Tamer Abdel Hamid (Abu Dhabi)
The “Al Ain International Film Festival” in its fifth session, which will continue until February 11, celebrates the local film as part of its participation in the official competition of the “Gulf Long Falcon” festival, by showing feature films on its screens, whose stories vary between drama, social, romance and suspense. And it is shown by 5 films out of 6, namely: “The Millstone” by Nasser Al-Dhaheri, “One Hundred Packages” by Mazen Al-Khairat, “Manshal” by Saleh Karama, “The King of the Ring” by Muhammad Saeed Hareb, and “Dreams of the Age” by Obaid Al-Hamoudi. .
Amer Al-Marri, founder and director of the festival, said: “Al-Ain Film Festival”, which is held on the land of “Dar Al-Zein”, is the world festival because it opens its window to everyone, so that the seventh art will shine in this historical region. Despite the many challenges we face, passion drives us to continue, in order to effectively attend an Emirati film festival, and to implement exceptional courses that support local film and filmmakers in the region, while showing future talents, and providing an ideal platform to present their creativity.
On the second day of its activities, the festival witnessed the screening of the movie “100 Packages” in the presence of a large audience, produced by “Anasi Media” and directed by Mazen Al-Khairat. The film won the Golden Award at the International Independent Film Awards in America, and participated and was nominated for awards in 16 international film festivals in France, Berlin, Madrid, Canada, Moldova, New York, California, North Carolina, Sweden, Chicago, Rhode Island and Italy. The film was also screened in “Soho House” in Hollywood in America. “100 Explosive Devices” sheds light on landmines and their impact on life, as their severe damage remains on civilians and society for many years, even after the end of the conflict. Mazen Al-Khairat reviews the efforts of the coalition forces teams and local teams specialized in removing mines from residential areas in Yemen. The film revolves around a graffiti artist named “Saif Jalmiran”, who decides to go to Yemen in the midst of the conflict, and the camera monitors his journey, as he draws graffiti paintings on the walls. In different areas to educate children and civilians.
Mazen Al-Khairat mentioned that the film is a living example and a motivating message to all societal spectrums and activities, with the need for positive initiative. He added: The camera monitors different chapters whose pages are turned by a graffiti artist, with whom we chose an interesting experience and adventure, risking our lives to revive hope again after all this devastation, armed with the spirit and energy of colors, communicating with the strength and unity of its language, as the “100 Packages” documentary was made to make the difference. Al-Khairat expressed his happiness that the film attracted the attention and opinions of critics around the world and at the Al Ain International Film Festival, pointing out that this achievement is important for the film’s message to reach the world.
Al Ain International Film Festival continues to hold technical seminars and film lectures on the reality of cinema and support for youth cinema. The second day witnessed a symposium on “The Future of Gulf Cinema”, in the presence of Amer Salmeen Al-Marri, founder and general director of the festival, Saudi director Abdullah Al-Muhaisen, and Omani director Hamid Saeed Al-Amiri. The directors agreed that Gulf cinema is moving at a steady pace, and cannot be compared with Hollywood and Bollywood cinema, and even cinema in Egypt, especially as it is still in its infancy, stressing that Gulf cinema needs institutional support from specialized technical authorities, to provide an integrated cinematic production process, from Where the creation of new cadres, the spread of theaters, the creation of a public base, and the support for the emergence of specialized writers who are script makers in the world of the golden screen.