Social, political, personal snapshots from across Asia compete for prestige, prizes in Dubai International Film Festival
Includes short films from South Korea to Sri Lanka, Philippines to Kyrgyzstan
Dubai, UAE; December 5, 2010: Eleven short films selected from hundreds of Asian and African entries will screen at the Dubai International Film Festival next week, presenting a cross-section of political, social and personal narratives from across Asia and Africa and highlighting the new wave of filmmaking in the two continents.
The shortlisted films, from Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Kyrgyzstan, will compete in the Muhr AsiaAfrica shorts competition and be screened to the public next week at the Mall of the Emirates. Members of the public can also vote for the films in special competitions.
Award-winning Malaysian filmmaker Edmund Yeo’s Exhalation is a brilliant road movie where the protagonist, Naoko returns home following the death of her former class-mate. She takes a journey with her friend, one that turns into a trip of bittersweet remembrances and unspoken regrets.
From Taiwan, Chi-Jan Hou’s Juliet’s Choice, set in the 1970s, blends everyday realities with fantasy, as it explores the life of Ju, a disabled girl working in a printing shop. Her life takes a dramatic turn when a handsome boy comes into the store with banned articles in his hands.
Also from Taiwan is Sleeping with Her, a short film by Chih Yi Wen, which narrates the story of a young Indonesian caretaker who looks after an old lady in Taiwan. The pair are close, yet inevitably there are tensions.
A powerful take on Thai politics, My Father by Pimpaka Towira is told from the perspective of a rural train station janitor. Forced to quit his job after writing a protest letter to the authorities, he nonetheless heads to Bangkok to join the Red Shirts mass rally. When the opposition is violently quelled, the man finds his life turning upside down.
Unfunny Game, from South Korea, follows Jong-Geun, who is either a stickler for things being done right or a conman, as he forces discounts from vendors, harasses tailors who make mistakes and always seems to end up with a profit. By turns hilarious and cutting, the film will elicit both laughter and discomfort.
From Japan, Junichi Kanai’s Pedal is the story of a woman who has spent five years searching for her missing son. In the meantime, her eight-year-old meets a boy who claims to be his big brother.
From Sri Lanka, Shadows of Silence by Pradeep Raveendran is a deeply-felt look at the personal torment of an exile. The short film was selected for the prestigious ‘Directors’ Fortnight’ at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The Earrings, a charming film from Kyrgyzstan, is a boy-meet-girl story in the context of the Kyrgz traditions of marriage and what happens following the unexpected arrival of a young man into a home with a girl of marriageable age. The two have to work together but do not converse, so a dialogue of looks is established between them.
Lastly, from The Philippines comes We Don’t Care About Democracy. This is what we want: Love, Hope, and Its Many Faces by John Torres, a dream-like allegorical short in which a couple, lying in the bed, talks to each other in their minds.
Pumzi, a science fiction short film from Kenya, and Open Doors (Khule Darwaaze) from India will also screen as part of the Muhr AsiaAfrica shorts competition. The selected films will be shown in packages of five and six films each between Thursday, December 16 and Sunday, December 19, at the CineStar MoE. The international Muhr jury will select three winners from the 11 shortlisted films to receive US$30,000, US$20,000 and US$10,000 for first prize, jury prize and second prize respectively.
Nashen Moodley, DIFF’s Director AsiaAfrica, said: “The Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards attract the brightest talent from two of the largest continents in the world, presenting a diverse spectrum of approaches in filmmaking. The eleven shortlisted films are remarkable for their subject matter, narrative approach and the fresh overall perspective of life they offer.”
The DIFF 2010 box office is now open at the Mall of the Emirates, the Madinat Souk and at the CNN Building in Dubai Media City. Tickets can also be purchased through DIFF’s Dial-a-Ticket service at (04) 391 3378 and from the website, www.dubaifilmfest.com.
The seventh edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2010 will be held from December 12 to 19. DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The event is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
For more information, please contact:
Mildred Fernandes Kelly Home / Nivine William / Divya Khanna
PR Manager - Dubai International Film Festival ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority Tel: + 971 4 3344 550
Direct: + 9714 361 3882; Board: + 9714 391 33 78