Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert – Cinema Akil

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Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert

In the first edition of the Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert, Cinema Akil presents a lineup of poetry, frame by frame enamored by the desert in all her faces.

The film program in the desert brings Cinema Akil back to its nomadic roots, having started its long journey for the love of film as a traveling cinema bringing film to audiences all around the UAE. 

A caravan of cinematic dances, wandering through the sands, the lineup will present a series of films speaking the language of the desert which has captivated filmmakers since the beginning of film.

The Al Marmoom cinematic journey will take audiences through the skies and deserts beneath them, in expanses as far apart as Wad Madani in Central Sudan to the outback landscapes of Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. 

Over four nights in Al Marmoom, through the common language of deserts, cinema will shorten the distances between places, hearts and spirit. 

The program presents feature length narrative and documentary films including the award-winning 2019 contemporary Sudanese feature film by Amjad Abulala’s You Will Die at Twenty. Free of the constraints of time and space, the program traverses geographies, dates and genres spanning cinematic affairs with the desert with documentaries, shorts and features from 1988 to 2019. 

Flickering over her dunes, La Semaine de la Critique de Cannes 2016 Nespresso Grand Prize winner, Mimosas by Oliver Laxe will take us  into the desert, towards the Atlas Mountains making way for apocalyptic splendor with Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior in George Miller’s 1981 fantasy. In Rajasthan’s Thar desert, romance and magic will enchant the night in Anup Singh’s 2017 Song of Scorpions as Theeb’s childhood defies the harshness of the Jordan desert in  the 2014 Academy Award nominee Theeb by Naji Abu Nawar.

Through a special program of Emirati shorts, stories of everyday life, ritual, tradition, mischief and joy by filmmakers from this land. Born in the desert, the program of short films will feature some of the newest voices of Emirati cinema with a strong female film showcase featuring Grandma’s Beauty by Kaltham Abdul Rahim Abdullah Al Ali and Dana Ibrahim Al Serkal, A Night in a Taxi by Aisha Alzaabi and The Neighbour by Nayla Al Khaja. The shorts program includes two films by Mohammad Al Hammadi: Maryam, Goldfish by Abdulaziz Almannaei and Laymoon by Abdulrahman Al Madani.

In Dubai, where history is made in the desert every day, the history of Libyan leader Omar Mukhtar shall stand remembered in a special screening of the recently restored classic Lion of the Desert a tribute to the late legendary Syrian-American director Moustapha Akkad (1988). 

Join us, in a desert of stories, as we romance her dunes, fight her quicksands, embrace her solitude, together in a desert of the magic of cinema in the desert of Al Marmoom.


About Cinema Akil

Cinema Akil is an independent cinema platform that brings quality films from across the world to the audiences in the UAE. Showcasing directors and filmmakers across the decades, Cinema Akil aims to create awareness and interest in film and the cinematic arts. Launched in 2014 as a nomadic cinema, Cinema Akil has held over 60 pop-up nomdic cinemas attracting over 35,000 attendees in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In September 2018, Cinema Akil opened its first permanent location in Al Quoz, Dubai making it the GCC’s first arthouse cinema. Cinema Akil’s flagship home is brought to you in partnership with Alserkal Avenue. Follow us into the dark.



Al Marmoom, Al Qudra Rd Dubai

LATITUDE 24.848762

LONGITUDE 55.342704