Muscat Film Fest from March 26 at PACA auditorium

MUSCAT, March 18 – The 10th Muscat International Film Festival (MIFF) will be held from March 26 to 31. The festival will be holding three premieres, two special nights with contemporary social themes dedicated to women power and children’s rights.
The MIFF events, presented by the Ministry of Tourism in association with Oman Airports, will be held at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) auditorium in Seeb.
Italian action hero Franco Nero, Nepali Bollywood star Manisha Koirala, Indian-American award-winning film-maker Mira Nair, Egyptian Hollywood actor Amr Waked, Syrian actor and film-maker Ghassan Massoud, veteran Egyptian director Ali Badrakhan and a cluster of select movie stars and film-makers from almost every corner of the world will descend into Oman in a matter of weeks.
A total of 115 films will be screened as part of the MIFF, out of which 105 films are in for competition and 10 out-of-competition movies. Two days of the film festival, March 28 and 30, have specific social themes, which includes celebrating women power and focusing on children’s rights.
“Cinema unites us. With this festival we aim to bring together Oman film-makers and international film-makers to be under the sky of Muscat, and share knowledge on how to make good films. This is also an important platform to present Oman and its message as we will be having international artists and media present here for the six-day festival,” said Mohammed al Kindi, Chairman, Oman Film Society.
Oman’s nascent film industry will also get a much-deserved boost as it shares the spotlight, noted Mohammed al Kindi. OFS and some of the key sponsors and supporters of this exciting festival announced salient details of the MIFF to the members of the press at the OCCI, yesterday.
Organised by the OFS, under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Development, the film festival has become a colourful highlight in the Sultanate’s cultural calendar with a multi-cultural audience, local, regional and international celebrities, top officials and movie aficionados.
The 10th MIFF is being presented by the Ministry of Tourism in association with the Oman Airports. The VOX Cinemas is the venue partner; Merge and Al Wisal are the radio partners.
The hospitality partners are Hormuz Grand Hotel and Mysk by Shaza. According to the organisers, being the 10th MIFF, the number 10 figures like a recurring motif across all the events on all six days.
This includes its 10 year history, 10 top short films, 10 celebrities being honoured, and 10 artistes, both international and Omanis.
The opening and closing ceremonies will feature red carpet events, with a galaxy of stars, luminaries and intellectuals from the world of cinema. The opening and closing night ceremonies will feature regional and international stars, global artistes and local Oman talent, including the likes of Swedish-Lebanese singer Maher Zain, Grammy award-winning Japanese flautist Kitaro, world-whistling champion Dutchman Geert Chatrou, Danish-Palestinian percussionist Simona Abdallah, Russian Jaw harpist Olga Uutai, India’s only woman saxophonist S Lavanya and Oman’s well-known Munshid singers Watasimu, popular singer Haitham Mohammed Rafi and talented Oud artist Ziyad Harbi and band.
The MIFF will pay special tribute to pioneering Omani actor and film-maker Salim Bahwan, who passed away in 2017.
A consummate actor and dedicated film-maker, Salim Bahwan was at the vanguard of activities to carry forward the fledgling cinema industry here in Oman.
March 27 will be the dedicated day for short films. A wide range of local and international films will be screened under the Panorama Section for the public.
Among them will be the short film classic A Trip to the Moon (French: Le Voyage dans la Lune), a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. More than 40 films from Oman have been submitted according to Al Kindi. It shows that these film-makers have been waiting for the 10th edition of the film festival.
Wow Woman, a celebration of women power on March 28, will be an exclusively women-centric day with the special screening of Girl Rising documentary on education for girls.
This film follows nine girls from Haiti, Nepal, Ethiopia, India, Egypt, Peru, Cambodia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan on their journey.
The celebration of women goes further.
Hollywood director Mira Nair, who will be the guest of honour at the event, will speak on the occasion.
Her film Queen of Katwe will be screened at the VOX Cinemas.
March 29 will see the international premiere of Dear Maya starring Bollywood star Manisha Koirala at the VOX Cinemas.
The entry to PACA events such as opening, closing, women and children-centric days during the film festival is only by invitation.
For invitations and more information, the organising committee said the public can visit their website.www.festival-miff.com or call 94441068 and 24522331.