DIFF Set to Bring the Magic of Cinema to Everyone with Eight Day Showcase of the Best Regional and Global Cinema
Tue Dec 6, 2016

Line up of more than 150 films screening from December 7-14 will provide something for everyone to enjoy, from families to seasoned film aficionados
Dubai Film Market offers unprecedented opportunities to meet the best in the industry with an exclusive line-up of networking events, panel sessions and special presentations
Tickets available at www.diff.ae, VOX at Mall of the Emirates, Madinat Theatre and Madinat Arena

Dubai, 06 December 2016: Cinema lovers, acclaimed filmmakers and rising stars are descending on the UAE once again as the annual Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) opens its doors for a landmark 13th edition on December 7th. Over eight days, Dubai will come alive with all the magic of the movies as an eclectic selection of work from internationally acclaimed directors and actors, renowned regional filmmakers and budding local talent is screened across the city.

Since the Festival’s inception in 2004, DIFF has rapidly evolved into one of the region’s most prestigious events, recognised as a pillar for Arab cinema. This year, the Festival will once again bridge cultures with a programme that features an outstanding selection of 156 films, crafted in over 44 languages, from 55 countries. The line-up includes 57 world premieres and international premieres, 73 MENA premieres, 12 Middle East premieres and 9 GCC premieres.

The 13th edition of DIFF opens with the international premiere of John Madden’s tense and topical political thriller, ‘Miss Sloane’ as it’s Opening Night Gala. Starring Jessica Chastain, the story follows a ruthless lobbyist who is notorious for her unparalleled talent and her desire to win at all costs, even when it puts her own career at risk.

Bringing the community together in a celebration of cinema, DIFF’s free public open-air film screenings at THE BEACH opposite JBR return to provide an unmatched cinematic experience for everyone. Eight unique nights under the stars kick off with the premiere of American adventure comedy-drama ‘Burn Your Maps’ from Jordan Robert and starring Vera Farmiga and Jacob Tremblay on 7th December, with screenings to continue throughout the Festival.

This December, DIFF will recognise the dedication of passionate and talented individuals who commit themselves to the silver screen with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Three pioneers of cinema are set to receive the accolade this year: French Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared, respected Indian actress Rekha, and American film icon Samuel L. Jackson.

DIFF’s Chairman, Abdulhamid Juma, commented: “With an abundance of critically acclaimed talent confirmed to appear at the Festival, it is with great pride that we recognise the individual contributions that our Lifetime Achievement Award honourees have made to the industry. The positive influences of Rekha, Samuel L. Jackson and Gabriel Yared are an integral part of the continued growth of cinema within the UAE and globally.”

He continued: “Central to the Festival is the valuable contribution DIFF makes to supporting budding filmmakers, actors and directors, whether through funding available via our competitions programmes, networking with other industry representatives or having the opportunity to meet some of the most acclaimed international talents who have helped shape the film industry such as the recipients of our Lifetime Achievement Awards. This edition of the Festival is no different and we hope to witness a new generation of filmmakers inspired by those attending the Festival this year.”

With an ongoing commitment to supporting burgeoning talent and their film projects, the Dubai Film Market (DFM) runs as part of DIFF and creates exciting opportunities for filmmakers to forge partnerships with film professionals. DFM has supported more than 300 projects to date and as the region’s leading industry platform, is dedicated to raising the visibility of Arab cinema in the region and internationally. The increasing numbers of film fans and talent flocking to the UAE from every corner of the globe year on year is a testament to the DFM’s success. This year, film fans and festival-goers can attend more than 25 panel discussions and events at DFM including ‘In the Director’s Chair’ sessions with Academy Award and four-time BAFTA winning director Asif Kapadia on the 8th December, and acclaimed director Lenny Abrahamson on the Tuesday 13th December.

DIFF is also proud to continue its partnership with The United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Interior for the third year running which comprises a prize of $100,000 and The Ministry of Interior’s Cinema Award which will be presented at the Festival. In addition DIFF is delighted to partner with IWC Schaffhausen for the fifth year in a row to award one talented filmmaker from the region the prestigious IWC Filmmaker Award and funding of US$ 100,000 to help them transform their developing project from script to screen. The winner will be announced at IWC’s exclusive gala event on Thursday 8th December.

Further highlights of the 13th edition of the Festival include the launch of ‘Arab Stars of Tomorrow’, a new talent spotting initiative from Screen International which will strengthen the Festival’s position as an international platform for talent from the Arab world. A brand new section within the Dubai Film Market, ‘DIFFerent REALITY’, will take audiences on an immersive journey of Virtual Reality storytelling with 10 engaging and insightful VR films added to this year’s programme.

The 13th edition of DIFF will see films screened over eight days at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and THE BEACH – opposite JBR. Cinemagoers can buy tickets from the DIFF box office, now open www.dubaifilmfest.com, and at the box office at VOX Cinemas Mall of the Emirates. Tickets are also available from the Madinat Arena and Madinat Theatre at Souk Madinat Jumeirah.