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Dubai International Film Festival, UAE Italian Embassy to mark Italian National Day with screening of classic film

Thu May 26,2011

June 1 celebration at Abu Dhabi National Theatre also highlights 150th anniversary of unification

Dubai, UAE; May 26, 2011: The Dubai International Film Festival is partnering with the Italian Embassy in the UAE to mark the 65th Italian National Day and the 150th anniversary of Italian unification with a special screening of the star-studded classic Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), on June 1, 2011.

The award-winning 1963 film, directed by celebrated auteur Luchino Visconti, stars the crème of contemporary European and global talent including Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinal and Terence Hill. The restored film, complete with English subtitles, will screen to an invitation-only audience at 8 pm on Wednesday, June 1, at the National Theatre in Abu Dhabi.

Set in the 1860s, Il Gattopardo (The Leopard) follows the fortunes of Prince Fabrizio Salina and his family during the unification of Italy. Based on the acclaimed novel by Sicilian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the film was considered a remarkable cinematic achievement at the time, not least for its rich color, detail and performances.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival, said the special presentation with the Italian Embassy is part of the Festival’s support of cinema across the UAE and the Arab world.

“The Dubai International Film Festival has always been committed to bringing the best of the world’s cinema to local and regional audiences, and to build bonds within the diverse communities in our nation through film. Our collaboration with the Italian Embassy is one of many examples of this, and we look forward to continuing this relationship with the Italian community,” he said.

He added: “The Leopard is a fine example of the high creative standards of the Italian film industry, and the screening will be a great opportunity to foster cultural linkages through the medium of cinema.”

Professor Alessandra Priante, Gulf Cultural Attaché for the Italian Embassy, said: “This film is one of the most recognized masterpieces of Italian Cinema of all time. Its story falls in the framework of the celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of the Unity of Italy, allowing us to tell an important piece of history of our Country and of our cinema to the audience in the Emirates. Knowledge of the past allows to increase reciprocal understanding and therefore strengthens our cultural dialogue. We strongly believe in the power of this message especially delivered with the help of DIFF, with whom we have a long lasting friendship since DIFF always gives an important attention to European films and especially to our recent cinema, throughout its editions”.

Art and cinema fans interested in attending the invitation-only event can contact: culture2.abudhabi@esteri.it


The eighth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will be held from December 7 to 14, 2011.

DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

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