic Film Festival to co-present the 2nd edition of the festival, celebrating and showcasing the best of Arab film culture. This partnership demonstrates the IFI's commitment to deliver a challenging and diverse programme of the best of international film and we look forward to developing the Festival in further years"
Colm McLoughlin, the Executive Vice Chairman of Presenting Sponsor, Dubai Duty Free said, "Ireland has been doing business with Dubai for many years and it is important to continually build on our core business and cultural relationships. Through our sponsorship of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), we have seen that film is a great medium that crosses cultural divides and creates greater understanding and awareness. Congratulations to Jim Sheridan and Zhara Moufid for bringing the second DAFF to Dublin, we are delighted to support the festival once again."
Dolphins is based on a prize-winning script by author and poet Ahmed Salmeen. Waleed Al Shehhi's debut feature follows three characters over the course of 24 hours. The movie Cairo, tells a multigenerational story of six interconnected characters, all at a critical juncture in their lives. I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced was a major prize-winner at last year's Dubai International Film Festival. Khadija Al-Salami's gritty film serves as a powerful reminder of the global struggle for women's rights and is based on the memoirs of Nujood Ali, who brought international attention to Yemen's widespread practice of child marriage when she sought a divorce on the grounds of abuse. The Idol is by Hany Abu-Assad, director of the only two Palestinian films to be Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film — Paradise Now (2005) and Omar (2013). The movie recounts the life of Gazan singer Mohammad Assaf, who in 2013 was crowned the winner of Arab Idol, the popular Arabic reality television show-cum-talent contest.
DAFF, Presented by Dubai Duty Free, runs from the 13-15th of November 2015. For more details or to purchase tickets see www.ifi.ie/daff or www.dublinarabicfilmfestival.ie