The Gala line-up for Dubai International Film Festival 2009 has been revealed.
DIFF artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said the Galas at DIFF capture the soul, spirit and spectacle of the festival. "These screenings define DIFF – in terms of the power of film content, diversity of films with an international outlook and the sheer enthusiasm of the audience."
Gala line-up includes:
Rocket Singh-Salesman of the Year on December 10
The Indian Cinema Gala features Bollywood's newest youth sensation, Ranbir Kapoor, and is helmed by Shimit Amin, who shot to fame with "Chak De India". The film is a cheerful, yet sharply observed satire on office life in Mumbai's booming world of IT. For the Dubai screening, Ranbir will walk the red carpet along with director Shimit Amin.
Avatar on December 15
DIFF, in conjunction with Lightstorm, Twentieth Century Fox and Empire International, is presenting Avatar, James Cameron's epic motion picture adventure, as the spectacular finale to this year's festival. The film, starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Michelle Rodriguez amongst others takes us to a world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home.
City of Life on December 11
Arabian Nights gala City of Life, a world premiere and the first multi-lingual feature film to be written, produced and directed by Ali F Mostafa. The film, shot in Dubai, is intended for both local and international release, and revolves around three lives – a privileged Emirati male, disillusioned Indian taxi driver, and Western woman – whose lives are all about to collide for better or worse. The cast comprises Alexandra Maria Lara, Sonu Sood, Saoud Al Ka'abi and Yassin Alsaman, Jason Flemming, Natalie Dormer, Ahmed Ahmed, Habib Ghuloom and Javed Jaffery.
Alvin and the Chipmunks on December 11
Children's favourite Alvin and the Chipmunks return with their 'squeakel' for the Cinema for Children gala. The chipmunk chums, this time, are striving for pop stardom at their school competition while encountering their wily female counterparts, a sassy trio called The Chipettes. Directed by Betty Thomas, the film stars Jason Lee and David Cross, and features the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney.
Mother and Child on December 12
Mother and Child will grab the limelight at the Cinema of the World Gala. Written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, the film stars Naomi Watts, Samuel L Jackson, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington and Shareeka Epps. The joyous-yet-melancholic story features three parallel narratives, probing the extraordinary nature of motherhood.
Cartagena on December 14
The highly anticipated Cartagena starring Sophie Marceau and Christopher Lambert is the In Focus France Gala. Based on the novel L'Homme de Chevet, and set against a Colombian backdrop, the love story, directed by Alain Monne, involves a former boxing champion and paralysed woman for whom he cares.
Budrus on December 13
The Cultural Bridge presentation is the world premiere of Julia Bacha's Budrus, in which a Palestinian leader unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.
Now in its sixth year, DIFF 2009 will be held from December 9 to 16.