- November 22, 2009:
A gripping selection of 12 short films from Africa, Central Asia and the Far East have been short-listed for DIFF’s second annual Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards in the Shorts category.
The competition, designed to stimulate and expose filmmaking from emerging markets, provides audiences with invaluable cultural insights and film-makers the chance for global outreach and recognition.
Nashen Moodley, DIFF Director AsiaAfrica programme, said this year’s selection is just as varied as the inaugural competition last year. “The sheer diversity of stories in these Shorts makes for compulsive viewing, and the film-makers have created engaging stories in tight time-frames and, in many cases, on limited budgets.”
African films that made it into the final selection from several entries include Waramutseho from Cameroon, directed by Kouemo Yanghu Auguste Bernard, in which two friends discover a bloody secret lies between their two families. Saint Louis Blues, by Dyana Gaye, is a cheerful musical set in a taxi as it passes through the heart of Senegal; and We Too Walked On The Moon from Congo and directed by Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, depicts a teacher, doctor and artist experiencing news of the moon landing differently.
Asian films are well represented, with A Letter To Uncle Boonmee, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s masterful short recalling a 1965 battle in North Eastern Thailand; director Sung-hee Jo Don’t Step Out Of The House from Korea, focussing on a younger brother and sister who must deal with some hostile unexpected visitors; A Silent Wait, by Nurman Hakim from Indonesia, narrating the yearning for a love that never comes; and director Richard Legaspi’s world premiere Hand Painted Feathers from the Philippines, recounting a moving tale of a young boy coping with his father’s brutal murder.
Other films from the continent include Chinese director Fang Song’s Goodbye, involving the bond between an injured girl and the parents of her late close friend, and Little Note by Royston Tan from Singapore, a poetic and heartwarming story about the deep love between a young boy and his mother.
Director Nurlan Asanbekov’s Loss from Krygyzstan narrates an encounter between an old, grieving man and a youthful burglar which leads to an unlikely proposition – the house as an inheritance in exchange for the young man killing him.
From closer to home comes A Beautiful Snowy Day, written, directed, produced and acted by Iranian actress Mahaya Petrosian, is a tale of a young mother who has to make an unbearable decision about her young son, and director Vinoo Choliparambil’s Vitthal from India about a 12-year-old boy who reacts angrily to traditional rituals following a bereavement.
Now in its sixth year, DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and will be held from December 9 to 16. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).