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Mon 30 Nov 2015 11:57 AM

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Dubai International Film Festival: full details and must-see films

12th annual festival will include Jake Gyllenhaal, Richard Dreyfuss and Dev Patel

Dubai International Film Festival: full details and must-see films

The Dubai International Film Festival has revealed full details of the films that will screen at the 12th annual festival, which starts on December 9.

One of the city’s most star-studded events, the eight-day festival celebrates local and international productions, and will this year feature 130 movies, shorts and documentaries from 60 countries in 40 languages.

The festival is growing in international stature and this year will see stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Richard Dreyfuss and Dev Patel grace the red carpet at the festivals main venue, Madinat Jumeirah.

Gyllenhaal, who stared in this year’s boxing film Southpaw, will be honoured with the Variety‘s ‘International Star of the Year’ Award at a special ceremony, and fans will also get the chance to get up close and personal with the actor at the ‘In Conversation With’ event on Thursday December 10.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman, Dubai International Film Festival, said: 'Jake Gyllenhaal is a huge talent and undeniably one of the most accomplished actors of his generation. His screen presence has captivated audiences since his earliest roles and he is one of the most versatile actors working today. We are absolutely delighted to honour his extraordinary talents with Variety Magazine’s ‘International Star of the Year’ Award at this year’s festival.'

The film festival screens uncensored films, many of which may not get a general release so this is a rare treat for fans of independent cinema. Kick-starting the week-long celebration of film is Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank) and starring Brie Larson. The film centres on a five year old boy and his mother who have been living in captivity and looks set of Oscar nomination in the New Year.

Following a successful launch last year, there will be free screenings throughout the festival at The Beach, JBR, and in honour of the 40th anniversary of Jaws, there will be a special screening of the classic Spielberg film on the Beach, on Saturday December 12, 7.30pm, with an appearance from actor Richard Dreyfuss, who played Hooper, the oceanographer in the movie. Speaking to Time Out ahead of his visit to Dubai, Dreyfuss said: “I’m so proud to have been part of a film with such a legacy and this screening in Dubai is going to be very special.”

The opening ceremony of the awards will also present four Lifetime Achievement Awards, to Egyptian actor Ezzat Al Alayli, French-Tunisian actor Sami Bouajila, Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah and French actress Catherine Deneuve.

Guests due to appear at the event include Jake Gyllenhaal, Shah Rukh Khan, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eva Longoria, Dev Patel, Michael B. Jordan and Melanie Griffiths.

Tickets from AED275. December 9-16,

10 of the best for DIFF 2016, as compiled by

Director: John Crowley

Saoirse Ronan stars as an Irish immigrant in New York, in the 1950s.

Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut film, made an impression at Cannes this year and proved to be a success at its Cannes Directors’ Fortnight premiere.

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

The extraordinary story of five year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who has lived in confinement with and his young mother (Brie Larson) all of his life.

Director: Jennifer Peedom

Peedom, a high-altitude filmmaker, climbs Mount Everest follow the lives of the Sherpas whose job it is to guide westerners on their ascent to the summit.

Director: Tom McCarthy

Based on a true story this hard hitting drama starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams, tells the compelling story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-ups within the local Catholic church.

Director: James Vanderbilt

A classic drama set around investigative journalism, with a solid cast lead by Cate Blanchett, and Robert Redford.

Where To Invade Next
Director: Michael Moore

In his latest offering, the American director “invades” other countries to see what America can learn from the rest of the world.

Director: Sarah Gavron

Following the story of the women’s rights activists in the early 1900s, this drama depicts how much the ‘Suffragettes’ as they were known, risked, socially and personally in their fight to secure the votes for women.

Director: Peter Landesman

Will Smith stars in this drama based on the true story of Doctor Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist from Nigeria, who made the first discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a brain trauma related to professional American football players.

The Big Short
Director: Adam McKay

Closing out the film festival is this highly acclaimed satire with an all-star cast of Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling.

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