There are twice as many reasons to get excited at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) – with double the number of red carpet screenings taking place.
Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, programmers have unveiled a huge line-up of 174 films, drawn from 57 countries and in 43 languages, to be screened between December 6-14 at this year’s event.
This includes double the number of gala screenings, with two glitzy red carpet films at Madinat Jumeirah per day, while for the first time the festival will feature free outdoor screenings at Burj Park.
The largest showcase of the region’s cinema, this year DIFF will acknowledge the development of Arabic cinema by significantly opening with Palestinian drama Omar, which first premiered at Cannes in May and was backed by DIFF’s Enjaaz funding and support programme.
This is one of 103 Arabic films from the total of 174 to be screened, the highest proportion ever.
However international audiences will be well catered for, with a closing night screening of David O’Russell’s American Hustle. Other hotly anticipated Hollywood movies to be shown at DIFF include August: Osage County, from director John Wells and starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, Labor Day starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, and biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
For the first time free screenings will run each evening from December 7-14 at Burj Park, in Downtown Dubai. The programme will open with the world premiere of documentary Champ of the Camp, which profiles X-Factor-style singing contests hosted in Dubai’s labour camps, and closes with 1969 Egyptian classic The Mummy, which was recently voted the most important Arabic film ever following a DIFF survey of experts.
Meanwhile as previously announced, this year’s festival will honour Hollywood star Martin Sheen with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while the Arab Lifetime Achievement Award will go to veteran Egyptian film critic Samir Farid.
For more information and to purchase tickets see www.dubaifilmfest.com.