Sean Gullette's Directorial Debut to Premiere at Dubai International Film Festival


The actor's movie is among 18 titles selected for the event's Arabian Nights sidebar designed to showcase movies with Arab themes.

LONDON – Actor Sean Gullette (Pi, Requiem for a Dream) will bring his feature directorial debut, Traitors, to the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for its Arabian Nights out-of-competition programming section.

Set in Tangier, Gullette's drama features fast-rising young star Chaimae Ben Acha, who plays Malika, a conservatively-dressed student and call-center worker by day, and the leader of an all-girl punk band by night.

On the eve of the band’s first music video shoot, Malika makes a chance discovery in her parents’ home that propels her into a long night of troubling adventures.

Gullette's movie is among the first of 18 movies for DIFF's Arabian Nights out-of-competition sidebar.

French filmmaker and writer Mohamed Hamidi's feature debut, Homeland, starring comedian Jamel Debbouze and newcomer Tewfik Jallab is also in the lineup.

Hamidi's dramedy centers on a young French-Algerian student sent to Algeria by his sick father who finds himself in a situation where he must fight for survival in a country in which he has never set foot and whose language he does not speak.

DIFF organizers said the Arabian Nights section aims to showcase films from the Arab region and around the world that touch on aspects of modern Arab life.

Other films included in the section come from filmmakers Axel Salvatori-Sinz and Jose A. Ayalon (Spain).

DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said: "The core of our mandate has always been to provide a platform for Arab cinema to take its place on the world stage. For our tenth year, Arabian Nights has been carefully curated to bring a wide array of the freshest, most engaging films that give voice to the dynamism of this region."

DIFF runs from Dec. 6-14.