The Egyptian drama Mawlana (The Preacher) will get a special evening gala screening on Saturday, 10 December, within a lineup of special gala screenings taking place at Madinat Arena throughout the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
Directed by Magdy Ahmed Aly, Mawlana is written by Egyptian journalist and editor in-chief of El-Tahrir newspaper Ibrahim Eissa.
Mawlana, a work that tackles the phenomenon of sheikhs appearing on television in recent years, is the first novel by Eissa.
Published by Bloomsbury Qatar, the novel explores the hidden world of sheikhs and their ties with security institutions, politicians as well as businessmen. Ultimately, the novel aims to show how religion is misused in politics.
In Egypt, the book was already adapted on stage and performed by the Egyptian Modern Dance Theatre Company, directed and choreographed by Monadel Antar.
The newly released film Mawlana stars Amr Saad, Dorra Zarrouk and Ahmed Magdy, and looks into the lives of preachers (sheikhs) in Egypt through the story of one of them. It is also competing in DIFF's Muhr features category, and will be screened at Mall of The Emirates on 13 December.
Madinat Arena is a state of the art screening venue with a seating capacity of 1,800 audience members, specially built to host DIFF’s lavish "Red Carpet Galas" and provide the luxury of a VIP experience. Movie goers can get tickets for these screenings, at a higher price than DIFF's regular screenings, and share the screening hall with A-list stars.
DIFF’s gala screenings will take place throughout the festival’s days (7-14 December). On the same day as Mawlana, the morning gala screenings will open with Rock Dog, a comedy animation directed by Ash Brannon with the voices of Luke Wilson and J K Simmons. Damien Chazelle’s musical comedy La La Land starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and J K Simons will screen in the afternoon.
After Mawlana, The Founder will be screened, directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Michael Keaton, to close the gala screenings.
From the Arab world, the Lebanese comedy Solitaire (Mahbas) will have its world premiere with a gala screening on Sunday, 11 November. The film is directed by Sophie Boutros and stars Julia Kassar, Ali El-Khalil and Bassam Koussa
“DIFF’s special gala screenings are the crowning glory of the festival and something we really look forward to each year. The setting at the Madinat Arena adds even more magic to the wonder of cinema and provides a truly memorable film experience for all our guests as they have the chance to view some of the latest and greatest films from around the globe in a bespoke venue created just for the festival,” Masoud Amralla Al Ali, DIFF’s artistic director, said in a press release.
DIFF’s extensive programme of international films will be held across eight days at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and The Beach.
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