Dubai Film Festival Brings Arab Film to London Event

Shubbak Festival aims to celebrate contemporary Arab culture.

LONDON – Organizers of the Dubai International Film Festival are bringing a selection of award-winning Emirati and Arab films to the British capital as part of Shubbak, London’s first-ever celebration of contemporary Arab culture.

The organizers have already lined up seven award-winning films picked from the Dubai event from earlier this year and the fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival.

Organized by the Mayor of London, the Shubbak festival includes more than 70 arts events in more than 30 venues across London from July 4 to 24.

For one of the events during the Shubbak shindig, the DIFF and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) have joined forces to present an evening of screenings and discussion.

The four Emirati films from the Iniva program include director Khalid Al Mahmood’s Sabeel, which secured first prize at the fourth Gulf Film Festival and runner up plaudits from DIFF’s inaugural Muhr Emirati Awards.

Also on the bill is Hamad Al Hammadi’s GFF prize-winner End of December and Slow Death by Jamal Salim.

Dubai International Film Festival artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: “Films are a powerful, universal medium that help address cultural misconceptions and give an authentic picture of contemporary social realities.”

He said he hoped the Shubbak event would create “an opportunity for our filmmakers to reach out to a wider international audience.”

The Shubbak festival also features visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature, architecture, lectures and discussions themed to the Arab world.

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