Dubai International Film Festival announces line-up of stars who will grace red carpet
The 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will screen a total of 140 films from 51 countries spanning feature, non-fiction and short films, including a 50 world and international premieres and 81 MENA premieres.
The festival, which runs from December 6-13, aims to offer a combination of red carpet glamour and a journey of film discovery and cultural exchange for film lovers.
With Q&As and special appearances from a stellar lineup of industry talent, and the spotlight firmly on Oscar hopefuls as well as promising Arab talent, the stage is set for another unforgettable eight-day celebration of the very best in cinema, organisers said in a statement.
This year, DIFF’s Opening Night Gala presents award-winning actor, writer and director, Scott Cooper’s Western masterpiece, Hostiles, starring Christian Bale, and Rosamund Pike.
Closing the curtain will be one of the most anticipated releases of the year, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
International talent flying into Dubai this December includes Sir Patrick Stewart, Irrfan Khan, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vanessa Williams, Alesha Dixon, David Harbour, Tuba Büyüküstün, Olga Kurylenko, Morgan Spurlock, Michelle Maclaren, Shaun McBride, Tanner Fox, Alexandra Byrne, Warwick Thornton, Ewen Leslie, Dominic Cooke, Rob Reiner, Lynne Ramsay, Simon Curtis, Madison Iseman, Ser’Darius Blain, Sonam Kapoor, Claes Bang, Shabana Azmi, Luis Fonzi, John Bailey, Niki Caro, Kimberley Pierce and Dee Rees.
Arab talent set to grace the red-carpet include Wahid Hamed, Youssra, Nilly Karim, Mona Wassef, Nadine Njeim, Aida Riad, Abdel Rahman Abu Zahra, Safeya Al Omary, Saleh Bakri, Ahmad Ezz, Tarek El Ganiany, Hind Sabry, Amr Youssef, Menna Shalaby, Maged Al Kidwany, Abdo Chahine, Ahmad Fehmy, Mohammad Emam, Rami Emam, Bushra, Marwan Hamed, Basel Khayyat, Bassem Yakhour, Nisreen Tafesh, Dima Al Jundi, Nicole Saba, Mais Hamdan, Mustafa Amar, Yasmeen Raees, Horeya Farghaly, Gamal El Adl, Lubna Azabel, Sadek Al Sabbah, Samer Barqawi, Abdo Shahin and Yumna Marwan.
Abdulhamid Juma, chairman of DIFF, said: “This year marks the 14th edition of DIFF, and each year is as unique as the city of Dubai, because it is the lineup of films that defines the eight-day celebration of cinema.
"We hear stories from all corners of the world, played out on the big screen through the medium of film, each unique in their perspective and the way their narrative is shared. We see work from iconic directors as well as those honing their craft. We discover new acting talent, and celebrate some of the most prolific names in cinema that have shaped the industry over decades.
"But most importantly, we make a real contribution to the film industry in the Arab world and this year is no different."
At its opening ceremony, DIFF will present three DIFF Honorary Awards, to celebrate those individuals’ significant achievements and contributions to the film industry. The first award will be presented to the illustrious Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed, while others will go to British actor Sir Patrick Stewart OBE and Indian actor Irrfan Khan.
Throughout the week, festival goers can choose from 28 industry-orientated talks, panel discussions, masterclasses and events featuring some of the biggest names in global cinema, sharing their insights, perspectives and experience with the Forum, organisers added.
This year, to end the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Culture there will be a UK Spotlight at the Festival. This will include a costume design masterclass presented by BAFTA and Swarovski with BAFTA and Academy Award-winning designer Alexandra Byrne who has designed some of the most iconic screen costumes.
In addition, a diverse lineup of the latest cinema from the UK will be screened.
Shivani Pandya, DIFF managing director, said: “DIFF has built a reputation as one of the worlds must-attend film festivals, and that is shown in the relationships we have established with some of the industry’s most influential global bodies. This year, we are presenting a UK Spotlight with the British Film Institute, BAFTA and British Council, to connect film professionals from the UK and the Arab world."
There is also a line-up of VR and Artificial Reality Experiences bringing the latest experience from around the world including Japan, Spain, UK, UAE, US, France and Russia.