Mon Dec 03,2007

Dubai, December 3, 2007: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will host a record number of World Premieres this year-16 shorts, documentaries and features from all over the world, including the Middle East, India and Africa.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, commented:“Making a film can take years, and filmmakers choose very carefully where to premiere their work. We take the high number of filmmakers who have entrusted us with their premieres to be an indication that our international reputation is strong as a reputable springboard for the international festival circuit.

For audiences, a world premiere is an exciting chance to see something brand new, usually accompanied by the director and the stars seeing their work with an audience for the first time.”

The Arabian Nights programme Gala will be Whatever Lola Wants by Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch (Ali Zaoua, 2000; Mektoub, 1997), who will appear on the red carpet with stars Carmen Lebbos (West Beyrouth, 1998) and Laura Ramsey (She’s the Man, 2006). The two women play a legendary Egyptian dancer and a young New York postal-worker cum dance student who learn from each other about art, life and love. Lebbos also appears in the World Premiere of Falling From Earth, by director Chadi Zeineddine.

UK-based Jordanian star Nadim Sawalha also stars in Whatever Lola Wants, and will attend the World Premiere of the first Jordanian feature in decades, Captain Abu Raed, with director Amin Matalqa. Khalass, another World Premiere feature from the Arab world, is directed by Borhane Alaouié, who has not worked in fiction narrative since the 1990’s. Khalass is a rich exploration of four characters struggling with post-civil war life in Beirut.

Three of the films in the Celebration of Indian Cinema segment are World Premieres: Naseeruddin Shah will bring Shoot on Sight, a taut thriller in which he plays a Scotland Yard Inspector investigating a police shooting of an alleged terrorist. Co-star Laila Rouass, a television presenter and VJ gaining recognition for her work in feature films, will also attend. Director Remo D’Souza will present his Story of the Red Hills, about a broken-hearted Bengali Chhou dancer who finds a new lease on life through his love of the art form, and DIFF audiences will be the first to see Kabir Bedi and director Akbar Khan present the Director’s Cut of Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story;

The World Premiere of the Cinema of Africa segment is Confessions of a Gambler, by South African novelist and filmmaker Rayda Jacobs, a comedy about a devout Muslim whose moral slide begins with a big win at a casino.

Four documentaries are among the premieres, including 90 Millas, by record producer Emilio Estefan, which explores Latin musicians in the United States; the film will premiere alongside a performance by Glofia Estefan at the Rhythm n Reels evening screening series. Soy Palestino is also set in Latin America, where director Osama Qashoo meets an underclass of poor Cubans from the East of the island, who are called ‘Palestinos.’ Six Ordinary Stories delves into the phenomenon of ordinary Syrians taking a second job driving taxis to make ends meet, and Recycle follows a former mujahideen member as he tries to reintegrate into Jordanian civil society.

Four World Premieres are found among the short films in the Muhr Competition: Tenbak is an Emirati film directed by Abdullah Hassan, starring well-known actors Ahmad Ibrahim Salem, Habib Ghuloom, Saeed Obaid and Ashjan (Umm Alawi from the Freej series). Jerusalem HD follows a girl who wanders among the graves of her ancestors and tries to find family in the contested capital, and The Birthday Gift is a semi-silent film about a man’s faraway travels and their effect on his small son. Munir Abbar’s Paris Sur Mer depicts African immigrants eking out a living in Tangiers and hoping for a new life in Europe.

The Dubai International Film Festival runs from December 9 to 16. Principal Sponsors are Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates and Jumeirah.



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


For further information, please contact:

Majid Wasi

Senior Account Manager


Tel:  +9714 361 3333

Fax: +9714 368 8001


Shoot on Sight
soy palestino
Taj Mahal
Whatever Lola Wants

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