Emirati film could take culture global



UAE residents famously love a night out at the cinema. Indeed, according to a joint poll from Northwestern University's Qatar campus and the Doha Film Institute, the country's residents are the top movie patrons in the region, with 82 per cent listing cinema visits as one of their frequent activities.

And yet how many of the dozens of films on show at the moment in the cinemas of the UAE feature stories drawn from the cultures that make up the majority of UAE residents – that is, Emirati, Arab and South Asian cultures? The answer is pitifully few and, according to the same survey, a significant majority want that to change: 81 per cent of UAE respondents said they wanted to see more of their culture portrayed at the cinema.

In one way, of course, this isn’t surprising. Everyone likes to see their life up on the big screen. Cinema has a glamorising effect on the everyday, as anyone who has walked down a New York street and been confronted with a recognisable vista from their favourite film will attest.

At the same time, cinema is a product of the culture in which it was created. Afficionados of world cinema – that insular term which usually refers to anything not made in the English language – will testify that Italian comedies are different from South Korean action movies, which are different again from Nigerian dramas. Even Hollywood blockbusters, engineered to appeal to the widest market, contain within them references, ideas and aspirations which are peculiarly American. Even the most universal truths have local roots.

But that also works the other way around, with Emirati stories having the possibility of being universalised, so that Chinese viewers could care as much about what happens to the young couple in Al Ain as they currently do about those in Los Angeles. That requires skilful filmmaking, and the infrastructure to enable it, but it is entirely possible.

The Arab world has a long tradition of powerful filmmaking, as last year’s list of the top 100 Arab films by the Dubai International Film Festival testifies. (And not merely the Arab world: Iran produced the world’s second-ever feature film in 1908.) Gradually the infrastructure is being created in the UAE, so that the current generation of filmmakers can look forward to the day their love stories, ghost stories and fantasy tales will be viewed by a broad audience from New York to Tokyo.

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, second leg result:

Ajax 2-3 Tottenham

Tottenham advance on away goals rule after tie ends 3-3 on aggregate

Final: June 1, Madrid

'Ashkal'

Director: Youssef Chebbi

Stars: Fatma Oussaifi and Mohamed Houcine Grayaa

Rating: 4/5

Company profile

Name: The Concept

Founders: Yadhushan Mahendran, Maria Sobh and Muhammad Rijal

Based: Abu Dhabi

Founded: 2017

Number of employees: 7

Sector: Aviation and space industry

Funding: $250,000

Future plans: Looking to raise $1 million investment to boost expansion and develop new products

What is Dungeons & Dragons?

Dungeons & Dragons began as an interactive game which would be set up on a table in 1974. One player takes on the role of dungeon master, who directs the game, while the other players each portray a character, determining its species, occupation and moral and ethical outlook. They can choose the character’s abilities, such as strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom and charisma. In layman’s terms, the winner is the one who amasses the highest score.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The biog

Family: wife, four children, 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren

Reads: Newspapers, historical, religious books and biographies

Education: High school in Thatta, a city now in Pakistan

Regrets: Not completing college in Karachi when universities were shut down following protests by freedom fighters for the British to quit India 

 

Happiness: Work on creative ideas, you will also need ideals to make people happy

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
Match info:

Manchester City 2
Sterling (8'), Walker (52')

Newcastle United 1
Yedlin (30')

Lowest Test scores

26 - New Zealand v England at Auckland, March 1955

30 - South Africa v England at Port Elizabeth, Feb 1896

30 - South Africa v England at Birmingham, June 1924

35 - South Africa v England at Cape Town, April 1899

36 - South Africa v Australia at Melbourne, Feb. 1932

36 - Australia v England at Birmingham, May 1902

36 - India v Australia at Adelaide, Dec. 2020

38 - Ireland v England at Lord's, July 2019

42 - New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, March 1946

42 - Australia v England in Sydney, Feb. 1888

Ferrari

Director: Michael Mann

Starring: Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Patrick Dempsey

Rating: 3/5

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

The biog

Name: Sarah Al Senaani

Age: 35

Martial status: Married with three children - aged 8, 6 and 2

Education: Masters of arts in cultural communication and tourism

Favourite movie: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Favourite hobbies: Art and horseback ridding

Occupation: Communication specialist at a government agency and the owner of Atelier

Favourite cuisine: Definitely Emirati - harees is my favourite dish

Brief scores

Toss India, chose to bat

India 281-7 in 50 ov (Pandya 83, Dhoni 79; Coulter-Nile 3-44)

Australia 137-9 in 21 ov (Maxwell 39, Warner 25; Chahal 3-30)

India won by 26 runs on Duckworth-Lewis Method

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The specs

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 660hp
Torque: 1,100Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Touring range: 488km-560km
Price: From Dh850,000 (estimate)
On sale: October

If you go…

Emirates launched a new daily service to Mexico City this week, flying via Barcelona from Dh3,995.

Emirati citizens are among 67 nationalities who do not require a visa to Mexico. Entry is granted on arrival for stays of up to 180 days. 


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