Film lovers who are staying indoors have their pick of streaming platforms to choose from. And those whose interests lean towards independent cinema and art films now have even more choice, with the launch of Cinema Akil’s streaming platform, which is free to use for three months.
So far, six films are available for streaming online, including 3 Idiots (2009) a coming-of-age comedy by Indian director Rajkumar Hirani; Japanese romantic drama Journey to the Shore (2013) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, which centres on a piano teacher encountering the ghost of her dead husband; and Ilo Ilo (2013), a Singaporean family drama directed by Anthony Chen.
Other films include Our Daily Bread (1934) by King Vidor, Om Dar-B-Dar (1988) by Kamal Swaroop and VHS Massacre: Cult Films and the Decline of Physical Media VHS Massacre (2015) by Kenneth Powell and Thomas Edward Seymour. New films will be added to the platform.
The independent cinema, whose theatre is located in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, has had to temporarily close its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. For this digital service, Cinema Akil has collaborated with streaming service Mubi, and the films will be available on the dedicated page on the Mubi website. Visitors can view the titles on desktops and can also watch the films offline on iOS and Android devices.
Meanwhile, Sharjah Art Foundation has put together a programme titled SAF Online: Film, which presents livestreams of classic and independent films on their website. The first screening will take place on Friday, April 3 at 8:30pm, with the film The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (2011), directed by Rania Stephan. The story focuses on the life of Egyptian actress Soad Hosni, known as the "Cinderella of Egyptian cinema", who died under mysterious circumstances.
On Friday, April 17 at 8:30pm, Sharjah Art Foundation will livestream Akram Zaatari's The Landing (2019), which was shot in the village of Al Madam, unfolding the historical narratives around the the 1980s public housing neighbourhood of Shaabiyat Al Ghurayfah.
The screenings begin at 8:30pm and cannot be streamed on demand.
Cinema Akil’s streaming platform can be viewed on mubi.com/cinemaakil. SAF Online: Film can be viewed on sharjahart.org