DIFF Brings UAE’s First 70mm Screening to Life With Dazzling Earth Documentary at Free Open-Air Cine

Sat Dec 10,2005

Dubai, December 10, 2004 – A visual feast like no other, presented in one of cinema’s most powerful formats, will open the Dubai International Film Festival’s free open-air ‘Screen on the Green’ program on Monday, December 12. Baraka, the first 70mm film to be presented in the UAE in 70mm format, is a dialogue-free film that takes viewers around the globe through a total of 24 countries, capturing both the mystifying natural beauty that exists around the world and the ties that unite all humanity. Festival organizers promise the experience will be unlike anything else that Dubai audiences have seen before. “We at DIFF are very pleased to present this stunning 70mm presentation of this powerfully inspiring film as the opening night of our “Screen on the Green” series,” said Hans Burgschmidt, Director of Festival Production. “This is the first time a 70mm film will be projected under the stars in Dubai.” “Baraka was filmed on 70mm film, which results in an incredibly detailed and rich picture,” he added. “When this level of technical excellence is combined with images that weave a story of the spiritual oneness of mankind, one experiences a sense of inspiration and upliftment that few films in the history of cinema have been able to convey.” “Although this is a film without words, the poetic images from around the world and the incredible soundtrack of music from all corners of the globe makes Baraka a remarkable once in a lifetime experience for all ages,” Burgschmidt said. “This film truly fulfills the ideal of the Festival’s Cultural Bridge programming by pointing to the highest aspirations of all of humanity.” The first part of the film captures the natural beauty of the earth, with striking mountain ranges, deserts, tropical forests, volcanoes and exotic animals, gradually morphing into a look at the noble traditions of the people of the world, including the practice of ancient religions and cultures. The third and final segment moves into a slightly darker worldview, looking at some of the excesses of humanity, including deforestation, poverty, slave labor, homelessness, overcrowding and pollution. The entire film is set to a spellbinding soundtrack. Winner of Best Picture at the Montreal World Film Festival, the critically acclaimed Baraka dazzled even the most demanding audiences the world over. Variety magazine, one of the most influential trade publications in the motion picture industry, said words could not do justice to this visual masterpiece. It described the film as “a smashingly edited, superbly scored, wild world tour that speaks volumes about the planet without uttering a word.” Audiences in the UAE will have the opportunity to experience the film’s breathtaking cinematography and mesmerizing music first-hand on Monday, at the Dubai International Film Festival’s free open-air “Screen On the Green” amphitheatre at Dubai Media City. A giant purpose-built 30ft by 70ft screen will be used to screen the film, accompanied by an array of professional speakers arranged around the audience, and comfortable bean bag seating for the first 1,000 people. Concession stands are strategically placed throughout the open-air venue. The 70mm format is expected to bring an entirely new dimension to cinema in the UAE, experts say, as the level of clarity and imaging is far beyond that normally available in home theatres or at the cinema. The film, which will screen at 8pm on Monday, is the first of five free family films screening at the Screen on the Green. The program will continue on Tuesday with Hollywood romantic comedy Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst; Lebanese road musical Autobus (Bosta) on Wednesday; Japanese animated feature Howl’s Moving Castle on Thursday and vibrant coming-of-age documentary Mad Hot Ballroom on Friday. The second Dubai International Film Festival begins on Sunday and will feature 98 films including features, retrospectives and short films until Saturday, December 17. An entire schedule of the Festival films is available on the Dubai Film Festival website 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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