7th DIFF announces searing drama The Way Back as red carpet gala for world cinema programme

Thu Nov 11,2010

Featuring an ensemble cast including Jim Sturgess (Heartless, 21, The Other Boleyn Girl), Colin Farrell (In Bruges, Phone Booth, Minority Report), Ed Harris (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Appaloosa), Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, City of Ember, The Lovely Bones), Mark Strong, Dragoş Bucur, and Gustaf Skarsgård, the gripping film tells the story of a multicultural group of prisoners who escape from a Stalinist gulag during World War II but then have to survive walking more than 5,000 miles of treacherous trails across five countries to gain their freedom.

Inspired by Stawomir Rawicz’s memoir, The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, the film is a compelling account of humanity’s struggle to triumph against all odds.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of the Dubai International Film Festival, said: “DIFF has a rich history of showcasing epic films that celebrate the human spirit, and we welcome The Way Back as the latest in this tradition. The Way Back is a fine example of this year’s roster of films that transcend borders and generations.”

Sheila Whitaker, Director – International Programming, said The Way Back is one of 20 films included in this year’s Cinema of the World showcase which celebrates the finest filmmaking of the year. DIFF earlier announced The King’s Speech and Tron: Legacy as the opening and closing galas for the seventh edition of the Festival. The remaining films will be announced next week.

“The Way Back joins the league of films celebrating the indomitability of the human will,” she said.

Imagenation Abu Dhabi COO Stefan Brunner said: “Imagenation Abu Dhabi wholeheartedly supports this gala screening of The Way Back at the Dubai International Film Festival and we are proud to be associated with this inspirational film and collaborate with our neighbours in Dubai.”

The film marks Weir’s first venture since the Russell Crowe hit Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World. Weir, who has been nominated for six Oscars for writing, directing and producing, also helmed a number of acclaimed films including Gallipoli, The Year of Living Dangerously, The Truman Show, Witness, Dead Poets Society, and The Mosquito Coast.

The seventh edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2010 will be held from December 12 to 19. DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. 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.  Accreditation for DIFF 2010 is now open, and the DIFF box office will open in late November.

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