8th Dubai International Film Festival to honour Egyptian veteran Gamil Rateb with Lifetime Achievement Honour Star of stage, screen and television has following across Arab world, France, USA

Sun Oct 23,2011

Dubai, UAE; October 23, 2011: The eighth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will honour veteran Egyptian actor Gamil Rateb with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’

A household name in Egypt and a favourite across France, the United States and the Arab world, his body of work comprises more than 50 films, including Trapeze (1956); Adieu Bonaparte by Youssef Chahine (1985); Al-Darga Al-Thalitha (The 3rd Class) by Sherif Arafa (1998); and Turk’s Head by Pascal Elbé (2010), as well as multiple acclaimed television series and stage plays.

Mr. Rateb will receive the special award during the December 7 to 14 event.

Festival Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “It is our privilege to honour Gamil Rateb, a household name in the Arab world, with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an inspiration for countless talented film artists who draw from his intense on-screen energy and passion for theatre and cinema. Mr Rateb is among the first actors from the Arab world to successfully cross over to international markets, and in doing so, brought more attention to the region’s cinema and talent pool.”

He added: “Mr. Rateb’s cultural contributions have also raised awareness of Arab communities for the better, a goal we continue to pursue even today. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Rateb to Dubai in December and sharing his insights and experiences with our visitors and delegates.”

“It is a great honour to be singled out by the Dubai International Film Festival, especially as an actor,” Rateb said. “The Festival is becoming increasingly important globally and thanks to its efforts so are Arab cinema and Arab talent. Arab actors in particular are slowly becoming more accepted internationally and becoming less of a rarity as in previous decades.”

“This will be my first visit to Dubai, and I’m very happy to be honoured in these circumstances,” he added.

Best known internationally for his role as Majid in David Lean’s 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, Rateb also made his mark in Tunisian cinema and French theatre, performing in plays by classic and contemporary playwrights. His contribution to Egyptian theatre and television spans generations, with his more recent work favouring independent, cutting-edge and upcoming directors with compelling stories.

The Dubai International Film Festival singles out cinema legends annually for its Lifetime Achievement Awards, including veterans of Arab cinema, Asia and Africa, and Europe, the Americas and Australasia.

DIFF Lifetime Achievement honourees in previous years include Omar Sharif, Adel Imam, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, and Subhash Ghai.

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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