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ADFF @ The Pavilion Downtown - Dubai Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema 1960 - Now

After a successful first two months of screenings, ADFF @ The Pavilion Downtown Dubai continues with its next segment featuring four films from Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema 1960-Now, a program co-curated by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and ArteEast that traces the largely unknown heritage of personal, artistic and innovative cinema from the Arab world. In the 1960s, galvanized by a broader global vanguard of countercultural experimentation in the arts, filmmakers in the Arab countries began to craft a language and form that broke away from established conventions and commercial considerations, ultimately clearing the ground for boldly subjective cinematic expression.  ADFF co-programmed and presented several films from Mapping Subjectivity during its fourth edition in 2010; the full program was presented at MoMA in New York.  The four films in this selection were among those shown in New York in the fall of 2010.

Mapping Subjectivity: Experimentation in Arab Cinema 1960-Now is curated by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film, MoMA and Rasha Salti, Curator and Artistic Director, ArteEast. 

Screening Schedule: Thursdays  | 7:30pm; Fridays | 5:30pm & 7:30pm

Port of Memory 

Kamal Aljafari | Arabic | Germany, France, Palestine, UAE | 2010 | 63 min. This is a story rarely told, about the emptying of Jaffa, a thriving urban and economic port city in pre-1948 Palestine, of its indigenous residents. Aljafari's film follows his family after they receive an order to evacuate their home in Ajami, Jaffa's once-wealthy sea-front neighborhood. Radically poetic, Port of Memory is a reflection on the absurdity of being at once absent and present. Thursday, July 7 | 7:30pm; Friday, July 8 | 5:30pm & 7:30pm.

Chronicle of a Disappearance 

Elia Suleiman | Arabic, Hebrew, English, French | Palestine, USA, Germany, France | 1996 | 88 min. In a series of witty vignettes, some contemplative, others laden with satiric humor and critique, Elia Suleiman expresses his emotions and state of mind as he observes daily life in Palestine. Through scenes of a Palestinian actress struggling to find an apartment in West Jerusalem, the owner of the Holy Land souvenir shop preparing merchandise for incoming Japanese tourists and a group of old women gossiping about their relatives, Suleiman leads us on a meditative search for what it means to be Palestinian. Thursday, July, 14 | 7:30pm; Friday, July 15 | 5:30pm & 7:30pm

Divine Intervention

Elia Suleiman | Arabic, Hebrew, English | Palestine, Morocco, Germany, France | 2002 | 92mins

Subtitled A Chronicle of Love and Pain, the film follows a group of interrelated people as they struggle to maintain the veneer of normal life in Nazareth, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Observing that its characters are trapped in a land that denies them basic human rights, the film defines the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory in painfully explicit terms. Subversive humor abounds in a series of expertly executed fantasy sequences and sight gags. In the laughter created from such bleakness, there is a sensation of triumph in the face of adversity. Thursday, July 21 | 7:30pm; Friday, July 29 | 5:30pm & 7:30pm 

The Time That Remains  


Elia Suleiman | Arabic, Hebrew, English | UK, Italy, Belgium, France | 2009 | 109 min

Suleiman returns with an immaculate, comically deadpan examination of life as an Israeli Arab in Nazareth from 1948 to today. Based on his father's diaries and his own reminiscences, the film tells the story of a young rebel forced into exile who returns to Nazareth as an adult to find more apathy than anger. Suleiman chronicles history with devastating absurdity and wit. Thursday, July 28 | 7:30pm; Friday, July 29 | 5:30pm & 7:30pm

* All non-English language films have English subtitles. Entrance to the screenings is free of charge but seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, firstserved basis. Screenings start promptly at the specified time so please arrive accordingly.

About ADFF @ The Pavilion Downtown Dubai  

ADFF @ The Pavilion Downtown Dubai is a four-month long series of film screenings presented by the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) in collaboration with film producer Butheina Hamed Kazim and in partnership with The Pavilion Downtown Dubai. The initiative is a first for ADFF as it showcases highlights of the capital's festival to the Dubai community as part of its commitment to a greater selection of screenings and activities in the UAE throughout the year. 

ADFF @ The Pavilion Downtown Dubai aims to facilitate and encourage the increasingly active conversation among filmmakers, supporters, patrons and enthusiasts across the UAE, who are central to the exciting growth of the local film culture. Hosted at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, the venue is a unique hub for a diverse range of arts events, offering a platform to promote an active cultural community to the public and to support the work of a rising generation of artists in the region. Along with the cinema where the films will be hosted, The Pavilion includes two galleries, a library, a café and a shisha lounge facing the Burj Khalifa. 

Co-curator Kazim and the ADFF programming team have carefully selected from among highlights of the past two years to give an overview of several sections that are presented at the festival each October in Abu Dhabi. 

Launched on May 13, ADFF @ The Pavilion Downtown Dubai began with four films that have received ADFF's SANAD grants which support Arab cinema, followed by a series featuring past ADFF award winners. Future installments of the series will focus on a selection of Emirati short films that have been entered in the Emirates Film Competition, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, as well as films that help broaden public awareness towards significant environmental issues.

About Butheina Hamed Kazim

Kazim is the producer of the independent documentary film Letters to Palestine, which has screened across Palestine and premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in December 2010. She was a juror for the iEmmys Asia & Africa competition and a curator for an independent films program at the Shelter in Dubai and is currently working on a series for Al Jazeera Documentary Channel.

Kazim represented the UAE at the Berlinale as part of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission delegation attending the European Producers Club Forum, a talent workshop, which invites young and emerging filmmakers from all over the world. 

Kazim is regular commentator on issues of media, culture and communication and co-hosts Dubai Tonight a radio talk show on Dubai Eye 103.8. Kazim is currently the Strategy & Business Development Manager at Dubai Media Incorporated, which operates six pan-Arab TV channels and other media platforms including print, publishing and radio.

About The Pavilion Downtown Dubai

The Pavilion Downtown Dubai is the city's newest dedicated non-profit contemporary art space providing a place to view, discuss and participate in works by local and international artists. Developed by the multidivisional group Cultural Engineering, The Pavilion is a unique hub for a diverse range of art events offering a platform to promote an active arts community to the public and to support the work of a rising generation of artists in the region.

The Pavilion's programming will reinforce its role as a place for artistic discourse, research and education. The building itself reflects a unique interior that supports a dialogue between art and its audience.

Media Contacts

For inquiries on Abu Dhabi Film Festival:

William Royce

Abu Dhabi Film Festival

T +9712 556 4000

For inquiries on The Pavilion Downtown 


Tarané Ali Khan

t h r e e | Communications & Consulting

T +9714  3411 367


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