Winter nights mean heading out to the vast swathes of desert dunes the UAE’s been blessed with and enjoying time out in nature. You can do that with a twist this weekend thanks to the return of Al Marmoon: Film in the Desert. The outdoor film festival is back for a second round and will last a whole three days. The best part? It’s free!
From December 9 to 11, screenings of international cinema, engrossing workshops by leading minds of the global film industry and riveting panel discussions await Dubai’s cinephiles at Marmoom Desert – the UAE’s first unfenced nature reserve.
While chances of bumping into the reserve’s abundant wildlife exist, you’ll also get to encounter the region’s budding talent during this film festival conducted by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Curated by Cinema Akil, the line-up shines a light on short films and documentaries such as Nujoom Al Ghanem’s Honey, Rain and Dust, Looking for Oum Khulthum, Osha’s Gift, Then and others.
The Al Marmoom Film in the Desert Festival will also screen winning short films from the ‘Al Marmoom Short-Film Competition. Shortlisted flicks that made the cut are The Marshes of Iraq, Naima, Street Mule, Mangrove Girl and more.
Workshops being offered include a desert light painting class by Nikon, sessions on film language, fashion photography in the desert and more. Talks and panel discussions you should look forward to are 10 Things You Should Know Before Making A Short Film and The Independent Emirati Film Scene.
Besides movies under the stars, visitors at the film festival can also explore traditional Emirati arts in a heritage corner dedicated to crafts such as Al Talli, a traditional embroidery craft; Al Sadu, a traditional weaving technique; Al Ghazal, a traditional textile technique. Foodies can dig into local delicacies such as lugaimat, rigag bread and Arabic coffee that will be served freshly at the venue.
Food trucks by Saddle, She Burge, Mirzam Chocolate and other popular outlets of the Dubai food scene will also be parked out amidst the dunes, serving scrumptious meals.
Visiting with kids? Fun outdoor activities such as yoga under the Stars, traditional Emirati games, and creating their own superheroes will keep them entertained.
To sign up for workshops and full programme, click here