The UAE is proudly being represented that the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival, showing off the region’s talent, as well as the multiple local, Arab, Hollywood and Bollywood productions that were filmed across the country in the past year.
At this year’s 69th annual Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 11 to May 22, all this talent will be hosted and promoted at the UAE Pavilion in the International Village, which will serve as the focus for business, information and everything else UAE-related.
The UAE has seen a number of big productions stop by for filming in the past 12 months, including the likes of Star Trek Beyond, Kung Fu Yoga and Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year.
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With its futuristic city-scapes and barren, sprawling deserts, the UAE serves as an attractive location for production crews, who can make good use of the country’s world class infrastructure and well connected airport.
The UAE also offers great incentives for movie producers, with the Dubai Film and TV Commission listing the incentives on their site as “special arrangements with key industry partners, licensing and fee rebates or negotiations with service providers”. In Abu Dhabi, international film productions can be offered rebates of up to 30 per cent.
Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children and of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival said: “This participation highlights the progress made by the motion picture industry in the UAE, its growing experience with film professionals around the world, and its overall aim to enrich the local, regional and international filmmaking landscape.”
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Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission and Managing Director of Dubai Studio City had similar things to say: “Cannes is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the amazing development of the film industry in the UAE, making us the leading film hub in the region. The UAE has become the go-to destination for aspiring filmmakers, big Hollywood and Bollywood productions, not only for its picturesque locations but also because of the world class equipment and sound stages easily available at Dubai Studio City.”
If you’re new to Emirati cinema, perhaps you should check out the following films, as recommended by Emirati filmmaker Saeed Salmeen Al Murry to What’s On:
Going To Heaven (2015)
A movie that touches on the loss of traditional communication and human interaction in favour of new technology.
Sea Shadow (2011)
A coming-of-age film that follows two 16-year-old Emiratis, Mansoor and Kaltham as they struggle with traditions and family values.
Bint Mariam (2008)
A short film about a young girl dealing with life after the passing of her 60-year-old husband.
Rattle The Cage (2015)
The film follows a man trapped inside a prison cell and the officer on the other side of the bars. A psychological thriller that explores the idea that “bad men aren’t always behind bars”.
Grandmother’s Farm Part 1 and 2 (2013/2015)
A horror-comedy that follows a group of guys who set off for a fun weekend at a friend’s grandmother’s house. However, it all turns sour after they meet a mysterious guest.
Erj Al Tain (2011)
A short movie that explores the UAE’s historical culture and its Bedouin traditions.