Sun Nov 23,2008

2008 Honourees Are Rachid Bouchareb, Tsui Hark and Terry Gilliam

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced the three 2008 recipients of its annual DIFF Salutes awards, dedicated to honouring outstanding career achievements of filmmakers from the Middle East, the West and Asia.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid   Juma stated: “Our 2008 Honourees for the DIFF Salutes Awards are French-Algerian filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb, Chinese action director Tsui Hark, and American-British fantasy master Terry Gilliam. All of them have pushed the boundaries of cinema and made it immeasurably richer, not just in their home markets but internationally as well. From the stories they tell to the techniques they employ, they epitomize the spirit we feel is embodied in the DIFF Salutes concept.”

Rachid Bouchareb has been behind many of the films from the Arab world that have received international attention, including his own Indigenes—which screened at DIFF 2006—and as producer on the film West Beyrouth. He also produced Niloofar, which screens at DIFF 2008, his year as an Honouree. Frequently a juror at the Cannes Festival, his work is often inspired by the North African experience in France.

Tsui Hark is a member of the ‘New Wave’ school of edgy, young Hong Kong Directors, and a major fan of wuxia—martial arts—films. His first film, The Butterfly Murders,  won wide acclaim for its dark murder mystery and technically astute action sequences. In 1981 he joined powerhouse production company Cinema City,  which jetted him into the mainstream. He also gained fame as a noted producer and action choreographer, and returned again and again to the wuxia genre,  particularly in the Once Upon a Time in China film series starring Jet Li. Tsui’s 2008 film is the thriller Missing starring Angelica Lee.

Terry Gilliam first met fame as part of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. While he played small parts in the group’s sketches and films, his graphic art formed the group’s recognizable visual identity. He went on to direct numerous fantastically imaginative feature films dealing with themes such as imagination (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), sanity (The Fisher King—nominated for five Academy Awards), or bureaucracy (Brazil), many of them epic in scale and budget. His latest project, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,  was initially cancelled due to the unfortunate death of the lead, Heath Ledger,  but will be seen in 2009.

The DIFF Salutes awards will be given during DIFF 2008, which runs from December 11 to 18.

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