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Japanese Animated Blockbuster ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ Included in DIFF Free Screenings at DMC Amphith

Tue Dec 13,2005

Dubai, December 13, 2005: Howl’s Moving Castle, one of the biggest blockbusters of all time in Japan, and a film widely praised as an ‘unforgettable filmgoing experience,’ will be shown for free at 8 pm on Thursday, December 15, at the giant purpose-built ‘Screen on the Green’ set up at Dubai Media City as part of the second Dubai Film Festival. Howl’s is the latest film from Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, regarded as one of Japan’s greatest animators and among the world’s most visionary filmmakers. Miyazaki, whose earlier films Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke have been acclaimed around the world, is reputed to allow no more than 10% of computer-generated footage into his films. Howl’s, which played to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival and also became one of the biggest blockbusters of all time in Japan, boasts extraordinary characters, inventive imagery and stunning artistry. The film follows Sophie, an average teenager girl working in a hat shop, who finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl, and is subsequently turned into a 90-year-old woman by the vain and conniving Wicked Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible odyssey to life the curse, she finds refuge in Howl’s magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with a quirky cast of characters and her presence gradually begins to infect all those around her. The English-dubbed version of the film, featuring a star cast of English-speaking actors under the director of Pixar guru Peter Docter, will be playing in Dubai with Arabic subtitling. Howl’s Moving Castle is part of the Dubai Film Festival’s new Insights Into Asia program, which aims to bring the best of Eastern cinema to the UAE for the first time. The special section is a reflection of the enormous impact that cinema from this region has had on the west over the last two decades. It is also the fourth of five films being screened as part of the free open-air “Screen on the Green” program at the amphitheatre at Dubai Media City. The program also includes Lebanese road musical Bosta (Autobus) on Wednesday, December 14, and vibrant coming-of-age docu-drama Mad Hot Ballroom on Friday. A giant purpose-built 30ft by 70ft screen will be used to screen the film, accompanied by an array of professional speakers arranged around the audience and comfortable bean bag seating for the first 1,000 people. Concession stands are strategically placed throughout the open-air venue. The second Dubai International Film Festival continues until Saturday, December 17, and features 98 films including features, retrospectives and short films. Tickets and an entire schedule of the Festival films are available on the Dubai Film Festival website www.dubaifilmfest.com, and at Festival box offices around the city. The Festival is presented by Dubai Media City and its Founding Sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Properties, Emirates, Etisalat and the Madinat Jumeirah – the Arabian Resort. The Festival’s Gold Sponsors are Bin Hendi Enterprises, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime, The Kanoo Group and The Palm Jumeirah; the Silver Sponsors are Filmworks, Motivate Publishing and Sony.

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