The winning short film among the 15 films shortlisted for the Muhr awards, will qualify for Oscar consideration in 2019.
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has revealed the final eight films that will complete the 2017 Muhr Short lineup. The completed 15-strong competition segment brings a diverse range of work to the 14th festival, running from December 6-13. Aside from the award itself, the competition will offer a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for one director, as the winning short film will qualify for 2019 Oscar consideration.
Blue Fly Road from acclaimed Syrian filmmaker Bassam Chekhes will make its world premiere at DIFF. Nine-year-old Ibrahim lives alone in the forest; everyday he waits for his twin brother, Abdulla, to bring him food and water. One day they switch places, so Ibrahim can wonder through the blue fly road for the first time.
Joining Chekhes is DIFF veteran and multidisciplinary artist Hicham Lasri, with the world premiere of his latest short City Soul that follows a young child who wanders the roads of Casablancas metropolis. A lone figure in an overwhelming city, the child aims to capture its soul through the reflections of its narrow streets, boulevards and inhabitants.
Making her debut at DIFF is first-time Egyptian filmmaker Noha Adel with the world premiere of her short film Into Reverse. It is a typical morning in Cairo, until a chance encounter between two drivers erupts into hostility on a crowded one-way street. A confrontation between the two drivers follows: a raging, angry man and a frightened but determined woman.
Marking his third appearance at the Festival is celebrated Palestinian-Jordanian filmmaker Ameen Nayfeh with the world premiere of The Crossing. Shady and his sister Maryam are excited to visit their sick grandfather on the other side of the wall. They arrive at the checkpoint. However, sometimes even having a permit is not enough to let people pass.
Acclaimed Lebanese director and screenwriter Cyril Aris returns to DIFF, with his latest short film, The Presidents Visit that follows fishermen in a small coastal town. When the men learn about the secret visit from their president to one of their local shops they set off on a major cleanup to keep-up their towns perfect image.
Joining Aris is Lebanese filmmaker Feyrouz Serhal with her debut short Tshweesh, where Beirut waits with bated breath for the first match of the FIFA World Cup. Although life continues normally, the first matchs transmission is disrupted by strange audio waves. The frustration over the telecast builds up and gives way to a larger, live event.
Lebanese filmmaker Talal Khoury, known for artistic shorts such as Muscles and Monday, brings the world premiere of his latest work, Mediterranean. It takes only four to six minutes for a human to drown. This is now a frequent occurrence in the Mediterranean Sea, as people risk everything in order to flee the brutality of war. Audiences are invited to meet the blue waters that are constantly swallowing people, while the world watches.
The world premiere of When the Sky Began to Scream, from Tunisian writer and director Kays Mejri, will complete the Muhr Short lineup. The dark thrilling short finds Samy and Lilya on a forgotten road far from the city, the film takes a dramatic turn when they are confronted by a group of gravediggers with bad intentions for Lilya and her unborn child.
On the lineup, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, DIFFs Director, commented: The filmmakers in the Muhr Short category never fail to impress us with their creative insights and captivating storytelling. It is testament to the imagination and talent across the Arab World that each year we see directors tackle universal themes through the demanding medium of short film, and receive international recognition for their endeavours.