11TH DIFF OPENS WITH THOUGHT-PROVOKING BIOPIC OF WORLD’S MOST BRILLIANT MIND
Dubai: December 9, 2014 By: Zulfiqar Shah
In a celebration of cinema from the region and around the world, the 11th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will commence tomorrow night, bringing the best of the movie world to the shores of the UAE. The thought-provoking Stephen Hawking biopic ‘The Theory of Everything’ is this year’s anticipated Red Carpet Opening Gala Screening, from Academy Award winning director James Marsh. Starring Eddie Redmayne as the extraordinary physicist and Felicity Jones as his love, fellow student Jane Wilde, the film follows the life of one of the globe’s most important thinkers. DIFF has quickly grown to become one of the UAE’s most popular events, drawing celebrities, industry experts and top actors from around the world. During the 8-day extravaganza, a host of glamorous gala screenings, public question and answer sessions with the stars and numerous industry networking and business opportunities from the Dubai Film Market (DFM) will be held.
DIFF’s ever-discerning audiences can choose from 118 films from 48 countries, in 34 languages, including 55 world and international premieres. Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman, said: “We are proud to say that DIFF has played a part in creating a thriving film culture in the region. It has always been our aim to encourage talent, nurture growth and foster development in the film industry and holding the 11th edition proves that our efforts are coming to fruition. DIFF gives filmmakers from across the region a platform to showcase their work and international guests have the opportunity to see the region’s talent up close, accessing their works and gaining an understanding of the people they highlight. DIFF is a unique cultural experience for all in Dubai and the UAE, giving the public access to the most celebrated films from across the globe. DIFF has also enabled the world to see what Dubai and the UAE have to offer.” Golden Globe winner and IWC Brand Ambassador Emily Blunt and award winning director and IWC Ambassador Marc Forster will be flying into Dubai to join the jury for the third IWC Filmmaker Award. The award offers a US$ 100,000 cash prize to one winning filmmaker, and will be presented at an event hosted by ‘Official Sponsor’ and ‘Festival-Time’ Partner IWC Schaffhausen on Thursday, December 11th. Last year, UAE director Waleed Al Shehhi received the IWC Filmmaker Award for his project Dolphins, which will receive a red carpet gala screening at the Festival on December 12th.
On December 14th DIFF and Dubai Cares for the first time will be presenting The Global Gift Gala, a unique international fundraising initiative in support of Dubai Cares, the Eva Longoria Foundation, Sunrise K’ Foundation and the Global Gift Foundation in association with Marina Home Interiors. Two veterans of the industry will receive the prestigious DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award this year: acclaimed Egyptian actor Nour El Sherif for his work on more than 40 films in a career that’s spanned almost 5 decades; and Indian playback legend Asha Bhosle who has recorded more than 12,000 songs for over 850 films in her 81 years. International talent expected on the red carpet tomorrow night include: Emily Blunt, Marc Forster, Lee Daniels, Virginia Madsen, Olga Kurylenko, Asha Bhosle, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Leonard Retel Helmrich and Malek Bensmaïl. Stars flocking to DIFF from the UAE and GCC include: Saad Al Faraj, Khaled Amin, Haifa Hussain, Jamaan Al Ruwaeie, Maree Al Halyan, Waleed Al Shehhi, Nujoom Al Ghanem, Khaled Al Budoor, Ali Mostafa, Reem Erhama, Ali Juma, Amal Al Awadi, Ashjan, Layla Abdulla, Ahd Kamel, Abdullah Boushahri, Saeed Salmeen Al-Murry, Buthaina al Raiisi, Suad Abdullah, Layla Fayed, Abdullah Malik, Ibrahim Jumaa, Ibrahim Salim, Ismaeel Abdullah, Ahmed Al Jasmi, Alaa Shaker, Badriah Ahmed, Bilal Abdullah, Jabir Naghmoush, Jamal Matar, Habib Gholum, Hassan Rajab, Saeed Salem, Sultan Al Neyadi, Saif Al Ghanemm, Aisha Abdulrahman, Abdel Rahman Al Saleh, Abdullah Abu Abed, Abdullah Zaid, Ala Al Naimi, Alyaa Al Manaie, Ali Khamis, Omar Ghobash, Mohamed Al Amri, Mohamed Saeed Al Salti, Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani, Mohamed Yousif, Mansour Al Feeli, Naji Al Hai, Naji Khamis, Neveen Madi, Huda Al Khatib, Maryam Sultan, Marwan Abdullah Saleh and Huda Al Ghanem. Arab celebrities set to grace the red-carpet include: Nour El-Sherif, Bousy, Mervat Amin, Khaled Abol Naga, Nadine Labaki, Cherien Dabis, Naglaa Badr, Mohamad Soliman, Leblebah, Lotfy Labib, Mohamed Ramadan, Abed Fahad, Zeina Yazji, Mohammed Rouda, Malik Bin Ismail. DIFF is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and will be held at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates.