With a focus on the Arab film industry, and especially that of the Gulf region, the 2012 Muscat Festival for Cinema will kick off on Saturday, 24 March, in the Omani capital and will run until 30 March.
In a statement, festival manager Khalid Abulrahman Alzadjali declared: "I wish to find the technical support, the attention of state authorities and private organisations for the film industry in Oman, and continue to work and produce enriched culture for filmmaking in this country."
In hopes of encouraging film and cinema in the region, Alzadjali said that this year's festival would include a number of programmes for would-be participants from all over the Arab world.
This year's festival will feature numerous screenings of Arab and foreign films, along with seminars and workshops aimed at developing the cinema industry in Oman. It will also include a competition for best Arab film, best foreign film, and best Gulf documentary film, while Egyptian director Magdi Ahmed Ali will sit on the panel of judges.
Ali will also be among several featured speakers scheduled to give seminars and workshops for attendees. Ali graduated from Egypt's High Cinema Institute in 1981 and assisted several renowned Egyptian directors, such as Mohammed Khan, Khairy Bishara and Youssef Chahine.
His debut feature, 'Life my Passion' (1996), won several awards at local and international festivals, including the National Film Festival and the Rotterdam Festival. His rich filmography includes 'The Kingdom of the Mountain,' screened during Ramadan in 2010, 'Girls' Secrets' (2010), 'Fawzia's Secret Recipe' (2008), 'Joy Won’t be Postponed' (documentary, 2004) and 'The Champion' (1998). He also directed 'Freska' (2005) for television.
Besides cinema and film, the festival will also feature several art exhibitions, providing room for art enthusiasts to participate in this year's festival and showcase the cultural side of the Gulf in general and Muscat in particular.