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Event 8 Rhianna Pratchett: The Rise of the Tomb Raider

Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Rhianna Pratchett’s remarkable career has seen her redefine video game storytelling, rebooting the Tomb Raider series and creating whole new worlds in Mirror’s Edge and Heavenly Sword. She also works to preserve the legacy of her father, Terry Pratchett, and his beloved Discworld books, ensuring that forthcoming adaptations of The Wee Free Men, The Watch and others are faithful to his vision and unique sense of humour. She is currently developing a TV series set in the world of the Arabian Nights.

Join us for this exploration of Rhianna’s writing and filmmaking careers, the challenges of reinventing gaming icon Lara Croft, and the importance of plenty of tea-drinking!

Language: English

Rhianna Pratchett: The Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Event 65 Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Kevin Kwan
We’ve all wondered at how the super-rich live, but may not have seen the wild extravagance of it first-hand. Author Kevin Kwan has, and he’s here to reveal all about the world of the luxury-laden Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, from private jets to plastic surgery for pet fish.

The satirical series, which has been dubbed ‘a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice’ for its portrayal of the gossip and scheming of a wealthy elite, has entertained readers worldwide and is now on its way to cinemas. This is your chance to get the inside story on those #richpeopleproblems from the author who knows them best!

Kevin will be in conversation with Richard Dean.

Language: English

Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

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Event 15 Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death

Friday 2 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Discover a powerful story of love, rebellion and magical destiny set in post-apocalyptic Africa. Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death is being adapted for television by HBO and George RR Martin, and follows the journey of Onye – a woman on a quest for vengeance against her sorcerous father.

A winner of the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards as well as the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature, Nnedi’s recent work also includes the Binti trilogy, Lagoon, a story in a new Star Wars anthology and a comic starring pre-Islamic Arab hero Antar the Black Knight.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from one of the rising stars of speculative fiction!

Nnedi will be in conversation with Andrew Staples.

Language: English

Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death

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Event 67 Lion: Screening and Talk with Saroo Brierley

Wednesday 7 March, 7.30pm-10pm   Screen 5, Novo Cinemas

When Saroo Brierley was just five years old, he got lost after boarding a train without his family and ended up living alone on the streets of Calcutta, far from a hometown he couldn’t name. Years later, living in Australia, he began a search that would change his life.

The book A Long Way Home is the story of that search and his reunion with his birth mother. A bestseller in Australia, the book gained global fame when it was adapted as the BAFTA-winning film Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara.

This screening, held in partnership with Dubai International Film Festival, is preceded by a talk by Saroo on the story behind the film and the new book he is currently writing – a ‘prequel’ about his adoptive and birth mothers in Australia and India.

Saroo will be in conversation with Fiona Lindsay.

Language: English

Lion: Screening and Talk with Saroo Brierley

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Event 77 Andy Weir: The Martian and Beyond (Live Video Link)

Friday 9 March, 10am-11am   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Andy Weir
Andy Weir shot to fame with The Martian, the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars after a mission gone wrong. Fans adored the humorous and scientifically plausible story, which won Weir the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and was adapted as a hugely successful film starring Matt Damon.

In this live video link session from his home in the US, Weir will reveal all about his Martian adventure and his new novel Artemis, in which smuggler Jazz Bashara gets caught up in a conspiracy in the first city on the moon.

Signed book plates will be available for books purchased at the Festival Bookshop after the session.

Andy will be in conversation with Paul Blezard.

Language: English

Andy Weir: The Martian and Beyond (Live Video Link)

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Event 150 Jane Hawking: From Fact to Film to Fiction

Friday 9 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Dr Jane Hawking shares the story of her extraordinary marriage to genius physicist Stephen Hawking.

As Stephen's academic renown soared, his body was collapsing under the assaults of motor-neuron disease. Jane's candid account of trying to balance his 24-hour care with the needs of their growing family is inspirational.

After penning her bestselling memoir, Travelling to Infinity, Jane and Stephen's story went on to achieve further fame in the Oscar-winning film, The Theory of Everything. Jane delves into the book that began this incredible journey and introduces her novel Silent Music, a coming-of-age story set in post-war Britain.

Language: English

Jane Hawking: From Fact to Film to Fiction

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Event 84 Tony Hawks: Lessons from the Fridge

Friday 9 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Tony Hawks
He has hitchhiked with a fridge, played Moldovan footballers at tennis and sought a musical hit in Albania.

Actor, writer and stand-up comedian Tony Hawks has never run short of hilarious material.

But along the way, he has discovered that the silly can reveal more serious truths – and, in fact, his calamitous decisions have spread joy wherever he goes.

In this talk, he explains his ‘fridge philosophy’, sharing his unique perspective on life, and why he believes happiness comes less from material things and more from helping others.

This time, he’s leaving the fridge at home.

Language: English

Tony Hawks: Lessons from the Fridge

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Event 95 Noor Abdulmajeed: La Scala

Friday 9 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Noor Abdulmajeed has become one of the most popular Arabic writers tackling the social issues facing women, with her books being adapted into films and TV series.

Her novel La Scala has been described as a symphony of pain, love, betrayal, abandonment and alienation, an exploration of the depths of the human soul exposing the effects of the injustice suffered by the heroines of the novel.

Come and hear directly from this trailblazing voice in Arabic women’s literature.

Noor will be in conversation with Hani Yakan.

Language: Arabic with English translation

Noor Abdulmajeed: La Scala

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Event 100 Julie Tottman: The Hedwig Whisperer

Friday 9 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Julie Tottman
Attention, Harry Potter fans! The animal trainer for the Harry Potter film series is coming to the Festival – bringing tales of Fang, Crookshanks and those magical messenger owls with her!

Julie Tottman wanted to train animals ever since she was a child. Her dream came true and she’s been ‘animal wrangler’ for celebrity animals from Lassie to Pongo and Perdita and many more furry and feathered film stars!

Don’t miss Julie’s amazing on-set stories, and hear about her books, Superstar Cats and Superstar Dogs – guides to teaching your pets tricks that will rival the greatest animal actors!

Julie will be in conversation with Fiona Lindsay.

Language: English

Age Group: 6+

Julie Tottman: The Hedwig Whisperer

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Event 96 Cheryl Strayed: Wild

Friday 9 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Cheryl Strayed’s life fell apart when she was 22. With nothing to lose, she packed an oversized backpack she called Monster and set off to walk the Pacific Crest Trail – 1000 miles of the American West’s extraordinary wilderness, from deserts to snow-capped mountains.

Her battle with the physical challenges of the trail and the grief that haunted her led her to write the acclaimed memoir Wild, which became the focus of Oprah’s Book Club and was adapted as a feature film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Join Cheryl as she relives that life-changing journey and shares the stories behind her other books, including the inspiring collection of quotes Brave Enough and her novel Torch.

Cheryl will be in conversation with Brandy Scott.

Language: English

Cheryl Strayed: Wild

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Event 102 Culture, Cliché and Cut!: Identity in Film

Friday 9 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

In Muscat, a dark-skinned boy meets his fair-skinned stepbrother for the first time. In Dubai, Indian and Pakistani security guards bond in an empty building site. And a multi-ethnic cast of characters collide, irrevocably impacting each other's lives.

Three young filmmakers who have received critical praise for the unexpected truths captured in their films discuss the power of visual storytelling to bridge divides.

Muzna Al Musafer is a self-made Omani filmmaker. Her breakthrough second film, Cholo, premiered at Dubai Film Festival and has been screened at prestigious events worldwide.

Neel Kumar quit a lucrative job with Saatchi & Saatchi to create Security, which was acclaimed at film festivals worldwide. He is currently working on his first feature-length film with an Oscar-winning star….

Ali F Mostafa is an award-winning Emirati director most famous for City of Life, a highly acclaimed feature film that broke box office records for an Emirati film.

This panel is moderated by Alex Broun.

Language: Arabic & English with translation

Culture, Cliché and Cut!: Identity in Film

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Event 831 Freestyle Your Film: Workshop with Muzna Al Musafer

Saturday 10 March, 10am-11.30am   Al Waha, InterContinental

Learn how to create short movies on your phone with filmmaker Muzna Al Musafer!

Muzna will teach you how to produce high-quality films using nothing more than a mobile device, an app and your imagination. Turn the world around you into your personalised story without the need for lighting, cameras and other equipment.

The tutor: Muzna Al Musafer is a self-made Omani filmmaker whose first film Niqab won the student competition at the Gulf Film Festival. Her breakthrough second film, Cholo, won Best Script at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, premiered at Dubai Film Festival and was screened at the New York African Film Festival.

Participants in the class should download the full or trial versions of FiLMiC Pro to their device before the workshop begins. Other materials provided.

Language: Arabic

Age Group: 15-21

Freestyle Your Film: Workshop with Muzna Al Musafer

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Event 111 Julie Tottman: Beastmistress of the Seven Kingdoms

Saturday 10 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Authors: Julie Tottman
Westeros wouldn’t last a week without someone keeping the ravens in order – and that’s the job of animal trainer Julie Tottman.

Julie is a vital part of the Game of Thrones team, with the difficult but rewarding job of training ravens, wolves, man-eating hounds and (occasionally) over-ambitious directors for their turn in the spotlight. She has also worked on the Harry Potter films, The Dark Knight and many other major film and TV projects.

This riveting conversation will be full of insights into what it takes to bring animal characters to life on the screen, with a look at some of Julie’s favourite scenes.

Julie will be in conversation with Alex Broun.

Language: English

Julie Tottman: Beastmistress of the Seven Kingdoms

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Event 139 Seriously Funny Scripts: Charlie Higson & Andy Riley

Saturday 10 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Writing TV comedy is a serious business – as master screenwriters Charlie Higson and Andy Riley will attest.

These two comedic craftsmen have some major screen credits to their name, and in this lively panel they will look at what goes into making audiences laugh.

Charlie Higson is a novelist, screenwriter and actor whose TV credits include The Fast Show and Jekyll and Hyde. He is the author of the Young Bond and The Enemy book series.

Andy Riley is a cartoonist, children’s author and screenwriter whose work includes the Emmy-winning American series Veep, the animated film Gnomeo & Juliet, and cult British favourites Little Britain and Black Books.

This panel is moderated by Fiona Lindsay.

Language: English

Seriously Funny Scripts: Charlie Higson & Andy Riley

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Event 137 Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

Saturday 10 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Levison Wood
Bestselling author, explorer and photographer Levison Wood takes us on an epic journey across continents. In his new book Eastern Horizons: Hitchhiking the Silk Road, he recounts his shoestring budget journey from England to India and the eccentric (and occasionally dangerous) characters he encountered on the way. And for his next book, he’ll be mounting his most complex expedition yet, travelling around the Arabian Peninsula.

The winner of the 2016 Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Book Of The Year Award, Wood is a gripping speaker who has stories of adventures on five continents and whose busy schedule encompasses everything from filmmaking to saving elephants.

Levison will be in conversation with Lea Sellers.

Language: English

Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

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Event 124 From Memoir to Movie: Saroo Brierley & Cheryl Strayed

Saturday 10 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

What’s it like to see your life unfold on the big screen?

Authors Saroo Brierley and Cheryl Strayed know, having seen their bestselling memoirs adapted as major motion pictures. Together they discuss the excitement and stress of seeing their deeply personal stories retold by movie studios and released to a whole new audience.

Saroo Brierley is the author of A Long Way Home, the tale of his search for his birth family which became the BAFTA-winning movie Lion starring Dev Patel.

Cheryl Strayed is the author of Wild, an account of her journey of self-discovery on the Pacific Crest Trail, adapted as an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon.

This panel is moderated by Fiona Lindsay.

Language: English

From Memoir to Movie: Saroo Brierley & Cheryl Strayed

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