12 December 2012 8:33 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Local pride may have caused problems for the much-awaited feature – but is it the start of a new phase for the Gulf film industry?

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In December 2011, at a cinema on the edge of Hyde Park – a stone's throw from Edgware Road, London's Arab quarter – 300 punters were filing out of a test screening of Djinn, the United Arab Emirates' first horror film and the eighth full-length Emirati feature to date. Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the government-backed company who made it, had scored a coup: persuading Texas Chainsaw Massacre legend Tobe Hooper to direct. And it seemed to have paid dividends. "It's the return of the master," crowed one viewer at the screening.

Then Djinn vanished. It didn't appear at the Dubai film festival, where it had been offered a red-carpet premiere. Promised spring and summer 2012 release dates came and went. It was »

- Phil Hoad

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