The third annual Heritage Film Festival, happening in the Capital on April 6-8, has announced it will screen 16 short films and documentaries that all involve or depict "strong women”.
Organised by the Gulf Region Goethe Institute, the festival this year is centred on strong women, presenting a mix of Emirati and German films about young women, their position in society and their struggles in finding their own way.
"Several films in our selection raise the issue of fulfilling one's own dream of a career, against the general idea of what a woman should do in the society and what she should not do. Others tell stories of women taking difficult decisions and being in difficult situations.
There will also be some films about women fighting for their love,” Gulf Region Goethe Institute director Susanne Sporrer said.
Among the Emirati films, several are award winners of various categories in the Emirates Film Competition 2012.
Abdulrahman Saleh Al Madani's "Gambooha Revolution”, which will open the festival on April 6, is one of them, winning not only second prize in the Student Short Documentary of Emirates Film Competition, but also third prize in the Gulf Student Shorts category at the Gulf Film Festival.
As the Dubai filmmaker explained, the "gambooha” is the beehive hairdo that fashionista hijab wearers are donning these days and the film questions — not without humour — whether it contradicts the initial purpose of the traditional sheila and abaya to dress modestly.
The German movie ‘Patty's catch-up' is the only feature film in the festival, an 85-minute production directed by Tina von Traben.
The movie shows the struggle of Patty's family, Imbiss, versus Uncle Walther's chain of fast food restaurants and the fight to guard the secret her family inherited: the best-ever German sausage sauce. Teenage Patty finally realises that the recipe to her own happiness is to use her talent to support her family.
Another standout in the festival is Nujoom Al Ghanem's ‘Amal', a 2011 Emirati documentary.
Al Ghanem is a poet and multi-award-winning filmmaker from Dubai. Her 88-minute documentary, ‘Amal', centres on the professional and personal struggles of a Syrian actress who has chosen to immigrate to Abu Dhabi.
"All cultures are different from one another and especially a topic like ‘Strong Women' sheds light on a different understanding of gender roles and cultural diversity,” said Saleh Karama Al Amri, curator of the Emirati films in the festival.
This year, the Heritage Film Festival, the only one of its kind in Abu Dhabi to be happening outdoors, will move from its Corniche location to Manarat Al Saadiyat.
All films are screened in their original language with English subtitles and the screenings are followed by a joint discussion and Q&A session by all present filmmakers and film cast.
From Khaleej Times