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the Gulf Film festival

Trailer for Koutaiba Al-Janabi's feature film "Leaving Baghdad"

Award winning Iraqi film maker Koutaiba Al-Janabi's debut feature film, Leaving Baghdad, about the brutal Saddam Hussein regime, shown through the story of the everyday person, who gets caught up in the turbulances of the country's politics. The film provokes the question of guilt, conscience, collaboration, escape. Universal questions, that were asked in connection with Nazi Germany, with the communist regimes, with ...

Over 220 films participate in DIFF's Dubai Filmmart for global distribution and outreach

Industry buyers at DIFF will have one of the strongest repertoires of films to choose from including 103 films screened at DIFF, 43 films from the Gulf Film Festival, and 78 Filmmart-recommended films. The line-up includes 23 world premieres, 6 international Premieres, 37 Middle East premieres, and 21 GCC premieres. Ziad Yaghi, Director, Dubai Filmmart, said the trading and distribution platform has grown considerably over the past years by successfully accomplishing distribution deals fo...


THE BIGGEST FLOWER IN THE WORLD is a text of rare beauty, full of symbols and enigmas, for children who grow up in a world split by individualism, where there is no hope and violence and lack of ideals are the norm. There are two messages, one for the children (discovery, bravery and altruism) and another for all men and women who ask themselves about their place in the world.

Nawaf Al-Janahi's 'The Circle'

One of my favorite films this year that I couldn't wait to see since first learning about it at the 2010 Taormina Film Festival was The Circle (2009) by the young and up and coming director Nawaf Al-Janahi from Abu Dhabi. Born on the same year and only four days after me, I have to admit my pride to be a '77 aquarian when seeing such greatness. The Circle left me in deep contemplation about life and indeed as soon as it ended, I found myself watching it immediately a second time. Here to speak w...

The Dubai Film Market: Interview with the Director Ziad Yaghi

As noted in our February 4th write up, setting up the first regional film market is part of a comprehensive strategy by the Emirate of Dubai to create a sophisticated media infrastructure. It includes dating Dubai media city for electronic and print media with 1300 mostly foreign companies; Dubai Internet City; the International Media Production Zone; Dubai Studio City housing the biggest and technologically most advanced studio facility in the Middle East; and the five year old Dubai Internatio...

Thoughts on 2008 Dubai International Film Festival.

Held from December 11th-18th in Dubai’s luxurious Madinat Jemeirah’s conference center embedded in an upscale tourist resort with screening in other venues, the Dubai film festival is racing to be number one in the region. Catering to about 750 official participants who attended as guests and numerous other professionals, the program featured 181 films from 66 countries. More than 20 well attended industry events and panels were held ranging from marketing and distribution issues to cas...