Monday, March 21, 2011

Fourth Gulf Film Festival to honour French filmmaker Gérard Courant

GFF to screen films from Courant’s repertoire of more than 300 films across Dubai Festival City
·     Delegates can also participate in world’s longest film, 156-hour ‘Cinématon,’ featuring short, silent, self-portraits of over 2,347 artists, directors, and cinephiles

Eminent experimental filmmaker Gérard Courant, who holds the world record for the longest film ever made, the 156-hour Cinématon, will be in the spotlight at the fourth Gulf Film Festival, the home of bold, experimental and contemporary cinema from the Arabian peninsula. The Festival will be held from April 14 to 20, 2011, at Dubai Festival City.
Gérard Courant
One of the most prolific filmmakers of recent times, with more than 300 films under his belt, Courant is also a master of conceptual and lyrical cinema. His work includes contemplative feature films, films made of still images and negative images, films that revisit a single event over 24 years, in addition to his most well-known work, Cinématon, made over 33 years and featuring short, silent self-portraits of more than 2,347 artists, directors and cinephiles including Jean-Luc Godard, Sergie Bardaghnouf and Youssef Chahine shot in single takes.
The fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival will showcase films from Courant’s repertoire in its ‘In Focus’ segment on screens across the Dubai Festival Centre mall. The films not only provide a glimpse of Courant’s stylistic ingenuity, but also the breadth of the subjects he has explored. As with all GFF films, these will be free and open to the public. Festival delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in Cinématon.
Jean-Luc Godard
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Festival Director, Gulf Film Festival, said the showcase of Courant’s films is intended to inspire emerging filmmakers to experiment with various media, styles and interpretations and find their own way.
“Courant and his body of work embody what the Gulf Film Festival is trying to achieve,” he said. “His films are avant-garde; they defy conventional methods of filmmaking to create works that are in a league of their own. He is relentlessly devoted to his craft, investing time and energy into breaking new ground. He is a fine example for filmmakers trying to find their own voice, and we are delighted to welcome him to Dubai.”
Salah Sermini, Consultant, Gulf Film Festival, said: “Gerard Courant is undoubtedly considered one of the most innovative filmmakers of our time, and it is an honour for cinema lovers in the Middle East to witness his pioneering work through the Gulf Film Festival. We look forward to showcasing this brilliant filmmaker and his works to the residents and visitors of the United Arab Emirates, through a series of screenings and other activities.”
Youssef Chahine
In addition to Cinematon, some of Courant’s best-known works include Aditya, 24 Passions, She’s a Very Nice Lady, Shiva, Marilyn, Guy Lux, and Nuns, and Rasage.
In previous years, the Gulf Film Festival’s ‘In Focus’ segment celebrated innovative French filmmaker Francois Vogel;  in addition to screenings, Vogel participated in interactive public sessions.
The fourth edition of the Gulf Film Festival will be held from April 14 to 20, 2011, at the InterContinental Hotel and Grand Cinemas at Dubai Festival City. The 2011 Festival includes a Gulf competition for student, feature and documentary films, an international shorts competitions, out-of-competition segments, a master class by renowned director Abbas Kiarostami and other special events. All films are free and open to the public.

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