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SA film premiere at Dubai festival

Rayda Jacobs's Confessions of a Gambler, the South African feature film which just finished post production in Cape Town, has been invited to the 2007 Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in December 2007 for its world premiere. DIFF is a new film festival that brings together some of the biggest names from international film.

Confessions of a Gambler is based on the Sunday Times award-winning novel by Rayda Jacobs who adapted the screenplay herself from her own novel, directed the film, and played the lead. The film tells the story of Abeeda, a Muslim woman who confronts the prejudices of her community while struggling with a gambling addiction.

America-wide newspaper USA Today cited the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in a recent expose entitled, “Where in the World are the Hottest Film Fests?” DIFF ranked along with industry giants such as Sundance, the biggest independent festival in North America, and Cannes, which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. The article pointed to the importance of DIFF's mandate to bring people together in the Middle East to share cultural differences, and complimented its spirit and that of the city of Dubai itself.

Lifts the veil

Confessions of a Gambler lifts the veil on the Muslim community. Jacobs says she hopes “to change some of the biggest myths about Muslim women with the film. Namely that we have individual identities, that we are fun, that we are pious, that we have addictions, that we sin, and that we are just like any other woman who wants to be loved, and who would do anything for their children.”

Executive producer Costa Theo (Out on a Limb, Blind Dating) identified the award-winning novel and was instrumental in securing the project and bringing the film to life, which has been made possible with the assistance of the National Film and Video Foundation and the SABC.

The film is produced by Ross Garland, a Berlin Golden Bear winner for U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, the Xhosa language adaptation of the opera Carmen. Theo and Garland are also behind Big Fellas, the road trip BEE comedy film which will be released nationwide in Nu Metro cinemas on 23 December.

The Dubai International Film Festival runs 9 – 16 December. This year, Sharon Stone will be one of the VIP guests.

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