Cinema Akil's Gulf German Film Festival returns this month

Cinema Akil's Gulf German Film Festival returns this month

Cinema Akil has announced the return of the Gulf German Film Festival, which will begin on November 26. This marks the second time that the independent cinema in Alserkal Avenue has partnered with the German Embassy Abu Dhabi and Goethe-Institut Gulf Region to present a programme of film screenings, as well as Q&A sessions with directors and a collaborative cine-concert to kick off the event.

A total of 11 films will be presented at two locations in the UAE – Cinema Akil in Dubai and Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi. Screenings will also be held in Manama, Bahrain and Muscat, Oman.

The opening will feature the German animated fairytale The Adventures of Prince Achmed by Lotte Reiniger, followed by I’m Your Man by Emmy Award winner Maria Schrader, starring Dan Stevens, Maren Eggert and Sandra Huller.

The second day of the festival will begin with Mr. Bachmann and his Class. Directed by Maria Speth, the film won the Silver Bear Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival this year.

The screening will be followed by Lingui - The Sacred Bonds by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Shot in Chad, the story is about a teenage girl facing difficult circumstances after finding out she is pregnant.

The night will end with Massoud Bakhshi’s Yalda, A Night for Forgiveness, an Iranian film from 2019, which tells the story of a young woman accused of murdering her husband. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

“The return of the Gulf German Film Week to Cinema Akil for a second edition is an affirmation of our shared commitment to the showcase of diverse, critically-engaging films and to the importance of cinema going in the enrichment of cultural life,” Butheina Kazim, founder of Cinema Akil, said.

Fareed Majari, director of the Goethe-Institut in the Gulf region, added: “With our line-up we have tried to find a viable balance between movies with German stories, actors and settings on one side, and international co-productions that tell stories that deserve to be told.”

Throughout the rest of the programme, there will be back-to-back screenings of The Royal Game by Philipp Stolzl, based on Stefan Zweig's timeless literature classic Schachnovelle, as well as the satirical feature Curveball – A True Story. Unfortunately by Johannes Naber; Luchadoras, a German-Mexican film by Paola Calvo and Patrick Jasim, and the romantic drama film by Ildiko Enyedi, The Story of My Wife.

On December 7, the festival will conclude with the screening of The River by Lebanese avant-garde director Ghassan Salhab. Centered on a love story during a war, the film is the end of a trilogy following the films The Mountain and The Valley. The director will be present at Cinema Akil for a Q&A session afterwards.

The Gulf German Film Festival will take place from November 26 to December 7, with tickets priced at Dh52.5 and can be purchased via Cinema Akil’s website.

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