The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced they will annually present two exceptional Arab films to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in Los Angeles for Golden Globe Award consideration.
The inaugural event hosted on November 14th, 2016 will see Mohamed Diab present his courageous and technically powerful thriller ‘Clash’ and Assad Fouladkar present his daring and entertaining comedy ‘Halal Love’ to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
Both films have captivated audiences around the world and found acclaim with critics and audiences alike, trail-blazing performances, compelling storylines, contemporary and talented filmmaking have earned these films global recognition.
Egyptian director and writer, Mohamed Diab’s ‘Clash’ is his second directorial project and opened the Un Certain Regard at the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and has been selected as Egypt’s entry to the 2017 Oscars. ‘Clash’ is the much-anticipated follow up to his directorial debut the commercially successful and multi-award winning ‘Cairo 678’ which he also wrote.
The film is set two years following the January 2011 revolution in Egypt, political powers are still battling it out for control.
As police forces attempt to restore order and maintain peace in the streets by dispelling the demonstrations, they arrest all suspects and throw them into a police truck for investigation. Inside the truck, people from different political and social backgrounds are amassed, all brought together by their inevitable fate their interaction with each other full of madness, violence, romance and comedy.
The second showcase is Lebanese director and writer Assad Fouladkar’s ‘Halal Love’ which is his second feature film, his first feature film ‘When Maryam Spoke out’ won major awards around the world and was Lebanon’s official entry to the Academy Awards.
The treatment of ‘Halal Love’ was selected by Open Doors of the Locarno Film Festival and following the world premiere at DIFF’s 12th edition was in competition at Sundance Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Rotterdam International Film Festival.
‘Halal Love’ is an entertaining bouquet of stories about unhappy lovers in this Lebanese comedy, three individual but intertwined stories in which devout Beiruti Muslims try to manage their love lives and desires without breaking any of their religion’s rules. Awatef, middle aged mom of two girls, is recruiting a second wife to help her satisfy her overly loving husband.
The young and excessively jealous Mokhtar needs to find his ex-wife another man to be able to marry her again - for the 4th time. Loubna, freshly divorced, can finally marry her true love, but on a short-term contract only since he has a family.
This initiative is a perfect example of DIFF’s aim to support and promote the success of Arab film at an international level.
Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman said: “We are very excited to be in a position to showcase prominent cinematic works from the region on an annual basis to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and we are grateful for their continued support of Arab cinema. The Golden Globes are one of the greatest iconic awards honouring film excellence and this kind of recognition is key to raising the profile of Arab cinema on the world stage. Mohamed Diab and Assad Fouladkar are great examples of outstanding Arab talent who have both made hugely compelling features and who truly deserve the acclaim they have been receiving.”
Palestinian Hany Abu-Assad’s ‘Paradise Now’ won "Best Foreign Language Film" at the 63rd Golden Globe Awards in 2006, the first time an Arab film has won a Golden Globe.