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DIFF Archive

Explore DIFF’s Archive

Heralded by Variety magazine as one of the world’s “50 unmissable film festivals“, DIFF has cemented its reputation as the ultimate destination to discover films from the Arab world and beyond. The archive gives you access to the films, juries, galleries, press releases and more from the first edition in 2004 through to the current edition.

Lifetime Achievement Awards 2016

The 13th edition of DIFF presented three prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards, recognising these individuals’ incredible contributions to cinema.

Samuel L. Jackson

American film icon Samuel L. Jackson, long-celebrated as one of cinema’s most talented and intuitive actors, is the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Marking the beginning of a long and prosperous career, Jackson entered the world of cinema in ‘Together for Days’ (1972). Following a plethora of varied character roles he made a mark on the film community with his breakout performance in Spike Lee’s drama ‘Jungle Fever’ (1991) as drug-addict Gator, for which he was recognized with a special prize for Best Supporting Actor from the Cannes International Film Festival. Jackson would go on to grow into one of Hollywood’s most respected and prominent actors, reaching a new height with his 13th film ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994) and earning international recognition with a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, for his defining performance as Jules Winnfield.

Over more than four decades in the industry, Jackson has crafted a diverse and successful career in Hollywood and beyond and earned multiple awards for his efforts. He set an industry record when he became the highest-grossing actor in film history, an extraordinary result down to his commitment and consistently outstanding performances. Working alongside highly celebrated directors and actors such as Quentin Tarantino, George Lucas, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, Kevin Spacey, Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis and Robert Downey Jr., Jackson has had ample opportunity to display his supreme acting abilities, appearing in more than 100 films and lending his iconic voice to television series, animated films and video games. His upcoming films in 2017 include ‘Kong: Skull Island’ and ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’.


With a varied and hugely successful career spanning four decades, Rekha was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s Festival in recognition of her versatility and accredited contributions to Hindi cinema.

Following in the inspirational footsteps of her parents, who were both actors, Rekha was devoted to her passion from an early age. She started her acting career as a child in Telugu films and continued on to make her debut as a lead in the Bollywood film, Sawan Bhadon (1970). Forty years on and the dedicated actress has now starred in more than 180 films throughout her varied career, receiving multiple awards and accolades along the way.

Often playing strong female leads, Rekha is recognized as one of the greatest actresses in Hindi cinema and has gone on to win three Filmfare Awards, two for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress, for her roles in Khubsoorat (1980), Khoon Bhari Maang (1988) and Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996). Her eminent career has also seen her win the National Film Award for Best Actress for her impressive portrayal of a classic courtesan in Umrao Jaan (1981). In 2010, the Government of India awarded her with the prestigious Padma Shri, to highlight her notable impact in the world of Indian cinema.

Gabriel Yared

Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Grammy award-winning French Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared was a recipient of a prestigious Arab Lifetime Achievement Award. An internationally acclaimed composer whose impressive filmography spans three decades, Yared received the award in recognition of his incredible contributions to cinema.

A self-taught musician, Yared devoted his passion to the silver screen with more than 100 original scores composed to date for a wide range of films since the 1980s. First making his mark in the industry with his scores for ‘Betty Blue’ (1986) and ‘Camille Claudel’ (1988), the Lebanese-born Yared gained international recognition with his creation of "The English Patient" score. The composition won him an Academy Award, a BAFTA, Golden Globe and a Grammy Award, and he went on to continue his masterful work with the nominated scores for ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ (1999) and ‘Cold Mountain’ (2003). A welcoming and supportive figure in the field, Yared also is the founder and director of the Pléiade Academy, which nurtures and promotes talented young composers in the production and promotion of their works. He is currently working on the score for Xavier Dolan's next film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, starring Jessica Chastain, Kit Harington, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and Michael Gambon.
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