Directors Daoud Abdul Sayed, Subhash Ghai Honored at Dubai International Film Festival

Wed Dec 08,2004

Renowned Indian director Subhash Ghai and acclaimed Egyptian director Daoud Abdul Sayed were honored by the Dubai International Film Festival at a special presentation lunch at the Madinat Jumeirah yesterday, Festival organizers said.

The directors – whose works are highlighted in the Festival’s “Directors in the Spotlight” segment – were welcomed to the luncheon by Festival Director and CEO Neil Stephenson and Dubai Media City CEO Abdulhamid Juma.

“As part of our inaugural film Festival in Dubai, we decided to introduce a program called “Directors in the Spotlight” and the idea here was to choose two directors of great distinction from both the Arab world and the Indian film community, and to showcase some of their greatest works,” Stephenson said.

“I would like to thank both of these gentlemen for being here at our first Festival, and I would also like to thank them for working on behalf of the Festival by sharing their craft and their knowledge with the young people of Dubai,” he added.

Despite Sayed’s impressive body of work as a true cineaste and artisan, Sayed had never been given the special recognition that he deserves, Stephenson said. “It is for this reason that we are so delighted to shine a spotlight on him today,” he said.

Stephenson also lauded Indian director Subhash Ghai. “He has managed to span the gap between popular and artistic cinema, producing blockbusters that are also respected by the critics,” he said. “It is our great privilege at the DIFF to be able to put this spotlight on this major force in Indian cinema.”

Abdulhamid Juma, CEO of Dubai Media City, presented both the directors with special awards in the presence of veteran Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman and DIFF organizers and sponsors.

Two films from each director – Pardes and Taal from Ghai and Kit Kat and Land of Fear (Ard El Khof) from Sayed – are being screened during the Festival.

Festival prices range from Dh. 10 for the four open-air “Screen on the Green” films (Lawrence of Arabia, Gagamboy (Spiderman), Mr. India and Five Children And It) at the Dubai Media City amphitheater to Dh. 20 for regular screenings at DIFF main venues and Dh. 50 for the red-carpet gala screenings at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah Arabian Resort-Dubai. Two special offers – student discounts and a Five-Flick deal that offers a set of five regular screening tickets for the price of four – have also been created to make the Festival accessible to all UAE residents and visitors.

Five DIFF box offices are currently open for business: at the CNN Building Lobby in Dubai Media City from 11 am to 8 pm; at the Madinat Theatre in the Souk at Madinat Jumeirah from 11 am to 10.30 pm; at the Mercato mall from 10 am to 10.30 pm; at the Madinat Arena and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel Auditorium.

Telephone bookings and orders can be made with the Box Office on (04) 367 6701 / (04) 367 6707 for advance bookings and directions to box office venues.

The Dubai International Film Festival will be held between December 6 and 11, 2004, and will feature approximately 75 films including features, retrospectives and short films. The Festival is divided into 10 distinct programs, each focusing on a particular Festival theme. DIFF is presented by Dubai Media City and its presenting sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Emirates, Madinat Jumeirah Arabian Resort-Dubai, and Nakheel.  DIFF Gold Sponsors are DOM International, The Kanoo Group and National Bank of Dubai, and Silver Sponsors are Arabian Radio Network, Atlas Telecom, Dubai Radio Network, E-Vision and Motivate Publishing.

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