For the fifth year in a row, the GCC’s first arthouse cinema, Cinema Akil is partnering up with Warehouse421 to bring you the best of contemporary Arab cinema. This time, it’s from the comfort of your own home.
The three-day programme, which will commence on October 28, will include some of the region’s most praiseworthy documentary films, including Leen Alfaisal’s A Borrowed Dress, Nujoom Al Ghanem’s Honey, Rain and Dust, and Suhaib Gasmelbari’s Talking About Trees. The screenings will take place online through digital streaming platform, Screener; and anyone in the UAE can tune in.
A Borrowed Dress by Leen Alfaisal
Along with Cinema Akil, Warehouse421, a UAE-based arts and design centre, has always worked to promote the works of artists and filmmakers from the region. This year’s programme marks their eighth partnership with Cinema Akil, and their mission has not changed.
The selected films centre around the themes of culture, geopolitics and biodiversity that are prevalent in the Arab world. A Borrowed Dress follows Alfaisal’s journey on escaping war-torn Syria to live with her daughter in the UAE, whilst the rest of their family is displaced around the globe. Al Ghanem’s Honey, Rain and Dust, delves into the ancient practice of beekeeping in the UAE, as well as its proximity to extinction which is an ecological tragedy. The Gasmelbari-directed Sudanese film Talking About Trees, shadows the journey that members of the Sudan Film Group endure to revive film screenings in their community.
Talking About Trees by Suhaib Gasmelbari
“We aspire to not just be a screening platform, we aim to showcase inspiring human stories that act as a catalyst to deep conversations, new initiatives, and creative projects,” says the head of Warehouse421, Faisal Al Hassan, on the project.
The collaboration is typically commemorated through pop-up cinemas in Abu Dhabi. However, due to pandemic, they have decided to move forward with a digital version. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to settle for less. Following the screenings, guests can join live digital Q&A with each film’s director to find out everything there is to know about the production of the films.
To sign up, you’ll have to register on Warehouse421’s site.
Main image: Honey, Rain and Dust by Nujoom Al Ghanem