If you find yourself in the United Arab Emirates or Indonesia the second week of December, you're in luck, because some pretty big film festivals will be going on. The lineups for the fourth Dubai International Film Festival (Dec. 9-16) and the ninth Jakarta International Film Festival (Dec. 7-16) have been announced, and there are literally hundreds of titles on the roster.

At Dubai, the opening night film will be George Clooney's Michael Clayton (pictured), which perfectly captures the fest's combination of politics and glamour. Also screening is a Lebanese war drama, Under the Bombs, and a film from Jordan -- a country that very, very rarely produces movies -- called Captain Abu Raed. (Those two will play at Sundance, too, in case you can't make it to Dubai.)

In all, 141 films from 52 countries will screen. There will also be lifetime achievement awards for Egyptian filmmaker Yousef Chahine, Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-Taek, and American actor Danny Glover. Wait, what? Yes, Danny Glover. Maybe he's bigger in Dubai than he is here. Or maybe they're just now getting the Lethal Weapon films.

Meanwhile, 4,000 miles southeast in Jakarta, the opening film will be Persepolis, which has already played at several festivals and been beloved wherever it goes -- except by the Iranian government, which pitched enough of a fit to get it bounced from the Bangkok International Film Festival back in July. The Jakarta programmers are evidently a bit more thick-skinned.

Jakarta has 170 films from 35 countries playing, including well-known titles like Elizabeth: The Golden Age, No Country for Old Men, The Namesake, and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Also, the festival will close with an Indonesian film for the first time: Chants of Lotus, an anthology of stories made by four female directors.
categories Cinematical