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Mon 21 Nov 2011 07:29 PM

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Dubai's DIFF to showcase 171 films from 56 nations

Organisers also announce list of celebrities confirmed to attend alongside Tom Cruise

Dubai's DIFF to showcase 171 films from 56 nations
Hollywood actor Tom Cruise shown with his wife, Katie Holmes

A total of 171 films from 56 nations, as well as a host of A-list Hollywood celebrities, will feature in the eighth Dubai International Film Festival, organisers said on Monday.

Among the celebrities confirmed to attend are Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg, for the world premiere of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan.

Ace director Peter Weir, actor Anil Kapoor will also join a number of stars from the GCC including Fakhria Khamis and Buthaina Alraisi from Oman; Dawood Hussain, Ibrahim AlHarbi, Huda Hussain, and Mahmoud Bushehri from Kuwait; Zahra Arafat from Bahrain; and Abdul Mohsen M Alnemer from Saudi Arabia.

The festival, which runs December 7-14, spans feature, documentary and short films, including numerous new premieres including 46 world premieres, 25 international premieres, 78 Middle East premieres and seven GCC premieres.

The films, made in more than 32 languages from Cantonese to Catalan, populate DIFF's three Arab, Asia Africa and Emirati competitions.

The DIFF 2011 selection also headlines a robust showing of 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 these are making their global debuts in Dubai.

The festival's nightly red carpet gala screenings will also see major talent in attendance.

DIFF 2011 gala films include Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Bollywood romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl; Oscar-hot drama and George Clooney vehicle The Descendants; Disney family favourite The Muppets; German comedy-drama Three Quarter Moon; Italian immigrant drama Terraferma; Egyptian romance A Whole One and British drama My Week With Marilyn.

Abdulhamid Juma, chairman of Dubai International Film Festival, said: "This eighth edition, more than any other before it, crystallizes our standing as a complete cinema ecosystem...This year, our harvest is abundant."

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