The 4th edition of ‘francOfilm Festival 2014’ will run from March 26th til March 29th at VOX Cinemas Mall of Emirates, Dubai and Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi. The highly anticipated event organized by Institut français des Emirats arabes unis with the support of Francophone embassies in the UAE and Alliance Française in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, will celebrate francophonie on the silver screen.

Held in Dubai in association with the Dubai International Film Festival and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority for Dubai Art Season and in Abu Dhabi in association with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, this year’s festival will showcase the best of international cinema.

Films from Belgium, Canada, France, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Switzerland, Senegal and Chad will be offered at a discounted price for filmgoers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (25AED per screening).

A delight for film buffs, francOfilms festival will include amongst others the Premiere of Franco Moroccan co-production ‘Rock The Casbah’, Cannes film festival selected movie ‘Grigris’, acclaimed Lebanese film ‘Heritages’ and French documentary ‘On The Way To School’ who has been awarded with the Cesar of the Best Documentary 2014. The latter will be screened for schools across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The noticeable innovations this year are the screenings of Emirati short films. Prior to each programmed movie, an Emirati short film will be showed. This falls into the framework of Emirati Cinema Campaign launched by Emirati filmmaker Nawaf Al Janahi (‘Sea Shadows’).

Download the schedule of the screenings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Flyer francofilm Dubai and Flyer francofilm Abu Dhabi

All the films are subtitled in English.

For more information and update and to purchase your tickets visit

Film synopsis

Rock the Casbah (2013) -100min

Maroc-France/ Morocco- France


Directed by Laila Marrakchi

With Morjana Alaoui, Nadine Labaki, Lubna Azabal, Hiam Abbas


Summer in Tangiers. After the death of their father, the women of the family get together for 3 days in the family residency to grieve and remember according to Muslim culture. Goodbye to beach and bikinis, it is now time to wear djellabas, to reunite everyone together and to deck the house out in funeral attire. The house is full of activity. Things reach a crescendo when Sofia, the youngest daughter, returns home. Actress who only plays terrorist roles in American television series, she arrives from New York after several years of absence. Her return set up the grounds to settle scores with her sisters and to overturn the order established by the defunct patriarch. Between laughter and tears, a collective hysteria allows all of them to discover their true selves.

Sur le chemin de l’école (2013) -77min



Directed by Pascal Plisson (Documentary)


The children depicted in this film live in the four corners of the globe and all share the same desire to learn. They’ve understood that only education will allow them to improve their lives, and for this reason, each day, they set out on highly risky journeys, through extraordinary landscapes, on their quest for knowledge. 11-year old Jackson lives in Kenya and, every morning and evening, he and his younger sister walk nine and a half miles across the savannah populated by wild animals. 12-year old Zahira lives in the steep Atlas Mountains. It takes her and her two friends an exhausting day of walking to reach their boarding school. 13-year old Samuel lives in India. The two and half miles he must cross each day are a challenge because his legs are paralyzed. His two younger brothers push his makeshift wheelchair for more than an hour in order to get to school. 11-year old Carlito crosses the Patagonian plains on horseback, accompanied by his younger sister. Each day the pair travels 11 miles back and forth, no matter the weather.

On the Way to School allows us to share the extraordinary daily lives of these children, whose determination coupled with a dream leads them down a path that we have all taken, but never quite in this way.

 Grigris (2013) – 101min (Official selection at Cannes)

Tchad/ Chad


Directed by Mahamet Saleh Haroun

With Souleymane DéméAnaïs Monory, and Cyril Guei


Despite a paralyzed leg, Grigris, 25-year old, dreams of being a dancer. A challenge. But his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls critically ill. To save him, Grigris resolves to work for petrol traffickers.

Hiver nomade/ Winter Nomads (2013) – 90min

Suisse/ Switzerland


Directed by Manuel von Stürler (Documentary)


Pascal, 53, and Carole, 28, are shepherds. In the month of November 2010, they embark on their long winter transhumance: four months during which they will have to cover 600 km in the Swiss-French region, accompanied by three donkeys, four dogs and a eight hundred sheep. An exceptional adventure is about to begin: they brave the cold and the bad weather day in day out, with a canvas cover and animal skins as their only shelter at night. This saga reveals a tough and exacting profession requiring constant improvisation and unflinching attention to nature, the animals and the cosmos. An eventful journey with surprise encounters, moving reunions with farmer friends, nostalgic figures of country life that is shrinking away fast. A film dominated by the strong personalities of Pascal and Carole, whose relationship and joie de vivre transform this transhumance into a magnificent hymn to freedom, at opposite extremes of our comfortable reality. Winter Nomads is an adventure film, a contemporary road movie, a reflection of our current world, which takes us back to our roots and our inner questions.

Des étoiles/ Under the starry sky (2014) – 88min

Sénégal / Senegal


Directed by Diana Gaye

With Souleymane Seye NDiaye, Ralph Amoussou, and Amya Sansa


Across Turin, Dakar, and New York, the destinies of Sophie, Abdoulaye and Thierno cross paths. Sophie, 24, leaves Dakar to join her husband, Abdoulaye, in Turin. Meanwhile, Abdoulaye has already left for New York through a smuggler’s network. Nineteen-year-old Thierno is travelling through Africa for the first time. UNDER THE STARRY SKY takes the audience on an unforgettable journey through the diverse cities and draws attention to the characters’ realities, hopes and dreams of contemporary emigration.

Le monde nous appartient/ The world belongs to us (2012) – 88 min

Belgique/ Belgium


Directed by Stephan Streker

With Vincent RottiersYmanol PersetOlivier GourmetReda Kateb, and Dinara Droukarova


Pouga and Julien are two youngsters in their 20es, who both lead an ordinary life in the suburbs of Brussels. Despite their differences, they share one thing in common, an uncertain future. Julien is an aspiring professional football player, but the way to the top is not easy. Pouga is a small time crook, who steals luxury cars for a living. When their destinies meet, little do they know that tragedy is just around the corner. Featuring the most promising actors of their generation, “Le monde nous appartient” is sure to resonate with teens.

Gabrielle (2013)- 93min



Directed by Louise ARCHAMBAULT



Gabrielle is a young woman with Williams syndrome who has a contagious joie de vivre and an exceptional musical gift. Since she met her boyfriend Martin, at the recreation centre where they are choir members, they have been inseparable. However, because they are “different,” their loved ones are fearful of their relationship. As the choir prepare for an important music festival, Gabrielle does everything she can to get her independence. As determined as she is, Gabrielle must still confront other people’s prejudices as well as her own limitations in the hope of experiencing a love far from the “ordinary”.

Harag W’Marag/ Chaos, disorders (2012)

Egypte / Egypt


Directed by Nadine Khan


Manal, Zaki, and Mounir are in their twenties. They live in a chaos-filled community next to a garbage dump where their basic needs are barely met. Beneath the disorder in their society is a layer of troubled relationships, decaying love and a feverish competition between Zaki and Mounir to woo Manal. A competition that can only be resolved by football. Respecting boundaries, the film carries a current of privacy through its unique portrayal of an isolated and closed society.

Heritages (2013) – 96 min

Liban / Lebanon


Directed by Philippe Aractingi (Documentary)


When director Philippe Aractingi is forced to leave his motherland for the third time, the reality dawns on him: his ancestors have been fleeing wars for five generations. Exploring his roots, Aractingi goes back to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the creation of Israel and the Lebanese Civil War. Experimenting with a radical new film-making style, he interlaces directed scenes and archive images with video-filmed personal diaries, family photos and super 8 reels.