If you’ve been watching Dubai International Film Festival’s Twitter feed you may have noticed a lot of film recommendations popping up lately. Interestingly, a number of films mentioned are due for release towards the end of this year or the beginning of 2017. Does this mean the films are set to premiere or screen at the festival in December? We can’t be sure – the festival are at pains to point out these are just films that are generating a lot of buzz, with no official announcement on this year’s schedule as yet. Sources at the festival admit they’d love to screen all of them, but we won’t start to hear about official schedules until early October when the first tranche of this year’s 140+ movies is announced. Nonetheless, here are some of the most interesting selections which may be featured on this year’s DIFF programme, and all of which, bar War Machine, were hinted at on DIFF’s twitter feed.
John Lee Hancock’s biopic sees Michael Keaton play the role of Ray Kroc, who bought the fledgling McDonald’s restaurant chain in 1961 and is largely credited with turning it into the global behemoth we know today. The movie is set to release globally on December 16 – just two days after this year’s festival ends, so it’s ideally timed for a Dubai premiere during the event.
Another biopic, this time with Nathalie Portman taking the role of the titular Jackie Kennedy-Onassis in Pablo Larrain’s movie. The cast also includes Greta Gerwig and John Hurt. We already know this film will premiere at the Venice festival in September, but with no general release date announced as yet, a regional premiere at DIFF could be a possibility.
This upcoming drama, directed by Stephen Gaghan, finds Mattew McConaughey’s overweight and serially unlucky Kenny turn unlikely intrepid explorer when he heads deep into the Indonesian jungle to hunt for gold. With a scheduled Christmas Day cinema release, it’s again ideally placed for a DIFF first peek.
20th Century Women
Heart-warming comedy from rising indie director and screenwriter Mike Mills. Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning head the cast as Bening’s single mother tries to teach her teenage son about life, love and freedom in the late seventies. The movie will have its world premiere at New York Film Festival in October.
Comedy drama comic book adaptation from Craig Johnson sees Woody Harrelson’s lonely, neurotic, possibly mildly autistic title character reunite with his ex wife, played by Laura Dern, and meet his teenage daughter for the first time. The movie’s not due to release until March 2017, and with no festival screenings on the calendar as yet, Dubai could pull off a coup if it nets the premiere here.
Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman star in Garth Davies’ adaptation of Saroo Brierley’s autobiographical A Long Way Home. The story follows a young boy who is separated from his family, adopted by an Australian couple, and eventually finds his birth parents 20 years later using Google Earth. It’s classic festival fare, but although it won’t release globally until 2017, with a November 25 US release DIFF will have to settle for a regional premiere if this makes the list.
Norman: The Moderate Rise & Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Genuine blockbuster fare here, with any of the stellar cast including Richard Gere, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens and Martin Sheen (who was a guest of DIFF in 2013) likely to be a welcome a sight on Dubai’s red carpet. Gere’s Norman, a small time New York businessman, finds himself at the centre of a well of political intrigue when he inadvertently befriends a soon-to-be globally important politician, with disastrous consequences. General release is set for June 2017.
Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forrest Whitaker team up for Denis Villeneuve’s scifi based on Ted Chiang’s short story Story of Your Life. The trio are tasked with solving the mysterious landing of numerous spacecrafts around the globe as humanity teeters on the edge of extinction. The movie will premiere in Venice next month.
We’re taking a stab in the dark here as the festival hasn’t mentioned it, and the Netflix movie doesn’t even have a release date as yet. However, director David Michod and the cast, including Brad Pitt, did spent a significant chunk of last year filming the war comedy in both Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah. Could a Dubai premiere in December be the perfect end to the story? We’ll have to wait and see.
Source: art & life