Best of European Cinema Arrives on City Screens at DIFF

Mon Dec 12,2005

Dubai, December 12, 2005 - A contemporary black comedy, a period comedy of manners, one fact-based drama and three hard-boiled thrillers from Europe are intriguing audiences around the UAE as part of the second Dubai International Film Festival. Some of the most popular European films in recent history are making their Middle East and Gulf premiere this week, thanks to the Festival’s new Café Europe program. Included in the line-up is the all-star British period piece Pride and Prejudice, the brand new adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel. Starring flavor of the moment Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Donald Sutherland, Rosamund Pyke, and Dame Judi Dench, the film has received rave reviews internationally since its world premiere in September. Also from the UK is the long-awaited and hard-hitting thriller The Constant Gardener, starring acclaimed actor Ralph Fiennes in one of his strongest performances. Fiennes plays a British diplomat based in Kenya, whose life takes a dramatic turn when his activist wife, who has been investigating drug company experiments on the native population, is killed. Fiennes then finds his own life mired in a soup of political and social intrigue. Based on the novel by best-selling author John Le Carre, this superb thriller is set to be one of the Festival’s most popular films. Top British director Michael Caton-Jones, the cinematic genius behind the popular Scandal, Memphis Belle, Rob Roy and The Jackal, is also in Dubai with his new film Shooting Dogs. The film, a moving and involving drama, focuses on a profoundly religious priest and headmaster and his one of his idealist teachers who find themselves trapped in a secondary school in the middle of the Rwanda genocide. In the midst of all the horrors around them, each man has to make the decision of where to stay or leave. Shooting Dogs, touted as one of the most significant films of this year, stars Hugh Dancy and John Hurt, and is scheduled for multiple screenings at the Festival. Dancy is also in Dubai for the Festival. Rounding out the European offerings is gala film L’Enfant (The Child), arriving in Dubai after scooping the top prize at Cannes; Cache (Hidden), the twisted contemporary fable that swept this month’s European Film Awards; stylish Italian thriller The Consqeuences of Love and French black comedy Le Couperet (The Ax). World-famous director Constantin Costa-Gavras, the helmer behind The Ax, is also in Dubai for the Festival. The second Dubai International Film Festival continues until Saturday, December 17, 2005, and features 98 films including features, retrospectives and short films. DIFF 2005 is divided into 12 distinct programs - including five brand new sections - each focusing on a particular category of film.

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