By Andy Sambidge
Red Carpet Opening Gala at Madinat Jumeirah on Friday night to be broadcast live on YouTube
The curtain will open on the 10th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) on Friday night.
This year’s Red Carpet Opening Gala will kick off with a screening of the acclaimed Omar, by Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad.
The most high-profile film from the region this year, Omar will be Palestine’s Oscar entry for the Foreign Language Film.
DIFF will deliver eight days of glamorous galas, appearances by the region’s top film personalities, question and answer sessions where film fans will be able to interact with their cinema idols, and a dedicated industry forum where workshops, seminars and commercial deals will take place.
DIFF’s cinephiles will have an abundance of choice with 174 films to choose from, hailing from 57 different countries in 43 languages, including over 100 films from the Arab world.
At the opening ceremony, DIFF will present its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards to veteran Egyptian film critic Samir Farid, who has championed Arab cinema for nearly 50 years, and Multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Martin Sheen, one of America’s most celebrated and greatest actors of his generation.
The opening red carpet and ceremony of the festival at Madinat Jumeirah will be telecast live on Youtube.
The lineup of films for 2013 is the most diverse in the festival’s 10 years, said DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma.
“At our tenth edition, we see the fruits of our labours over the past decade: we have seen the variety and calibre of the films in our Arab and AsiaAfrica Muhr competitions grow exponentially year on year, showing that our awards programme is nurturing a spirit of innovation and healthy competition among filmmakers from emerging markets.
"DIFF’s reputation as a prime launching pad for new films is now well established, and our industry programmes make the Dubai Film Market an epicenter for the business side of cinema each year.”
Celebrities expected on the red carpet on Friday night include Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Martin Sheen, Michael B Jordan, Jaaved Jaffrey, Jim Sheridan, Eugene Domingo, Murat Yildirim, Burcin Terziogluand, Metem Cumbul, Yuya Yagira, Justin Chadwick, Micheal Pena, Scott Cooper, and Sanjay Suri.
Stars flocking to DIFF from the UAE and GCC include Asmahan Tawfik, Malak, Mashari Al-Ballam, Shahed, Ihbahim Al- Harbi, Adulaziz Jassim, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Nayla Al Khaja, Sana Younis, Habib Ghloum, Ahmad Al-Jasmi, Ali Mostafa, Khalid Al Mahmood, Waleed Ziaiter, Abdullah Al Junaibi, Nujoom Al Ghanem and Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi.
Arab celebrities set to grace the red-carpet include Samir Farid, Hany Abu Assad, Adam Bakri, Eyad Hourani, Sinan Antoon, Waleed Zuaiter, Hassan Youssef, Yosra, Ezzat El-Alaily, Nadia El-Gendy, Gisele Khoury, Samira Ahmed, Tarek El Telmesani, Youssef Shaaban, Abdul Rahman Abu Zahra, Ahmed Bider, Sami Al Adel, Mahmoud Kabil , Hassan Mostafa, Mimi Gamal, Mohamed Saad, Sherine Adel, Safwat Ghattas, Hany Ramzy, Ramy Sabry , Khalid Al Nuaimi, Yasmin Awad, Carmen Lebbos, Carol Abboud, Tewfik Jallab, Yasmine Raees, Dorra Zarrouk, Mohamed Malas, Mohamed Khan, Yousry Nasrallah, Nouri Bouzid, Cherien Dabis, Ramses Marzouk, Khalid Al Siddiq, Nabil Maleh, Khaled Saleh, Samir Ghanem, Rashid Masharawi, Jilali Ferhati, Camille Salameh, Nada Abou Farhat and Hany Adel.