Excitement is building as the 8th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), to be held from December 7 to 14, has unveiled its line-up of 171 films from 56 nations, alongside an impressive array of A-list global talent, high-octane free events and a bustling industry portfolio. The Festival, which spans all genres from features to documentaries to short films, boasts 46 world premieres, 25 international premiere and 78 Middle East premieres. The Festival features three competitions of films from the Arab World, AsiaAfrica and the United Arab Emirates, as well as popular out-of-competition segments dedicated to children’s, Indian and world cinema. A special focus is showcasing contemporary Arab cinema, with more than 70 biopics, comedies, dramas and love stories from the Arabian Peninsula, Levant and North Africa. More than half of are making their global debuts in Dubai. More than 1100 industry delegates from around the world have registered to attend DIFF, where they will network, buy and sell programs. “DIFF, now just in its eighth year, has become a place for serious industry business, offering total script-to-screen support for emerging filmmakers, including talent development, co-production, post-production support and trade platforms”. Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director, declared.
Dubai itself being a buzzed about destination, it is small wonder that the Festival will be hosting a shimmering sphere of international acting and directing talents from North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Arab world. Among the celebrities confirmed to attend: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, director Brad Bird and producer Bryan Burk; Alexander Payne and Shailene Woodley; James Bobin; Helena Christensen; Peter Weir and Volker Schlondorff. Some of the biggest stars from India are expected including such Bollywood royalty as Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, producer Ritesh Sidhwani; rising stars Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma. Stars from the Arab cinema include Amr Waked, Ezzat Abu Ouf, Lebleba, and Youssra from Egypt; Ahmed El Zein and Youssef Al Khal from Lebanon; Ismail Al Ajaili and Iman Al Rabti from Libya; Mohamed Miftah from Morocco; Mozna AlAtrash from Syria; and Dorra Shihawi and Ahlam Bou Affoura from Tunisia. The Festival will also present Lifetime Achievement Awards to veteran Egyptian actor and crossover star Gamil Rateb; Oscar- and Grammy-award winning Indian music composer A. R. Rahman; and internationally renowned auteur Werner Herzog. American actor Owen Wilson will receive Variety’s International Star of the Year Award as well. For more information on all the excitement, visit: www.dubaifilmfest.com