Adel Imam Sees Great Potential for Strong Film Industry in the UAE

Tue Dec 13,2005

Dubai, December 13, 2005: At a press conference during the 2nd Dubai International Film Festival, Adel Imam, the celebrated Egyptian actor and Arab icon said that he saw great potential for the development of a strong regional film industry based in the UAE. “I see greatness in the UAE. Established regional cinema centres and the UAE can collaborate to develop and take Arab cinema to the world,” he added. The importance of the Festival was reflected in the fact that he put his play ‘Bodyguard’ on hold to attend it. “I could not attend the Dubai festival last year as I had a packed schedule. I am honoured to be invited and to be able to attend this edition,” said Adel. Taking the example of Egyptian cinema and explaining his neutral ideology, Adel Iman said: “Egyptian cinema never follows the ideology of any political party. It always has room for other ideologies. Our cinema is full of examples when the government was opposed from the beginning of its history. I will always be an Egyptian at heart and an Arab in outlook.” A strong opponent of terrorism, he said: “Killing of peaceful artists like Moustafa Akkad or simple civilians is inexcusable. But we will rise above such circumstances through artistic creativity. I hope we can all stand together against terrorism and all Arab countries can live in peace.” On the question of his preference for theatre as compared to cinema, Adel Imam said: “When a play is successful, I cannot stop it even if it runs for 7 years. There is great love and appreciation from the audience and great love between the actors as well. But now I do one film every year. It is better to make fewer great films than 70 useless ones.” “The truth is I am treated very well by Arab people wherever I go. You cannot imagine the joy I feel when their love, hospitality and generosity is everywhere. People touch me and they can’t believe I am real! As I sip my soup and look up, I find everyone in the restaurant staring at me. Nothing can compare to the love of the people,” he concluded. -Ends- Note to Editors: The second Dubai International Film Festival 2005 (DIFF) opened at 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 11 and will continue until Saturday, December 17, 2005. 98 participating films are now showing at the Festival venues of the Madinat Arena, the Madinat Theatre in Souk Madinat Jumeirah and CineStar Cinemas at the Mall of the Emirates. A series of interactive panel discussions between the public, filmmakers and industry specialists will be held at the Knowledge Village auditorium. Tickets, and an entire schedule of the Festival films and events, are available through the Dubai Film Festival website, or via the DIFF Call Centre on 04-367-6701. 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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