The opening film for the 2012 Gulf Film Festival was Walid Al Awadi’s Tora Bora. A moving, emotional film that made me feel the specificity of its setting and why the Gulf Film Festival, and other film festivals in the region including DIFF and DTFF, are so important. There are stories to be told! In Hollywood, the concept of the Middle East is so homogeneous: all Middle Easterners and/or Muslims are “Arabs.” But watch films at GFF and the nuances surface: Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Pashto, Emirati — these are all distinct cultures. Yet, still, the universality of specificity: I kept hitting my seatmate and saying “I would totally do that!” whenever the mother character, Um Tareq, asked to put the passports in her bag for safekeeping.
After such a gripping film, Glitter Dust Producer/Editor J.R. Osborn tried to shake it off on the dance floor: