The ninth Dubai International Film Festival that will be held from December 9-16 is all set to wow cinema enthusiasts with an eclectic list of films. Check out the numbers - 160 films from 61 countries, in 43 languages featuring 52 World Premieres, 14 International Premieres, 73 Middle East Premieres and 17 GCC Premieres!
The eight days of the festival will see the very best of film, industry events and star-gazing red-carpets with Academy Award Winners Ang Lee's long-awaited 3D adaptation of the hugely popular Yann Martel's novel 'Life of Pi' opening the Festival on Sunday, 9th December.
This year's DIFF promises to offer something for everyone, with a selection of diverse films, from sneak previews of giant-budget Hollywood films to independent films that are breaking new ground, films from first-time filmmakers though to the greatest directors of all time.
The Festival's nightly red carpet gala screenings will see the Arabian premieres of the critically acclaimed film 'Bekas' from Karzan Kadar and the culturally groundbreaking 'Wadjda' by Haiffa Al Mansour. The Cinema of the World galas include some of the most anticipated films of the year including 'Hitchcock', starring Academy Award Winners Antony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, the James Cameron-produced 3D adventure 'Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away', Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or masterpiece 'Amour' and the triumphant true story 'The Sapphires' which will close the Festival. The Gala premiere representing the Asia Africa Programe is World War II 'Epic Back to 1942' from prolific director Feng Xiaogang. DIFF's afternoon gala for younger film fans is the World Premiere of the magical adventure 'Journey to the Christmas Star'.
Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of Dubai International Film Festival, said: "Over the last nine years DIFF has become a festival renowned not only in the UAE and the Arab World, but across the globe. This year I truly feel we are presenting one of our strongest line-ups ever, bringing together filmmakers and fans to watch an remarkable variety of films from around the world, many of which they are unlikely to see anywhere else."
DIFF will present its Lifetime Achievement Awards to veteran Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdul Aziz and prolific British director Michael Apted, who have both made commendable contributions to the world of cinema and inspired countless of people through their body of work.
International celebrities flying into Dubai this December include: Academy Award winners Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Livia Firth, Frieda Pinto, Rooney Mara, Kirsten Davis, Amr Waked, Bryan Ferry, Suraj Sharma, Steve Oram, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jessica Mauboy, Shravanthi Sainath and Adil Hussain and Erica Linz.
A-list Arab celebrities gracing the red-carpet include: Laila Eloui, Nelly, Khaled El Nabawy, Ezzat Abu Ouf, Salah El Sadany, Hassan Hosny, Ghassan Masoud, Hany Ramzy, Mohamed Saad, Ahmed Rateb, Ghada Adel, Ragaa Al Gedawy, Sherine Adel, Maxime Khalil, Yosra Ellozy, Amir Karara, Sirine Abdel Nour, Nermine El Fikky, Caroline Khalil, Magdy El Hawary, Samer Ismael, Mehyar Khadour and Mounzer Rayhana.
And stars flocking to DIFF from the GCC include: Haya Abdulsalam, Jushoon, Ibrahim Al Habri, Souad Ali, Abdul Mohsen El Nemer, Salah Al-Mulla, Habib Ghuloom, Jaber Nagmoush, Abdulla Boushiri, Shimaa Ali, Zahra Arafat, Fatima Abdulrahim, Abdul Aziz Jassim, Mansour Al Feli, Mahmoud Bou Shahri, Fatma Alsafi, Yacoub Alsalili, and Basem Abdulamir. In addition Ahmad Al Braiky, Hamad Al Omani, Asmahan, Jamal Al Radhan, Yacoub Abdalla, Somoud, Abeer Al Jundi, Faisal Alamery, Aseel Omran, Buthaina Al Raisi, Reem Arahma and Haifa Hussein.
Audiences will also have the unique opportunity to meet established filmmakers along with exciting new talent including: Wayne Blair, Khairy Beshara, Abdulatif Abdulhamid, Nour Eddine Lakhmari, Haiffa Al Masour, Stephan Archinard, Brian A. Miller, Brillante Mendoza, Saul Williams, Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner, Feng Xiaogang, Takashi Miike, Nishtha Jain and Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.
Extending DIFF's commitment to nurturing emerging talent across the Region, Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett will join the jury to select the winner for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Award on December 10th, which offers a US$ 100,000 cash prize to one winning filmmaker.
Later in the week, Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth and his fashion entrepreneur wife Livia will be supporting the annual 'One Night to Change Lives' charity event to benefit Oxfam and Dubai Cares on December 14th. Last year's event raised over USD 1 million, funding 14 regional schools and 10 schools in Pakistan.
Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director, said: "Every year we maintain such a high level of films and filmmakers and this year is no different. Over and above the eight days of the Festival DIFF has grown to become so much more than a showcase of films and glamorous events. Dubai Film Market (DFM) is central to the Festival offer. Since 2005 we have supported over 170 films through our various initiatives providing real support to Arab filmmakers. The eclectic mix being showcased during DIFF are the heart and soul of the festival, while DFM is the energy which allows it to grow and prosper year after year."
The DIFF box office will open online on Tuesday, November 27th at www.dubaifilmfest.com. Additional information is also available through the Festival's dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).
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