Bridging cultures, nurturing home talent, DIFF 2009 defines New Age in Arab cinema
Sun Dec 06,2009
As curtains go up on the sixth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) on December 9, the festival is defining the advent of a New Age in Arab cinema facilitating home-grown talent and taking regional cinema to a wide international audience.
DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said that while DIFF 2009 will serve as a showcase of the world’s finest films, it is making a strong imprint as the most definitive showcase of cinema from the Arab world, Africa and Asia.
“We have come a long way since 2004 - enhancing our objectives, widening our reach, promoting talent from emerging markets, establishing strategic alliances with industry leaders and introducing trailblazing initiatives,” he said.
“We introduced pro-active industry initiatives year on year, to support the filmmaking process at every stage. Our co-production market, the Dubai Film Connection, has made its mark by facilitating film production; Dubai Film Market, provides a unique global distribution opportunity to Arab, Asian and African films; and the Muhr Awards continue to raise the profile of works by regional directors,” Juma added.
DIFF 2009 also pays rich tribute to legendary filmmakers. This year, for the first time, the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to a woman, a lady of impeccable credentials, who has changed the history of Egyptian cinema – Faten Hamama. She joins Amitabh Bachchan, the Indian acting legend and BBC’s Star of the Millennium.
A glittering array of stars will also join Dubai residents and visitors to raise funds for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, at the Cinema Against AIDS gala to be held on December 10 at Dubai International Finance Centre, with Her Majesty Queen Noor, Matt Dillon, Christina Ricci and Mandy Moore in attendance. DIFF is also hosting Gerald Butler, who receives the Variety International Star of the Year award.
DIFF 2009 is partnering with two internationally respected organizations; the Human Rights Film Network, that promotes exchange, communication and collaboration regarding the representation of human rights issues in moving pictures, and the Alliance of Civilization Media Fund (AOCMF), a dynamic public-private partnership with a mission to promote and support media that can affect greater mutual understanding and respect between polarised cultures.
DIFF is a celebration of teamwork, said Juma. “The Government of Dubai, our sponsors, patrons and an incredible team of hundreds of in-house staff and international consultants, and the warmth & hospitality of Dubai film lovers, drive us to exceed expectations ever year. This year will be no different as we offer an unmatched cinema and lifestyle experience.”
DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF and the event is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). Full listings of films can be accessed via the DIFF website (www.dubaifilmfest.com) and downloaded on to your mobile phone