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Home: Dubai Film Festival 2004: Daily Reports [Day 2]

We go to the mall for our spending fix; we go to the mall with friends to chill out; heck, we even go to the mall when we have nothing to do! But here I am at the always wonderful, ambient Mercato Mall in Jumeirah Dubai, one of the main venues for screening the DIFF's eclectic selection of films. Upon arrival I am greeted by the fest's staff with wide-eyed enthusiasm as they hand me my screening passes - hey, what a brilliant way to start, eh?! The mood of film fans gathered in the foyer of the theatre is energetic, even charged. People wear emotions on their sleeves; they look ready to be part of a cultural phenomenon... dressed up bodies, made-up minds.

Day 1 begins and it was not without interesting incident. I spotted Morgan Freeman at the Madinat Jumeirah inside a heavy circle of friends and acquaintances; you know, he actually looks much taller than he does in his movies. I also had the pleasure of hearing Jehane Noujaim, producer and director of "Control Room," speak at a special Q&A panel discussion after the screening of her excellent, politically-charged documentary (read my review of it here). In addition Enayatullah, the spoken-spoken Afghan actor in Michael Winterbottom's touching "In this World" was on hand to answer the audience queries in another Q&A (Faizan Rashid reviews the film here). The post-screening Q&A sessions of films screened is an unexpected but pleasant development; I commend the organisers of DIFF. More of the same please.

Closing words - good first impression. And to say that I'll be a busy beaver over the next four days may not be an understatement after all. Speak to you soon!

Movie Reviews and Q&As
Control Room - Adnan Khan
In This World - Faizan Rashid
Supersize Me - Faizan Rashid
Daily Pics
DIFF 2004 Daily Updates: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6]
DIFF Daily Screening Schedule
Madinat Jumeirah
14:45 The Motorcycle Diaries
18:00 Bopha!
20:00 Gala: Bollywood/Hollywood
21:30 Control Room
Mercato Cinema
12:45 In Casablanca, Angels Donít Fly
13:15 Super Size Me
14:15 Milan
14:30 Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters)
14:45 Zennar-Al Nar (Ring of Fire)
15:45 In This World
16:00 The Voice of Ljudmila
18:00 Tear of the Cold (Ashk-e-Sarma)
18:15 Raghu Romeo
18:30 In Casablanca, Angels Donít Fly
18:45 Super Size Me
20:00 Lalsalu (A Tree Without Roots)
21:00 Zennar Al Nar (Ring of Fire)
21:15 In This world
21:45 Arabian Shorts Program 3 - Visit Iraq, Ashes, Van Express
22:00 The Voice of Ljudmila
DMC Amphitheatre
19:00 Lawrence of Arabia
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