Al Qattara Cinema to screen Emirati and Israeli short films in new one-night programme

Four shorts from each country will be showcased as part of the virtual cultural event

Al Qattara Cinema promotes work by Emirati, Arab and international filmmakers. DCT Abu Dhabi
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A number of Emirati and Israeli short films will be shown together as part of a new virtual screening event this week.

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with Image Nation and Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (JSFS), a total of eight short films will be screened on Thursday under the Al Qattara Cinema programme.

The event comes after an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, the Israel Film Fund (IFF) and JSFS was signed in 2020 to promote cooperation in film and television between the two countries, including the introduction of a new annual film festival.

Al Qattara Cinema is part of the Al Qattara Arts Centre in Al Ain in Abu Dhabi. DCT Abu Dhabi
Al Qattara Cinema is part of the Al Qattara Arts Centre in Al Ain in Abu Dhabi. DCT Abu Dhabi

"Cultural exchange, artistic cooperation and creative dialogue are at the heart of our cultural agenda at DCT Abu Dhabi and they constitute an intrinsic approach to our cultural initiatives," said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Our aim is to support institutions and initiatives that celebrate cultural expressions from all over the world. Al Qattara Cinema is a landmark event in Abu Dhabi’s cultural calendar and this year will introduce a broad audience to UAE and Israeli short films. We are looking forward to this event as the first collaboration of its kind, aiming to showcase the two nations' creative talents and strengthen Emirati-Israeli cultural relations.”

The selected Emirati shorts include Ostora by Faisal Al Shiryani, Feeding 500 by Rafed Al Harethi, Jumaa and Hakim by Alawi Shareef and Omnia by Amna Al Nowais.

The Israeli films include Portrait of my Family by Omri Dekel-Kadosh, Blessed by Prague Benbenisty, Swing by Shadi Habib Allah and If You Only Knew by Einat Gaulan.

"This historic event is an important bridge for creating a new path, forging cultural ties, and opening opportunities and a variety of professional initiatives between Israeli and Emirati filmmakers," said Dana Blankstein-Cohen, director of Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School.

“This is the beginning of a cultural, social and professional dialogue that we will build together with the belief in the creative tools of art as the inspiration for connecting peoples and cultures.”

Al Qattara Cinema is a programme for showcasing films produced by Emirati, Arab and international filmmakers.

Thursday's event will be screened in a pre-recorded video hosted on the official Abu Dhabi Culture YouTube Channel from 8pm.

To register for the event, click here.