Arab Spring to Dubai

FESTIVAL. Omar Shargawi's "1/2 Revolution" is enjoying its international premiere at the leading festival venue in the Middle East, the Dubai international Film Festival. The film will be off to Sundance in January.

"It all happened very quickly. We started as spectators of a demonstration, and suddenlly we were in the middle of a revolution," says Omar Shargawi, director of "1/2 Revolution" which is competing at the Dubai International Film Festival in the Arab competition programme.

Second time in Dubai

"1/2 Revolution" is an eyewitness account of the upheavals in Cairo in January 2011. Omar Shargawi was preparing a film about street kids when he was caught in the midst of the demonstrations against the regime. Driven by a desire to document the dramatic events, he and his co-director Karim El Hakim turned their cameras towards the Tahrir Square which soon became the symbol of freedom for the demonstrators. 

This is Shargawi's second time competing at the Dubai International Film Festival. Last year the Danish-Palestinian director took home two awards for "My Father from Haifa", a highly personal documentary about the director's father who as a child fled with his family from Palestine.

Off to Sundance in January

Shargawi made his directorial debut in 2008 with the feature film "Go with Peace Jamil", winning him the VPRO Tiger Award in Rotterdam.

In January "1/2 Revolution" is up for its North American release in Sundance's World Documentary Competition. The film is produced by Carsten Holst for Globus with support from the Danish Film Institute. International sales are handled by LevelK.

8th Dubai International Film Festival 7-14 December 2011