First Wave of Official Gulf Feature Competition Films are announced ahead of Gulf Film Festival

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Gulf Film Festival (GFF), is gearing up to give audiences in the UAE a taste of some of the best must-see films from the Gulf region as the first round of announcements of films from the prestigious The Official Gulf Competition – Features Category were announced today.

The 6-day event running from April 11th through to the 17th at Dubai Festival City has selected an incredible diverse range of films and this year’s competition will see exceptionally talented filmmakers from the Gulf region compete for top honors in the feature category.

For the public, who can watch all the films for free, GFF 2013 presents a unique opportunity to watch the largest selection of the latest films highlighting the rapid growth of the region’s film industry.

BEKAS Poster

Iraqi director Karzan Kader brings his multi-award winning film Bekas to GFF following huge success at the Dubai International Film Festival where it scooped the People’s Choice Award. This crowd-pleasing film follows two young orphaned brothers living in Kurdistan during Saddam Hussein’s rule.


Also hailing from Iraq and setting his film in a village in Iraqi Kurdistan director Hassan-Ali weaves a dramatic, traditional love story titled Shirin set in contemporary times that follows the star-crossed couple from Iraq to France and back again in a bid to escape the age-old restrictions of family and tradition.


Possibly one of the most talked about films in the region Wadjda from Haifaa Al-Mansourhas captured hearts at some of the most prestigious festivals in the world including the Venice Film Festival. Supported by Enjaaz, DIFF’s post production fund, Wadjda picked up the Muhr Arab Feature: Best Film and Best Actress Award at Dubai International Film Festival in December. The first film shot in Saudi Arabia, by a Saudi female filmmaker tells the tale of a girl yearning for a green bicycle, although it is forbidden for girls to ride bicycles.

Berlin Telegram
Berlin Telegram

Leila Albayaty’s, Iraqi-French singer-songwriter and filmmaker presents her musical road-movie Berlin Telegram that takes us on a journey to Brussels, Berlin, Lisbon and Cairo with Leila as our guide. Berlin Telegram is a story of crossing paths, re-learning to live, and opening you up to the world.

It's About to Rain
It’s About to Rain

It’s About To Rain is the critically acclaimed moving drama about an Algerian father and his two half-Italian sons, struggling to deal with life in contemporary Italy, which rejects them. Writer/director/producer Haider Rashid focuses on emotions rather than politics and delivers a subtly engrossing story.

Yemeni groundbreaking film-maker Khadija Al-Salami, presents The Scream a compelling filmthatexplores women’s issues and corruption in Yemen’s 2011 uprising in a bid to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh told through accounts of four women

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Gulf Film Festival director said: “The festival in its sixth edition presents a panorama of the most important productions from the latest in Gulf cinema all of which demonstrate the significant filmmaking developments in the region. The festival is a unique opportunity for audiences to come and enjoy a diverse range of standout films from Gulf filmmakers that form a solid and impressive foundation for the future of Gulf cinema.”

For more information please go to the Festival website on:

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