March 26, 2013

Life in the UAE Documentaries, Dubai, Maraya Art Centre

Life in the UAE Documentaries - Short films
Maraya Art Centre, Dubai
April 6th 2013

In conjunction with the Dubai International Film Festival 2013 (DIFF), Maraya Art Centre will host a screening night celebrating and supporting young Emirati filmmakers on Saturday, April 6th 2013.

Opening with an intimate reception at 7pm, the evening will feature screenings from some of the Emirate’s best up and coming filmmakers, all of whom have been previously featured at the Gulf Film Festival (GFF). The screening will consist of five short films which range in genre from fashion to politics.

“Through our thriving partnership with the Maraya Art Centre we are very pleased to once again have the opportunity to expose the community to these young and vibrant film makers,” said DIFF Artistic Director and GFF Festival Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali. “All films, which have previously been showcased at GFF, were fantastically received by the local audiences and this is an ideal opportunity to expose film lovers to these films which contain emotions and storylines that really resonate with the local audience. We are dedicated to nurturing young Emirati talent and providing them with opportunities to showcase their artistic work throughout the year; this relationship offers a unique platform to engage wider audiences to experience these films.”

Showcased at GFF 2012, The Gamboo3a Revolution by Abdulrahman Al Madani, revolves around recent fashion trends, namely the beehive hairdo and questions whether it misuses the UAE’s cultural dress. Also screened at GFF 2012 Ana Arabi (I am Arab) by Jumana Al Ghanem explores the loss of the Arabic language due to modernization and a need to conform to social standards while Cats by Dubai Men’s College student Marwan Alhammadi looks into the recent trend of owning exotic pets among some Emiratis.

Meanwhile Second Wife by Moza al Sharif, screened in GFF 2010, allows viewers to witness the importance of cars to Emirati men. Finally Al Kandorah, a documentary from directors Lamya Al Mualla and Maitha Al Haddad examines the shift in attitudes towards the Kandorah, the traditional attire favoured by the Gulf’s men.

Giuseppe Moscatello, Maraya Art Centre Manager, commented: “Culture and art are inextricable. Every artist is a product of his or her time, culture, and society and there are few mediums as adept at capturing the interplay between artist and environment as film. With its rich cultural traditions Sharjah forms an exceptional backdrop for exploring the talents of the region and we are very pleased to be able to throw the spotlight on the Emirate’s amazing emerging film talent through this unique event.”



15 min
This documentary directed by Lamya Al Mualla and Maitha Al Haddad looks at the kandorah, the traditional men’s attire of the UAE – from examining new styles and trends to contrasting the attitudes of different generations about this symbol of national identity and pride.

14 min
The 14-minute documentary directed by Moza al Sharif takes a look at Emirati men’s obsession with their cars. It is a series of comments from young Emirati men and women, where the humorous tone does not mask the seriousness of the message. Women claim men are willing to spend more money on their cars than getting married. “They’re willing to take out massive loans and spend up to Dh400,000 on a car but that leaves them penniless when they get married”.

ANA ARABI (I am Arab)
21 min
Ana Arabi is a 21-minute documentary lament against the dilution of the Arabic language and culture by foreign influences. It is co-directed by Ahlam Albannai and Jumana al Ghanem. The film explores the status of Arabic as a language among today’s Arab youth. It suggests innovative solutions towards preserving the language and its use.

15 min
A 15-minute short film directed by Marwan Alhammadi, titled Cats, goes into villas and farms across the UAE where proud owners talk about their prized possessions, as the majestic cats lounge around them. In the film, many of those interviewed own three or more of the exotic animals. In a revealing preface, the film claims that over 3,000 people in the UAE have wild animals as domestic pets. Of those, many own three or more.

17 min
When the traditional ‘sheila’ and ‘abaya’ were reinvented to launch the ‘gamboo3a’ trend (the bee-hive hair or ‘camel hump’), society was divided over it. The Gamboo3a Revolution directed by Abdulrahman Al Madani explores the debate of fashion vs. modesty.

Maraya Art Centre Website:
Gulf Film Festival Website: