Gulf Shorts – Past and Present
A program of short films from the Gulf region by filmmakers looking at the past through personal and cultural histories.
3pm Clouds dir Muzna Alumusafer (2020) 15 mins
A journey inside a tribal society undergoing transformation, shot with intimacy and palpable empathy: Dablan, a widower, lives with his children in a traditional village in the south of Oman. He faces pressure from his tribe to kill a leopard threatening the village — pressure that increases when he resolves to set the animal free.
There’s a post- screening discussion with the director.
3.20pm VHS Tape: Replaced dir Maha Al-Saati (2022) 17 mins
Set in 1987, a young black Saudi man attempts to impress his crush by mimicking an iconic 1980s singer. Against the backdrop of an era of analogue media, VHS Tape: Replaced explores the topic of racial identity through a unique perspective.
3.40pm Now Showing | Yarad Halil dir Abdullah Al Daihani (2014) 19 mins
Kuwait, 1983: young film buff Mishari introduces his friend Abdulrahman to the magic of the movies at the local Granada Cinema, even though Abdulrahman’s conservative family has forbidden him to go to the cinema. In the face of cruel twists of fate, the bond they build through cinema can never be broken.
4pm And Then They Burn The Sea dir Majid Al-Remaih (2021) 13 mins
Majid Al-Remaih’s documentary is an elegiac contemplation of his mother’s gradual and terminal memory loss. Weaving personal family archives, re-enacted dreams and rituals, the film underlines the promise of cinema as a medium for memories, even at their most irretrievable.
5pm The Falconer dir Adam Sjöberg and Seanne Winslow (2021) 100 mins
Inspired by true events, The Falconer describes the relationship of two friends in Oman – Tariq, the son of a poor beekeeper, and Cai, a privileged Westerner. Then Tariq promises to help his sister escape from an abusive marriage via a daring plan to sell animals stolen from the zoo where the two friends work. Forced to wrestle with morally complex choices, the vast distance between their worlds is exposed.
UAE Short Films – Family Matters
A programme of shorts made in the UAE on the various stages of family relationships. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the directors.
7pm 1-0 dir Nada Elazhary (2017) 10 mins
When a flirty text to her beau accidentally gets sent to her dad’s phone instead, a shy teenager must do whatever it takes to delete the message before her dad checks his phone.
7.15pm Mommy dir Ahmed Almulla (2019) 6 mins
Suhail’s date with Leila seems to be going well, but then things start to unravel. The main reason? Suhail’s mother is in his ear, and she is controlling every step Suhail takes.
7.25pm Mid-Distance dir Hamad Saghran (2022) 11 mins
Ex-fiancés Maysaa and Bader meet in the road when Maysaa’s car breaks down. A dialogue between them begins where their relationship ended.
7.35pm Bundle of Joy dir Majed Alzubaidi (2023) 7 mins
On the eve of his first childbirth, Hamad, struggles with the possibility that his life will go downwards once he becomes a father.
7.45pm Unveiling Selma dir Mariam Alserkal and Maaria Sayed (2022) 14 mins
Selma divides her days between her seven-year-old daughter and the daily household chores, until she decides to take a stand for herself.
8pm Sheikh of Mussafah dir Waleed Al Madani (2015) 10 mins
An exploration of a man’s unstable relationship with the father who raised him amid his mechanic’s shop and tow truck business in Abu Dhabi’s industrial area.
8.10pm Ranapakhara dir Swapna Kurup (2018) 10 mins
In a community centre in Dubai, Indian classical dancer Vonita Singh bring movement to the lives of people affected by Parkinson’s Disease.
9.30pm Primary Organs dir Michael John Whelan (2021) 43 mins
Through slow-paced language and choreographed underwater scenes, Primary Organs explores local relationships to the sea along the Arabia Gulf, echoes of petro-state neocolonialism, and the roles of complicity and gesture in our climate crisis. Punctuating this journey is the voice of the marine biologist who shares her poetic observations and trepidation for the future.
The CineMAS contemporary Arab cinema series is a mini-festival of independent films curated by Hind Mezaina and presented by the NYUAD Film and New Media Program in partnership with the NYUAD Arts Center. Day tickets are AED 30, weekend (Saturday & Sunday) tickets are AED 50, a full-week pass is AED 150..
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