MEIFF prepares for inaugural event
The Middle East International Film Festival has announced the guidelines for artist entries and launched its website. The film event is for the most part patterned after typical Western festivals and will feature a main competition for narrative and documentary features as well as showcasing other Middle Eastern films throughout its five day span. There's also a competition for shorts and a number Bollywood films screening for a spotlight celebrating the 60th anniversary of Indian independence, so visitors can expect to hear fantastically odd renditions of pop songs from 20 years ago throughout their stay.
The festival will take place from October 14-19 in Abu Dhabi, best known as the place where Garfield wishes to send Nermal in Garfield and Friends. Oh, and its population of 1.8 million people being the richest in the world. Who knew? While not the first film festival in the Middle East, a position taken by the Cairo International Film Festival, it is an example of the growing strength of film throughout the region, as well as the rate at which festivals seem to be popping up these days. Although art cinema theaters have slowly been declining for years, it seems like these days every country or region and its mother is intent on hosting a film festival in order to show its cultural relevancy.
Winning films will be given grants to help fund future projects and trophies representing the black pearl, a symbol linked to the Abu Dhabi region that shows that, though this may be an international festival, it’s never too late to insert some unnecessary nationalism into things for good measure.
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