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Only Men Go to the Grave Screens at the Emirates Short Film Festival

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Winner of the Best Muhr Feature Award at the Dubai International Film Festival

Only Men Go to the Grave Screens at the Emirates Short Film Festival


The feature film Only Men Go to the Grave by Emirati director Abdulla Al Kaabi will screen at the 6th Emirates Short Film Festival (ESFF) (February 24-29) on Sunday, February 24 at VOX Grand Cineplex 6. The film will be screened between 10:00 AM and 05:00 PM (Emirates Time), along with a number of other shorts and features.

Launched its first edition in 2013, the Emirates Short Film Festival aims to encourage Emirati filmmakers to present their film projects and motivate them to make more high-quality films.

Only Men Go to the Grave competed in the Official Competition of the Oran International Arabic Film Festival in Algeria. The film won the Best Muhr Feature Award at the 2016 Dubai International Film Festival, and the Best Music Score at the Malmö Arab Film Festival in Sweden. The film also took part in several international film festivals, including the Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF), Silk Road International Film Festival (SRIFF) in Ireland, Casablanca Arab Film Festival, and the Arab Film Festival in Korea.

After the Iraq-Iran war ended in 1988, a blind mother welcomes her estranged daughters to tell them a secret. Unfortunately, she accidentally dies while sharing it. During the funeral, the daughters try to deal with their mother's sudden death and also work together to unveil her secret by looking for clues from visitors. Throughout the funeral, their own lives continue to unravel, giving room for buried family tensions to gradually surface, while struggling to deal with their own secrets and deep-rooted guilt. The arrival of an unfamiliar guest rocks the entire foundation of their family. How do they deal with the aftermath?

Written and directed by Abdulla Al Kaabi as his debut feature film, Only Men Go to the Grave stars Saleema Yaqoub, Heba Sabah and Abdelreza Nasari. MAD Solutions handles the film's distribution in the Arab world.

Abdulla Al Kaabi is an Emirati filmmaker who started his career as a lead Presenter on Dubai TV in 2004 for four years when he was still a college student, which gave him valuable hands-on experience in production. In 2009, Al Kaabi moved to Paris to pursue a Master's Degree in Filmmaking at the Ecole Internationale de Creation Audiovisuelleet de Realisation (EICAR). Following his Master's Degree, Al Kaabi directed his first award-winning short film The Philosopher (2011) with famed French actor Jean Reno. In 2014, his second short Koshk won two awards at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.