By Andy Sambidge
Eight-day movie festival to open on Sunday; to feature total of 50 world premieres
Legends of the silver screen, filmmakers and a diverse array of industry professionals are due to descend on Dubai on Sunday for the ninth Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
The eight-day festival will show a total of 158 films from 61 countries, in 43 languages featuring 50 world premieres.
Opening this year's festival is the long-awaited Life of Pi, a 3D adaptation of the novel by Yann Martel and helmed by visionary director Ang Lee.
The films young actors Suraj Sharma, Adil Hussain and Shravanthi Sainath will be gracing the DIFF red carpet at the gala screening.
At the opening ceremony, DIFF will also present its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards to veteran Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdul Aziz and prolific British director Michael Apted.
Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF chairman, said: "Year after year, the festival attracts such a high level of films and filmmakers and I'm delighted to say that the 9th year is no different. With a line-up of 158 films from 61 countries in 43 languages, there is something for everyone at this year's DIFF."
Celebrities expected on the red carpet on Sunday night include Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Suraj Sharma, Adil Hussain, Shravanthi Sainath, Freida Pinto, Michael Apted and Ana Ivanovic.
A host of Arab world celebrities will also be present including Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, Poussy Shalaby, Nelly, Shirine, Amir Karara, Caroline Khalil, Ezzat Abu Ouf, Ghada Adel, Magdy El Hawari, Hany Ramzy, Hassan Hosny, Khaled Al Nabawy, Mohammed Saad, Nermine Al Feki, Salah El Sadany, Sherine Adel, Ismail Al Ojaili, Waleed Tawfik, Samer Ismail, Ramzy Lehner, Mohammed Farrag, Khairy Beshara and Ibrahim El Batout.