Join us in our Auditorium this Summer for Cinem’Art - a series of film screenings that aims to create a dialogue between cinema and selected artworks from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s temporary and permanent exhibitions. From films inspired by the Mughal Empire paintings, to comparing the daily life in China between artwork of the 18th Century and the early moving images of the 20th Century. Over six weeks we will be offering a wide range of genres from classic, contemporary, documentary and experimental films all the while in conversation with artworks inside the walls of the Galleries.

Cinem’Art is curated by the artist Hind Mezaina.
Admission to the screenings is free.


  1. Shiraz: A Romance of India - Saturday 23 June - 5pm
  2. Paa Joe and the Lion - Saturday 30 June - 5pm
  3. ★ - Saturday 7 July - 5pm
  4. Around China with a Movie Camera - Saturday 14 July - 5pm
  5. Horizontes - Saturday 21 July - 5pm
  6. UAE Stories - Saturday 28 July - 5pm

Shiraz: A Romance of India - 23 June, 5pm

Dir. Franz Osten
UK-Germany-India | 1928 | 105 min | Silent | PG*

The screening is inspired by The Mughal empire paintings, which depict a certain lifestyle and elegance that is reflected in this film, set in 17th-century India. The paintings can be seen in Gallery 7.

This epic silent film shot entirely on location in India, with an all-Indian cast, is the ravishing, romantic tale of 17th-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, his queen and the building of the world’s most beautiful monument to love: the Taj Mahal.

Producer and star Himansu Rai plays humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart Selima, when she is sold by slave traders to the future emperor.  Selima catches the eye of the prince, but finds a rival in an ambitious favourite from his harem. Shiraz meanwhile, is fated to design the queen’s iconic mausoleum.

Restored by the BFI National Archive and featuring a specially commissioned score by the Grammy Award-winning Anoushka Shankar.

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Paa Joe and The Lion - 30 June, 5pm

Dir. Benjamin Wigley
UK | 2016 | 72 min | English | PG*

Inspired by the Reliquary casket made with Fatimid Rock crystal plaques (1200-1210). The cask is on display in Gallery 6.

Once upon a time in Ghana, Paa Joe’s Business – bespoke “fantasy coffins”, meticulously crafted representations of mythical beasts – was booming, but that time appears long past. His son Jacob seeks to return the family business to its former glory, a plan that begins with an artist residency in the UK where they will craft their biggest and boldest coffin yet: a majestic lion. 

Paa Joe and The Lion is the heartwarming fish-out-of-water story about a father and son embracing life through art that celebrates death.

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★ - 7 July, 5pm

Dir. Johann Lurf
Austria | 2017 | 99 min | English | PG*

Inspired by Astrolabe by Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Battuti (Maghreb 1726-1727) which represents the celestial sphere in a flat projection. The artwork is on display in the Cosmography Gallery.

The film ★ invites viewers to enjoy stargazing in this conceptual work of cinematic interpretations of the night sky. A film that defies explanation, Austrian filmmaker Johann Lurf has chosen an audacious and ever-expanding subject for this feature film: the stars in the night's sky. ★ is a brilliantly edited compilation of scenes of the night sky, from 550 films from the beginning of film history up to the present day, including the original soundtracks.  

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Around China with a Movie Camera - 14 July, 5pm

Dir. Various
UK/China | 1900-1948 | Black & White | 68 min | Silent | PG*

Inspired by A Chinese Scene (Jean-Baptiste Pillement, 1765-1767), which looks at daily life in China through Western eyes in the 18th-century. The artwork is on display in Gallery 9.  

Take a trip back to China in the first half of the 20th-century with this programme of extraordinary, rare and beautiful travelogues, newsreels and home movies from the BFI National Archive, featuring music by Ruth Chan.

Made by a wealth of British and French filmmakers, from professionals to intrepid tourists, colonial-era expatriates and Christian missionaries, the films explore 50 years of Chinese history across a diverse range of footage.  The collection includes what might be the oldest surviving film to be shot in China – unseen for 115 years. 

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Horizontes - 21 July, 5pm

Dir. Eileen Hofer
Switzerland | 2015 | 70 min | Spanish, with English subtitles | PG*

Inspired by Edgar Degas: Dancer, Fourth Position on the Left Leg, Third Study which represents movement, strength and control in ballet dancing. Horizontes shows the love and passion for dance through three women and their dedication to ballet. The artwork is on display
in Gallery 10.

Set in Cuba, Horizontes tells the story of three strong women who completely dedicate their lives to ballet – the legend and the local hero Alicia Alonso, prima ballerina assoluta, now 93, who founded the National Ballet of Cuba; Viengsay Valdes who is at the beginning of her international career and young Amanda, who dreams about entering the famous ballet school.

Together, their interwoven stories give an enchanting glimpse of ballet talent, past, present and future.

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UAE Stories: A selection of short films - 28 July, 5pm

Arabic, with English subtitles  | PG*

Part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi programming for the Year of Zayed.

Inspired by the home city of Louvre Abu Dhabi, an evening dedicated to short films made by young filmmakers in the UAE. The films touch on personal memories, struggles, achievements and the meaning of home.
Films to be screened are:

  • Arasian: (Dir. Ahmed Al Tunaiji) A boy struggles at school to prove he is more Emirati than Asian
  • From A to Bee: (Dir. Maryam Moustafa) Honey production in the UAE is more complicated than it looks
  • A Time to Pray: (Dir. Ahmed Al Kuwaiti) The member of a mosque must help a woman deliver her baby
  • Robbama: (Dir. Malak Mansoura) Expats in the UAE discuss their definition of home
  • Odyssey: (Dir. Maryam Al Romaithi) The UAE’s first female mountain climber talks about what keeps her going
  • Sheikh Zayed’s 100th Birthday: (Dir. Hooraya Al Muflahi) A man recalls his encounters with Sheikh Zayed, which began when he was a child

The films were screened at the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival 2018, curated by Sascha Ritter and Alia Yunis. 

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* Ratings

The films being shown are officially unrated by UAE’s official rating agency. Louvre Abu Dhabi has provided its recommended rating, based on its assessment of the film’s content and themes, for customer guidance only and accepts no liability for their accuracy.

PG: Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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