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DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WELCOMES WORLD STARS

Tue Dec 04,2007

Dubai, December 4, 2007: As the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) gears up for its fourth edition, many international stars have confirmed attendance, including actors, musicians and literary figures from Hollywood, East Asia and around the world.

Much-anticipated guest George Clooney will attend the Opening Night Gala, thriller Michael Clayton, in which he plays the title character, a weary corporate lawyer who becomes involved in a class-action case that may cost him his life. Sharon Stone will chair the inaugural amfAR Cinema against AIDS dinner, which will be attended by Chinese actress Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000) and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone. Hayden Christiansen, who played Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars films, is also confirmed to attend DIFF.

Two particularly important guests are recipients of DIFF’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award: American actor, producer and activist Danny Glover and Korean master director Im Kwon-taek will be presented with the award at a special ceremony on December 15.

Novelist Paulo Coelho, known for enormously successful novels including The Alchemist and The Zahir, will give the keynote address at the festival’s iconic Cultural Bridge Panel, where distinguished guests debate and discuss the issues of cultural dialogue, stereotyping in cinema, and overcoming difference. Speakers will also include Danny Glover, Lebanese broadcaster and cultural commentator Giselle Khoury and South African novelist and now actor and director Rayda Jacobs, who will attend DIFF with the screening of world premiere of her debut Confessions of a Gambler.

Latin music superstar Gloria Estefan and her record-producer and filmmaker husband Emilio Estefan will both make their Middle Eastern debut at DIFF; Gloria will perform at Rhythm and Reels, a series of evenings pairing a musical film with a live performance, in conjunction with the World Premiere of Emilio’s film 90 Millas.

Gala film, Whatever Lola Wants by Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayoush (Ali Zaoua, 2000; Mektoub, 1997), will see American actress Laura Ramsey (She’s the Man, 2006) on the red carpet. Other stars that appear in so-called crossover films, exploring issues of transplanted people in another culture, are Tony Shalhoub, who appears in conjunction with the film AmericanEast and will attend DIFF with his partner Brooke Adams. Thriller Shoot on Sight, about a Scotland Yard inspector who falls under suspicion of terrorism, will bring Laila Rouass to Dubai, and Chinese-American actor Henry O will appear with Wayne Wang’s A Thousand Years of Good Prayers.

Renowned cinematographer Chris Doyle, known in particular for work with Wong Kar-Wai, will attend the screening of American independent director Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid  Park, a stunning kaleidoscope of colour set in the skateboarding subculture.

Numerous actors who have gained critical acclaim will attend with their films: German actors Katharina Thalbach and Kierston Wareing will appear alongside their children’s film, the visually stunning Hande Weg Von Mississippi (Hands Off Mississippi).  Wareing’s work in Ken Loach’s It’s a Free World, also part of DIFF, has been well-received by critics world-wide. Chinese Comedian Zhao Benshan will appear alongside his Getting Home, and former Miss Argentina Sylvia Perez will attend with Encarnación. Non-professional actress Abrina Bosman, who is marvelous and natural as the central character in Meisie, will also come to the festival.

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About DIFF:

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was launched in December 2004 under the theme: Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.

DIFF is held under the honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organised by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

As the previous editions of DIFF have demonstrated, the Festival not only presents cinematic excellence from around the world, but is also an important high-profile platform for aspiring home-grown talent.

“Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds,” has been hailed by all as a unique and relevant theme to promote better understanding and mutual respect between different communities and countries.

Since its inception, DIFF has become an important meeting point for international and regional filmmakers and industry professionals setting the foundation for potential future collaborations.

The past three editions of DIFF have presented more than 250 films, documentaries and shorts from more than 48 countries.

 

DIFF 2006

In 2006 the festival took place at the magnificent Madinat Jumeirah resort. As a further commitment of DIFF’s endeavours to facilitate greater opportunities for regional Arab talent, the Muhr Awards was launched. Another first for DIFF in 2006 was the setting up of the Industry Office, which was established with a view to exclusively assist the needs of all registered delegates.

 

DIFF 2007

The fourth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will take place from December 9-16 and will present the best of Arab and international cinema in the feature film, shorts and documentary formats. Building on the success of last year, DIFF 2007 will also host the Muhr Awards and the Industry Office with new features.

For any further information and regular updates on DIFF 2007 please log on to www.dubaifilmfest.com

 

For further information, please contact:

Majid Wasi

Senior Account Manager

Jiwin

Tel:  +9714 361 3333

Fax: +9714 368 8001

Email: majid.wasi@jiwin.ae

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