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Five Family-Friendly Films to be Screened Free at Media City Amphitheatre during Dubai Film Festival

Wed Dec 07,2005

Dubai, December 07, 2005: Five crowd-pleasing films from around the world will be screened at a giant outdoor theatre being created at Dubai Media City as part of the upcoming Dubai International Film Festival. The special program, titled Screen on the Green, will feature a state-of-the-art 30ft by 70ft screen, full Dolby Digital surround sound, comfortable seating and free access, and is part of the Festival’s efforts to bring world cinema to all UAE residents. The five films – the lusciously photographed world documentary Baraka, Japanese animated blockbuster Howl’s Moving Castle, star-studded Hollywood romantic comedy Elizabethtown, Lebanese road musical Bosta (Autobus) and the passionate pre-teen documentary Mad Hot Ballroom – were selected from the Festival’s program for their popularity in their cultures of origin and their ability to transcend that culture, said Festival Director and CEO Neil Stephenson. “Not only is our Screen on the Green theatre a world-class technical achievement, it’s a fantastic way to connect the many cultures of the UAE,” Stephenson said. “Film is an international language, but you only learn to speak it if you look beyond national borders.” The selected films are a mix of contemporary and classic, comedy and adventure, with the award winning documentary Baraka leading the pack followed by the lighthearted romantic Hollywood comedy Elizabethtown starring DIFF 2004 guest Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Another top draw is sure to be the Lebanese road musical Bosta (Autobus), which follows the adventures of a group of young dancers who bring a modern, westernized flavor to the traditional Dabkeh dance. Audiences can also see Howl’s Moving Castle, an animated feature from Hayao Miyazaki, one of the world’s most celebrated animators, and one of the most successful Japanese films of all time. Teenagers and adults are also sure to enjoy the engrossing and exuberant Mad Hot Ballroom, the true story of a wildly successful after-school ballroom dancing program in New York City. The Screen on the Green films will be shown at 8 pm every day between Monday, December 12, and Friday, December 16, beginning with Baraka, Elizabethtown, Autobus and Howl’s Moving Castle, and ending with Mad Hot Ballroom on Friday. Commenting on the decision to offer the five films for free to all comers, Stephenson said: “Cinema is a universal language meant to illuminate, educate and entertain. We do not want prices to be a barrier to anyone, so this year we decided to make Screen on the Greens accessible to all. It is part of DIFF’s commitment to provide a public service to the Dubai community.” No expense has been spared in this effort to cross-pollinate Dubai audiences. Both the screen and projection equipment have been imported from US-based Boston Light and Sound, one of the world’s foremost projection companies. An array of high-fidelity loudspeakers will also be installed around the amphitheatre ensuring a cinema experience on 70 mm unlike anything Dubai has ever seen before. The Dubai Media City lakeside park will also be equipped with 1,000 bean bag chairs and a number of concessionaires selling popcorn, nachos, soft drinks and other cinema snacks during every show. The second Dubai International Film Festival will be held between December 11 and 17, 2005, and will present 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. The schedule of the Festival films is available on the official Dubai Film Festival website www.dubaifilmfest.com. The Festival is presented by its Founding Sponsors Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Properties, Emirates, Etisalat and the Madinat Jumeirah – the Arabian Resort. The Festival’s Gold Sponsors are Bin Hendi Avenue, The Kanoo Group, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime and The Palm Jumeirah; the Silver Sponsors are Filmworks, Motivate Publishing and Sony.

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