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European missions seek to woo more cinema-goers.

Abu Dhabi: European Embassies expect more participation of locals and other expatriate communities to the eighth edition of 'European Movies' which is also extended to Dubai this year, as well as Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

"During the past eight years, Europeans, North Americans, Australians and a few Arabs were the majority of the viewers, so we gave maximum publicity this year to reach out to all other cultures including locals," a senior official told a press conference on Wednesday.

"We expect more participation this year as it is extended to Dubai also," said Andreas Maager, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy."

Abu Dhabi and Al Ain residents used to respond well to the films, he said. "About 500 people watched the films last year," said Maager.

"The response from the Al Ain community to the films proved that some people's tendency to ignore Al Ain on cultural, economic and commercial fronts has to be changed," he explained.

The embassies have selected the films which depict the concerns of the Europe such as struggles in life, losing jobs, and the effect of wars, said Maager.

"Diplomacy has economic and political motives, but with films, we don't have any such interests except to communicate the culture and human issues," he explained.

About 14 movies (with English subtitles) will be screened in three cities, starting from the last week of October to the second week of June 2009. In Abu Dhabi, screening will be every Sunday at 8 pm, from October 26 to June 7, 2009, at the Grand Cinemas in Abu Dhabi Mall. Dubai residents can watch the films every Tuesday at 8 pm, from October 28 to June 9, 2009, at the Grand Cinemas-Mercato Mall. In Al Ain, the event is to be held every Saturday at 5 pm and 8 pm, from November 1 to June 13, 2009, at the Grand Rotana Cinemas.

Passes available

The project is organised under the patronage of Shaikh Surour Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan and the embassies of nine countries. A common entry pass for all films costing Dh 200 (Dh 170 in Al Ain) is available at the abovementioned cinemas in the three cities as well as at the Embassy of Switzerland in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of Switzerland in Dubai.

List of the films

Absurdistan, directed by Viet Helmer, 2008, German. Mademoiselle, directed by Philippe Lioret, 2001, France. Le Petit Lieutenant ,by Xavier Beauvois, 2004, France. Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, by Hans Weingartner, 2004, Germany. Pas de panique, by Denis Rabaglia, 2006, Switzerland. Auf der anderen Seite, by Faith Akin, 2007, Germany. Los Otros, by Alejandro Amenabar, 2001, Spain. Lo que se de lola, by Javier Rebollo, Spain. Gebore in Absurdistan, by Houchang Allahyari, 1999, Austria. Zelari, by Ondrej Trojan, 2003, Czech Republic. Katyn, by Andrzej Wajda,2007, Poland Simon, Eddy Terstall, 2004, Netherlands. Mediterraneo, Gabriele Salvators,1991, Italy. Nordwand, by Philipp Stolzl,2008, Switzerland.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Oct 23, 2008
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