Cinema Akil is treating UAE’s cinephiles to some of world cinema’s best for the next week. The independent movie theatre in Al Quoz will be hosting the prestigious Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour. This is the Italian film festival’s Middle East debut, which makes it a big deal for the UAE’s cinematic and cultural clout.
From September 15 to 21, the festival will screen vintage classics from around the world. The weeklong event will throw movie buffs headfirst into iconic heritage movies from Italian, Indian, Moroccan, Iranian, and Angolan cinema.
What is Il Cinema Ritrovato?
First started in 1986 as a three-day event, Il Cinema Ritrovato is now one of the world’s major global film festivals dedicated to screening classics and restored films from international archives. The nine-day event takes place in Bologna every summer. However, the festival’s touring edition travels through Greece, Finland, the U.S. India and now the UAE.
The 7 films that will be screened at Cinema Akil have been restored by Cineteca di Bologna – a pioneering European archive for film restoration and preservation. Did we mention Martin Scorcese is connected to this film festival? Yes, the legendary Hollywood filmmaker’s Film Foundation & World Cinema Project is one of the collaborators along with the Italian Cultural Institute Abu Dhabi.
The program for this first Middle East edition has been carefully curated by festival coordinator Guy Borlee to take cinema lovers on a journey through different time periods of Italian cinema. The films selected are also markers of important milestones in world cinema. Tickets can be purchased for AED 50 at Cinema Akil’s website.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the films:
Sciuscia (Shoeshine): the 1946 film by Director Vittorio De Sica will kick off things on the festival’s opening night
Assunta Spina: a silent film restored with a Neapolitan score and featuring iconic silent movie star Francesca Bertini (who also co-directed it) starts the day’s shows.
Chess of the Wind: a 1976 Irania murder mystery by Director Mohammad Reza Aslani that was screened only once and considered lost after it was banned.
The Birds, The Bees and The Italians: this winner of the Canne Golden Palm is a comedy by Pietro Germi that explores bourgeois life and corruption in Northern Italy.
Sambizanga: an Angolan film by one of Africa’s first female directors chronicles the country’s fight for freedom
A River Called Titas: this film by Indian director Ritwik Ghatak is a moving tale of the lives of fishing communities in pre-partition East Bengal
Al Hal – Transes: a documentary about Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane, flits between visuals of their electrifying live performances on Casablanca’s street and intimate conversations with band members.
Find timings dates, and the full lineup of movies showing here.