Fantastic Appeal for Fantasy Movies

From joining the quest of destroying that ‘One Ring’ – Lord of the Rings, drifting into the realm of ‘Narnia’- home to mythical beasts and talking animals – The Chronicles of Narnia, to learning the art of witchcraft and wizardry at ‘Hogwarts’ – Harry Potter and coexisting with the local tribe on the lush alien world of Pandora – Avatar, we can all agree that fantasy is fundamentally ridiculous. But, once in a while, the real world gets a tad boring, and good old fantasy is our best and cheapest bet!

Fantasy has the power to transport audiences from the bounds of reality into the world of escapism and incredulity – and what better medium than cinema to escape reality (larger than life image and surround sound with booming bass).

Over the years, the genre has gone from strength to strength, and today, we’re in the middle of an unprecedented fantasy boom.

2017 witnessed a myriad of fantasy movies, with three of them making it to the list of Top 10 Highest Grossing Hollywood Movies (worldwide) – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (over US$1.32B and the 9th highest grossing movie of all time), Beauty and the Beast (Over US$1.26B and the 11th highest grossing movie of all time) and Wonder Woman (over US$817M). Another notable fantasy movie of 2017 is The Shape of Water which won 4 Oscars, 2 Golden Globes and 2 BAFTA Awards.


UAE fantasy movie admissions stats:



Avengers: Infinity War – Ranks 1st in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2018, ran for 23 weeks and did approximately 733K admissions



Beauty and the Beast – Ranks 3rd in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2017, ran for 14 weeks and did approximately 499K admissions

Wonder Woman – Ranks 10th in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2017, ran for 13 weeks and did approximately 330K admissions

Justice League – Ran for 8 weeks and did approximately 322K admissions

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Ran for 9 weeks and did approximately 178K admissions



Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ranks 2nd in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2016, ran for 13 weeks and did approximately 541K admissions

Suicide Squad – Ranks 5th in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2016, ran for 10 weeks and did approximately 339K admissions

Doctor Strange – Ran for 10 weeks and did approximately 245K admissions

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Ran for 11 weeks and did approximately 234K admissions

Warcraft: The Beginning – Ran for 9 weeks and did approximately 182K admissions



Avengers: Age of Ultron – Ranks 3rd in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2015, ran for 12 weeks and did approximately 530K admissions

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Ranks 8th in UAE Top 10 Movies of 2015, ran for 15 weeks and did approximately 398K admissions

Cinderella – Ran for 12 weeks and did approximately 303K admissions


Upcoming fantasy movie releases in November  December 2018:


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 

Release Date: 15th November 2018

Starring: Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Eddie Redmayne


Mortal Engines 

Release Date: 13th December 2018

Starring: Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang and Robert Sheehan



Release Date: 20th December 2018

Starring: Jason Mamoa, Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman


*Fantasy movies mentioned above are as per genre listings on IMDb.


Contact a member of our sales team for more information on advertising opportunities alongside upcoming fantasy movie releases.



Sources: IMDb, Writing Cooperative, The Telegraph and YouTube

2018 Oscar Winners – The Complete List

The Shape of Water led the 90th Academy Awards, winning best picture and best director (for Guillermo del Toro). The film also nabbed prizes for production design and original score.

Gary Oldman won the lead actor award for his work as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Frances McDormand earned her second best actress Oscar for her role as a grieving mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Meanwhile, Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Allison Janney (I, Tonya) picked up supporting actor and actress honors.

Here’s the full winners list.

Best Picture:


The Shape of Water” (WINNER)

Call Me by Your Name

Darkest Hour


Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri




Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (WINNER)

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water

Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, “The Post




Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” (WINNER)

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out

Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”




The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro (WINNER)

Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan

Get Out,” Jordan Peele

Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson


Original Song:


“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez (WINNER)

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige

“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens

“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common

“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul


Original Score:


The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat (WINNER)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams

Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer

Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell




Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins (WINNER)

Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel

Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema

Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison

The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen


Original Screenplay:


Get Out,” Jordan Peele (WINNER)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor


Adapted Screenplay:


Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory (WINNER)

The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green

Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin

Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees


Live Action Short Film:

The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton (WINNER)

DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk

The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson

My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.

Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen


Documentary Short Subject:

Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel (WINNER)

Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon

Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright

Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon

Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner


Film Editing:


Dunkirk,” Lee Smith (WINNER)

Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel

The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory


Visual Effects:


Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer (WINNER)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick

Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus

Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan

War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist


Animated Feature:


Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson (WINNER)

The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito

The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo

Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha

Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman


Animated Short:


Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant (WINNER)

Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon

Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray

Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata

Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer


Supporting Actress:


Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” (WINNER)

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound

Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water


Foreign Language Film:


A Fantastic Woman” (Chile) (WINNER)

The Insult” (Lebanon)

Loveless” (Russia)

On Body and Soul” (Hungary)

The Square” (Sweden)


Production Design:


The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau (WINNER)

Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer

Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola

Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis


Sound Mixing:


Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo (WINNER)

Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin

Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill

The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern

Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick


Sound Editing:


Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King (WINNER)

Baby Driver,” Julian Slater

Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green

The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira

Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood


Documentary Feature:


Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan (WINNER)

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman

Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda

Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen

Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes


Costume Design:


Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges (WINNER)

Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran

Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran

The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira

Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle


Makeup and Hairstyling:


Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick (WINNER)

Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard

Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten


Supporting Actor:


Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (WINNER)

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World



Source: Variety




Gala Screenings to Watch at the Dubai International Film Festival 2017

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will host a number of gala screenings featuring acclaimed films during the festival, which begins on December 6 at the Madinat Arena. Following the opening night, December 7 will see British director Dominic Cooke’s, On Chesil Beach, based on the 2007 Booker Prize-nominated novel by Ian McEwan. A second gala screening will follow, which will be Orchestra Class, a tale of new beginnings for a struggling violinist and the power of music from French actor and director Rachid Hami.

Gala Screenings at DIFF 2017


On Friday, December 8, it will be a triple-bill starting with the Children’s Gala with the animated film Ferdinand from legendary Brazilian director, Carlos Saldanha. The adventure-comedy centres around a fighting bull with an identity crisis, voiced by John Cena. Second on the roster is the critically appraised, The Death of Stalin, from Scottish-Italian filmmaker Armando Iannucci, who brings Soviet-era satire about one of the world’s most ruthless leaders. The evening will end with Australian director Warwick Thornton’s period-western Sweet Country, inspired by true events, boasting a stellar cast of Michael Palin, Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs and Jeffrey Tambor.

Gala Screenings at DIFF 2017


December 9 will also feature three galas, starting in the afternoon with Academy Award-nominated actor, writer, producer and director Rob Reiner’s Shock and Awe. It will take a real-life look at a group of journalists who uncovered the unsubstantiated claims by President George W. Bush’s administration that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This will be followed by family adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, featuring a superstar cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black, and is directed by American television director Jake Kasdan. The final film of the night will be Hollywood hotshot James Franco’s, with the much celebrated The Disaster Artist, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room from 2003 — an undoubtedly awful film — that has become one of the most treasured cult classic of all time.

Gala Screenings at DIFF 2017


On December 10, it will be Mexican Director Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic fantasy The Shape of Water. The highly anticipated feature and winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival features the likes of Academy Award nominees Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins, and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer.

Gala Screenings at DIFF 2017


The gala on Monday, December 11, is acclaimed TV and film writer Khaled Diab’s latest feature, Induced Labor. After tireless attempts to obtain legitimate entry to the US fail, an Egyptian couple believes that storming the US embassy in Cairo and birthing their twins there will grant them citizenship, however not everything goes to plan in this raucous comedy. That will be followed by Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, from Academy Award winning British Filmmaker, Martin McDonagh. The Oscar front-runner starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell and has snowballed on the festival circuit winning Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival, the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, and a further 11 nominations for British Independent Film Awards.

Gala Screenings at DIFF 2017


Tuesday, December 12, will start with Bafta Award winning director Lynne Ramsay and her thriller, You Were Never Really Here. Picking up awards for Best Actor and Best Screenplay at Cannes Film Festival, the feature received a phenomenal reception and standing ovation from audiences. Matt Damon is the pick of the bunch in Alexander Payne’s Academy Award winning satirical sci-fi piece, Downsizing. Centred on a man who chooses to shrink himself (literally) to simplify his life, the film will conclude the screenings in the arena, with help from Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Laura Dern, Jason Sudeikis, Alec Baldwin, and Neil Patrick Harris.

Gala Screenings at DIFF 2017


Don’t miss it!

DIFF runs from December 6 to 13. Red carpet gala tickets start at Dh100. Tickets to other screenings will go on sale from December 5, 2017 on the DIFF website.



Sources: DIFF and Gulf News