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Seventh Dubai International Film Festival opens tomorrow offering audiences glamour, glitz and best of world cinema

Sat Dec 11,2010

The Sunday night opening of the leading and largest film festival of its kind in the Arab world, Asia and Africa will be marked by a glittering red carpet event at the Madinat Jumeirah to be headlined by British actor Colin Firth, the star of The King’s Speech. Fresh from significant awards sweeps in Toronto and Britain, the Oscar favourite also stars Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and Helena Bonham Carter.

In a significant first, audiences across Dubai will be able to watch the glitz and glamour of the red carpet as well as the opening film live and for free at DIFF’s newest outdoor venue, The Walk at JBR. The venue will also host the Festival’s popular Rhythm & Reels segment, featuring music-linked films and a series of open-air concerts featuring Rima Khcheich, Massar Egbari, Y-Crew and a mariachi group flown in from Mexico. The beachfront venue is open from 6pm.

Subsequent red carpet events over the next week include the Arabian gala screening of Six, Seven, Eight, one of the most anticipated films from Egyptian cinema; the controversial Egyptian love story Cairo Exit from the DIFF Cultural Bridge segment; the Polish film Tomorrow Will Be Better from the festival’s Cinema of the World programme; The Nutcracker in 3-D from its Cinema for Children segment; Emirati short The Philosopher from its Muhr competition; and Chinese martial arts extravaganza Reign of Assassins from the Festival’s Cinema of AsiaAfrica slate.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival, said: “The DIFF team has spent the last 357 days planning the opening night and the following week, and we are very proud of what we have been able to achieve. The seventh edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will be extra special not only for the powerful showcase of movies from around the world and impressive talent line-up of globally acclaimed actors and directors, but also for the largest selections of quality, contemporary Arab cinema anywhere in the world.”

This is a compelling testament to the success of the Festival in building the definitive space for Arab talent, providing a platform for them to achieve their ambitions and also giving them the opportunity to stand tall alongside their international counterparts.”

The Festival’s standout Arab films, representing the length and breadth of the Arab world from Iraq to Morocco, are primarily distributed among its in-competition Muhr Arab and Muhr Emirati Awards segment and its out-of-competition Arabian Nights and Gulf Voices segments. All screenings are open to the public.

The Festival also features the best of cinema from Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and Australia, including 41 world premieres and 13 international premieres. Every genre, from thriller to comedy, drama to documentary, is included.

Masoud Amralla Al Ali, DIFF’s Artistic Director, said: “I believe that our programming this year not only offers something for everyone, it also offers new, very interesting, unusual and surprising films. If I could choose one word to describe our 2010 programme, it would be “discovery.” We have discoveries of new talents, new styles and new collaborations.”

DIFF has also created a series of new box office packages to help filmgoers identify films of interest, and debuted new public-friendly features include a redesigned and fully interactive website, a free new mobile application that provides up-to-the-minute information on the Festival including schedules, news, and the ability to purchase tickets for screenings, and up-to-the-minute coverage of the Festival on YouTube, enabled by Zayed University.

From the Arab world, celebrity guests include Khaled Abol Naga, Menna Shalab, Bushra, Nelly Kareem, Majed Kidwany, Saba Mubarak, Mohammed Qabbani, Ayman Zeidan, Samar Sami, Marah Jabr, Fares Al Helo, Nabil Toume, Mohammed Ramadan, Maryhan, Sanaa Muzian, Hala Sarhan, Sherine Adel, Raghda and Rima Khcheich.

GCC stars Khaled Amen, Khaled AlBreki, Dawood Hussein, Shojoon AlHajri, Lamia Tareq, Maraam AlBlooshi, Hind AlBlooshi, Elham Alfadalla, Ali Algreer, Haifa Hussain Yousif, Shahed Alyaseen, Ahmed Al Jasmi, Habeb Gholom, Mare’e Al Halyan, Jamal Salem, Juma Al Leem, Ahmed Alansari, Abed Almhasan Alnmr, Naseer Al Qassbi, Najwa Alqbesi, Abdul Aziz Jassim Al Jassim, and Buthayna Alraesy will also make an appearance.

Hollywood, Asia, and Africa, stars expected to grace the carpet this week include Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jean Reno, Andrey Konchalovskiy, Julia Vysotskaya, Kelly Brook, Emma Caulfield, Maya Sansa, Carey Mulligan, Beau Garrett, Jim Sturgess, Peter Weir, Karan Johar, Johnnie To, and Aparna Sen.

DIFF’s will honour Lifetime Achievement Honouree from Africa, Souleymane Cisse, Hollywood A-lister Sean Penn, and Arab icon Sabah with Lifetime Achievement Awards this year.
DIFF 2010 box office locations are: Cinestar Mall of the Emirates, Madinat Souk, the CNN Building in Dubai Media City and The Walk at JBR. Tickets can also be purchased through DIFF’s Dial-a-Ticket service at (04) 391 3378 and from the website www.dubaifilmfest.com.

The seventh edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. 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. The event is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com

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