Friday, January 20, 2006

Muscat Film Festival

The Fourth Muscat Film Festival starts tomorrow (January 21st) and runs for seven days ending on January 28th, 2006. I've been trying to get ahold of the schedule but it's not available anywhere online. I have a printed copy from today's Oman newspaper but I'm not sure of its accuracy and also the names of the movies are written in Arabic with sometimes inaccurate English translations. The festival is organized by the Oman Film Society but their website still hasn't been updated to include any details except "coming soon" and a partial list of movies (in Arabic).

The movies will be screened daily at Shatti Plaza and Al Bahja Cinema. If you're interested keep checking the newspapers the next few days as well as the two cinemas' websites.

I can't say that I'm overly excited about the movies. I'm disappointed that even now in its fourth round the festival still can't secure newer releases. Still there are films going for. Of interest: Al Boom, the first Omani film will be premiered in the festival. The first show tomorrow will be by invitation only but the movie will be shown twice again for the public. The one movie I am definitely going to see is George Clooney's Goodnight, and Good Luck will be shown Monday night 8pm at Bahja. Other notable films: French film Le Grand Voyage which won many awards in 2005. Man Push Cart , In Casablanca Angels Don't Fly, Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (Germany). Also: Jawhara (Morocco), Shouf Shouf Habibi (Dutch), A New Day in Sana'a.

In the first Muscat Film Festival all the movies shown were unknown to me and yet I attending almost every single show and ended up finding quite a few gems. I don't have the time to do that again, but I bet there's a lot to be discovered this time around as well.

Update (22/01/06):

Finally found a schedule in today's Observer and it looks like I won't be able to see most of the movies that I was looking forward to because of other commitments. Tomorrow Goodnight and Good Luck will show at 8pm in one cinema and at 10pm Capote, which hasn't been announced before, will play at 10pm in the other cinema. There's no way you can watch both because of the scheduling and the distance. It really sucks to schedule the two most high profile movies of the whole festival on the same night like that. Especially when Philip Seymour Hoffman is the front-runner to win the best actor Oscar this year for Capote. I am going to be at a more important event so I'm gonna skip both :)


NiGhTFaCe said...

I am interested to watch these movies. But, not sure if I will find the time to do so.

Arabian Princess said...

I am paticulary intrested in watching: a new day in Sanaa and the boom .. there is a women day for the boom right?

TI3GIB said...

DIFF's closest competitor ... geographically :D

I won't bother if they don'thave Paradise Now, I can they don't ..

muscati said...

ti3gib - what you pointed out is exactly what's my main beef with the Muscat Film Festival.

You have an organizing committee that is supposedly working all year on planning the festival. These people are supposedly all film buffs. You would assume that they follow the buzz from other film festivals from around the world and they should have a wish list of movies that they would want to get for their film festival. However looking at the list of movies that will show in the festival it is quite obvious that this is not the case. They have obviously gone to the American, British and French embassy and asked them to supply movies for the festival. Hence the British embassy goes and gives them a movie by a British Yemeni thinking that the people in Oman would want to see a Yemeni movie. Every single movie that the French embassy has supplied is either made or starring French Arab actors. And so on. Only the US embassy was good enough to give two Oscar caliber movies from the current season.

Arabian Princess said...

"Hence the British embassy goes and gives them a movie by a British Yemeni thinking that the people in Oman would want to see a Yemeni movie."

I dont think the reason is because the british embassy gave the film .. I guess the reason is becausde the director of that movie helped directing the boom.

Sapna Anu B.George said...

Good to see the news of the Festival since we are all now involved in the 6th one.