Celebrities out in force for DIFF opening

Goldie Hawn among star names who attend Dubai International Film Festival.
Celebrities out in force for DIFF opening
Fri 12 Dec 2008 12:22 PM

The Dubai International Film Festival kicked off its fifth addition on Thursday night with stars from Hollywood, Bolywood and the world of Arab cinema.

The eight-day-long festival, which will feature 182 films from 66 countries, was launched with the screening of "W." This latest movie by director Oliver Stone, an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, chronicles the rise to power of outgoing US President George W. Bush.

Hundreds of cameras flashed at the luxury beachside resort Madinat Jumeirah, as Oliver Stone and Goldie Hawn and Ben Affleck appeared on the red carpet. Oscar winner Nicolas Cage, Salma Hayek, Oscar nominee Laura Linney, Casey Affleck, Brendan Fraser and Danny Glover top a long list of celebrities expected to attend the festival.

They are expected to be joined by Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan and Nandita Das, as well as Egyptian stars Adel Imam and Hesham Selim.

Other highly anticipated films are Baz Luhrman's "Australia", starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, and Steven Soderbergh's "Che," a film that narrates the life of Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto Guevara.

After launching the Muhr Award for Excellence in Arab Cinema in 2006, organisers this year included African and Asian movies to the awards, with prizes reaching $500,000.

On Friday Linney, Hawn and Hayek will attend a fundraiser on behalf of the charity organisation amFAR to raise money for the American Foundation for Aids Research.

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