UAE hosts Kuwait's 'Shakespearean' documentary

KUWAIT - An award-winning documentary film by an Anglo-Kuwaiti directorial team makes its cinematic debut in Kuwait at Cinescape cinemas on May 26. Following an auspicious World Premiere in the United States in April at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival (where it won a “Gold Remi” – a top prize in the feature documentary category) and a much talked about Middle East Premiere at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai on April 15, Richard III “An Arab VIP” now makes its way to cinemas in Kuwait.
Co-directed by Kuwaiti businessman and arts producer Shakir Abal with British TV director Tim Langford, Richard III “An Arab VIP” is a topical and timely documentary that melds Middle Eastern politics with onstage drama and offstage reality. In the film, the camera follows a pan Arab troupe of actors as they travel the world between the USA and the Middle East rehearsing and performing a highly acclaimed version of Shakespeare's Richard III as conceived from a contemporary Arab perspective by renowned Kuwaiti dramatist Sulayman Al-Bassam. In addition to the highly dramatic performances by the exemplary troupe of actors, the 70 minutes film also includes interviews with the cast and crew as well as behind-the-scenes footage that shows what it is like to tour a top-notch stage play in sometimes less than perfect circumstances. The film is in English and Arabic with subtitles.
From the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to an ancient desert fort in the United Arab Emirates, theatremaker Al-Bassam’s stylish and suspenseful play provides the perfect backdrop for film co-directors Langford and Abal to delve into the collective psyche of the cast and crew appearing in the film and to raise issues related to politics and freedom of expression in the Arab world. The films strong sense of humor balances with this seriousness of subject to deliver a film that feels like “black comedy” according to the producer Shakir Abal and described as “a courageous film worth watching” by Emirati film critic Osama Asal of Al-Bayan newspaper in the U.A.E.
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