Roundup: Local productions boost UAE film industry
DUBAI, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) proved the Emirate's film industry has emerged from nearly nowhere to a respected player in the Middle East.
The 10th Dubai International Film Festival opened here on Friday under the topic of "Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds." The nine-day film festival is expected to show 174 films, among which 70 movies are world premieres.
During its first decade of existence, the annual Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has not only managed to establish a platform for Arab, Asian and African movies, but it also raised the regional and even global profile of the domestic cinematic scene in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"Having this year 15 world premieres from Emirati filmmakers is a great achievement," said Masoud Amralla, the DIFF's artistic director in an interview with Xinhua. "We are proud to see that the number of Emirati movies is rising year by year... It is one of the main goals of the DIFF to develop the local film industry."
Most Emirati films are trying to transport a deep sense to the audience. "I want to cast a light on the social side of Emirati and Arab life," said Amal Algroobi, an award-winning Emirati filmmaker who showed her latest film "The Brain That Can Sign" on Saturday, a documentary about how two Emirati boys who suffer from autism are treated through music therapy.
Watching movies has become a national pastime in the Gulf state. According to the study World Film Market Trends, released by DIFF and the Festival de Cannes, box office revenues have quadrupled over the last 10 years, reaching 111 million U.S. dollars in 2011.
Emirati filmmaker Mohammed Fikree said he was also proud that Hollywood discovered the UAE as a set for blockbuster movies. " Syrian with George Clooney was shot in the UAE in 2005, and Tom Cruise shot Mission: Impossible part four in Dubai," said Fikree. "I heard the next James Bond-movie would be shot in Dubai as well, but so far that remains a rumor."
The 10th Dubai International Film Festival will run through Friday, Dec. 14.
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