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A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls

More of this year’s most anticipated movie titles from around the globe have been confirmed to feature in the renowned Cinema of the World category at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival. With twelve of the latest and greatest works from globally recognized filmmakers and actors, DIFF will showcase exciting cinema from each corner of the globe to delight, excite and educate the diverse audiences at the Festival.

The first film in the stellar lineup is from the late, internationally-acclaimed Iranian auteur and artist Abbas Kiarostami who sadly passed away this year. He enjoyed a highly successful career, winning the admiration of audience and critics worldwide and earning multiple awards and accolades for his films. Kiarostami takes his camera to the south of Italy for his short film ‘Take Me Home’ and gives us a beautiful and playful video of alleys and stairs, a boy and his football.

This short film is his last work and will be screened together with the documentary “76 Minutes and 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami” from fellow Iranian filmmaker Seifollah Samadian. Using specially selected footage from various encounters during the two directors’ 25 years of friendship, inside and outside of Iran, Samadian uniquely documents the artistic work and life of the renowned director.

DIFF’s audiences will experience gripping tension as Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the haunting romantic thriller ‘Nocturnal Animals’, from American director Tom Ford. A divorced couple discover dark truths about each other and themselves as the story explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption.

Spanish director J.A. Bayona powerfully fuses imagination and reality with the heart-warming ‘A Monster Calls’ starring Lewis Macdougall, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell and Liam Neeson. With no loving family close by, it seems 12-year-old Conor has to fend for himself after his beloved mother falls terribly ill. That is, until one night he is confronted with a most unlikely ally who guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith and truth.

Indian director Shubhashish Bhutiani explores the boundaries of family loyalties with his latest film ‘Hotel Salvation’ starring Adil Hussain. Rajiv finds himself in a huge dilemma after leaving his wife and daughter to accompany his sick father to the spiritual city of Varanasi. Struggling to juggle his responsibilities and torn between staying with his slowly improving father or returning home to fulfill his duties, family bonds are tested as Rajiv tries to keep his life together.

American director Mike Mills explores his own history in ‘20th Century Women’ with a generational tale set in 1979 in Santa Barbara, his hometown, and centered around the main character, Dorothea, based on his own mother. Starring Greta Gerwig, Annette Benning, Elle Fanning and Billy Crudup, the story follows three women experiencing the cultural movements of the 70s through the power of love and freedom.

Known for his artistic blockbusters, highly successful Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, whose films ‘The Banquet’, ‘Aftershock’ and ‘Back to 1942’ have all screened at DIFF, explores the lives of ordinary people in a rapidly changing China with ‘I am Not Madame Bovary’. A story built on an ongoing court case, famed actress Bingbing Fan plays a determined woman who spends a decade appealing against the Chinese legal system after she is conned by her ex-husband.

Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig creates romantic comedy-drama with ‘Their Finest’, featuring a cast of exceptional British talent; Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy and Sam Claflin. In an attempt to boost morale and inspire the public during the Blitz of London in World War II, a crew of British filmmakers attempt to create an uplifting propaganda film.

Directing himself for the first time, Icelandic auteur Baltasar Kormákur, following ‘Everest’, returns to his roots to star in psychological thriller ‘The Oath’. A well-respected surgeon resorts to extreme measures in an attempt to pull his daughter out of a world of drugs and crime after she forms a relationship with a dangerous criminal.

Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams lead in an impressive drama ‘Manchester By The Sea’, from American director Kenneth Lonergan. A sudden family death leaves Lee the legal guardian of his teenage nephew, forcing him to return to his hometown where he is confronted with his past. Exploring emotional truths, the story demonstrates that even when it no longer seems worth living, life must continue.

DIFF also welcomes Andrew Dominik with his premiere of ‘One More Time With Feeling’, a remarkable 3D music documentary featuring Nick Cave who uses his music to combat the grief caused by the tragic death of his son. The black-and-white film will provide an immersive experience depicting the recording of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ latest album ‘Skeleton Tree’, and is a deeply moving representation of pain and creativity.

Pablo Larraín explores one of the most significant and tragic moments of American history in ‘Jackie’, an intimate depiction of the iconic Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, expertly played by the powerful Natalie Portman, who fights through the grief and struggles to maintain the legacy of her husband following his assassination. With the trauma haunting her, she must regain faith in order to salvage her future.

DIFF’s Artistic Director, Masoud Amralla Al Ali commented on the vast selection: “Each year we strive to offer audiences a plethora of engaging films which span a whole host of genres, each with their own unique stories and editorial styles, constructed from diverse perspectives. Fulfilling DIFF’s commitment to bridging cultures and uniting audiences, this compelling and varied selection can guarantee a film to suit everyone’s taste whilst offering new cinematic experiences.”

Cinema of The World Director Nashen Moodley added: “DIFF’s Cinema of the World section delivers a diverse selection of the very best of international cinema to UAE audiences that celebrate a multitude of genres and champion emerging and world class filmmakers from around the world.”

The 13th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will take place from the December 7th to December 14th, 2016.

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