DIFF Daily 2011

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Day 1

Now To – ‘How To’...

Dec 07, 2011 - 11:54 PM

By Rania Habib As the dust settled on the 2010 7th Dubai International Film Festival, Colin Stanfield was already thinking of new ways to present – and demystify- the many twists and turns of the film industry to budding filmmakers. Enter the 8th DIFF, and Stanfield – executive director of the Nantucket Film Festival- will be moderating five ‘How To’ sessions between international film professionals and participants at the Dubai Filmmart. ‘We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to draw on a variety of different guest pools, from all over the world,’ says Stanfield. ‘We’ll leverage the ... read more

INTERVIEW: Dorothee Wenner

Dec 07, 2011 - 11:42 PM

Consultant – Celebration of Indian Cinema Selecting films from the prolific Indian film industry must be a daunting experience… Dorothee Wenner: This year I carried back eight kilos of DVDs of Indian films back to Germany – just to give you an idea of the number of submissions. Let’s just say I raised quite a bit of suspicion at the airport! Did the content vary or did you find recurring, repetitive themes? DW: Audiences in India are diverse. Firstly there’s the rural-urban divide, then the Southern-Northern variation, so content definitely varied in those eight kilos! I did find it interesting ... read more

Arabs Spring Forward

Dec 07, 2011 - 11:40 PM

By Esraa Aboushahin, Komal R. Lakhani, Mohamad Ali Al Ali and Rabiya Sonde As the 8th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) gets underway tonight, audiences will have the opportunity to watch some of the latest, most engaging films from the Arab world. In addition to the 25 features, documentaries and shorts competing in the Muhr Arab Awards, the festival’s programme also includes the Arabian Nights section with 20 films. 37 of the Arab films are World Premieres. Film production in the region has never been more prolific, and the emergence of events such as DIFF, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and the Doha ... read more


Dec 07, 2011 - 10:21 PM

To say that A. R. Rahman’s music united a country is no exaggeration. Prior to his work on the groundbreaking Tamil film ‘Roja’ in 1992, music in Indian film was distinctly identifiable by the region it originated from. Chartbusters in one language would be dubbed in others, but never managed to retain the same appeal. As was demonstrated in ‘Roja’, Rahman introduced India to a new sound. The A. R. Rahman sound – defined by its freshness, originality and fearlessness. A sound unfettered from commercial considerations, guided only by truth and purity to music, as he saw fit. ‘Roja’ a film that ... read more

Variety: Dubai Intl. Film Festival: Star-powered event

Dec 07, 2011 - 12:16 AM

BY ALISSA SIMON Heading into an eighth edition, the Dubai Intl. Film Festival remains the grande dame of the Gulf’s film festivals, holding its own against younger brethren such as Abu Dhabi and Doha by continuing its pioneering mandate to develop the local and regional industry while bringing a dazzling array of world cinema -- and celebrities -- to the hometown crowds. This year's event kicks off on Dec. 7 (today) with the world premiere of "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" with star Tom Cruise and helmer Brad Bird on the red carpet. The pic filmed extensively in Dubai and includes thrilling shots of ... read more

Variety: ‘Tyrannosaur roars at Bifas’

Dec 07, 2011 - 12:10 AM

BY DIANA LODDERHOSE As the awards season gets underway, Brit thesp Paddy Considine proved his chops as a director as his debut feature "Tyrannosaur" snapped up three laurels at the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday night in London. Pic won best British independent film and earned Considine the Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director while star Olivia Colman walked away with the best actress award. The £1 million ($1.5 million) pic, produced through Warp Films' low-budget Warp X label, is about a man plagued by violence and rage who forms an unlikely bond with a Christian charity-shop worker. ... read more

Know. Understand. Accept.

Dec 07, 2011 - 12:07 AM

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) is a unique venue within Dubai’s historic Bastakiya District. For the third consecutive year, the SMCCU welcomes DIFF guests to partake in its numerous cultural activities. The centre was established when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, saw the need to reach out and educate expatriates about the traditions and customs of the United Arab Emirates. The traditional wind-tower house, located in picturesque Bastakiya has been its home since 1998. The centre’s mission ... read more


Dec 07, 2011 - 12:05 AM

Arsalan Mohammad takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour of filming Mission:Impossible in Dubai In 2009, Hollywood producers JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk were en route to Kuwait, to present a screening of their latest ‘Star Trek’ film to US troops stationed in the Gulf. On the way, they decided, out of curiosity, to stop over in Dubai, where they took a tour around the city. And whilst prowling about the bustling city, the pair experienced something of a eureka moment… ‘JJ turned to me,’ remembers Abrams ‘And said, “We HAVE to come back here and shoot a movie!” It’s this incredible 21st century city ... read more


Dec 07, 2011 - 12:03 AM

By Bashar Ibrahim The 85-year-old veteran artist Gamil Ratib is considered one of the pioneers of Arab cinema. Since the 1950s he has carved his own path to international stardom, including a role as Majid in the David Lean classic ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962). He travelled to France in 1944 to study Diplomacy, which he abandoned in order to study theatre, much to his family’s chagrin. He started out as an actor in small roles in film and theatre, but found early success once he joined the ‘Comédie-Française’ in 1949, and continued to perform in several local and international stage productions. ... read more

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