David Hedengren
Last updated: 7 December, 2011

The eight Dubai Film Festival opens

The eighth Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) opens today with a line-up of 171 films from 56 nations. The Festival runs until December 14 and spans feature, documentary and short films, including 46 world premieres and 78 Middle East premieres.

“This eighth edition, more than any other before it, crystallizes our standing as a complete cinema ecosystem,” said Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF Chairman. “Although we are a young festival, we have innovated year on year since our launch in 2004, refining our programme, building prestigious competitions, strengthening our industry offerings, all the while planting seeds across the Arab, Asian, African and global cinema landscape. This year, our harvest is abundant.”

In addition to global blockbusters such as Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the 2011 selection includes a significant showing of contemporary Arab cinema, with more than 70 biopics, comedies, dramas and love stories from the Arabian Peninsula, Levant and North Africa.

“The films that make up the festival’s Muhr Arab documentary, features and shorts competitions and the Arabian Nights programme stand alone in the power of their subject matter, their style of execution, their creativity and boldness. These films are the second draft of history for the countries of the Maghreb, Levant, Egypt and Arabian Peninsula, and I encourage everyone to see them,” said DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali.

During the festival, a Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to veteran Egyptian actor and crossover star Gamil Rateb, Oscar and Grammy award winning Indian music composer A. R. Rahman and internationally renowned auteur Werner Herzog. They will be joined by more than 1,100 industry delegates from around the world as well as a host of A-list talent from the Americas, Europe, Asia Africa and the Arab world.

“It is not often that a young festival makes a significant difference to the film industry. DIFF, now just in its eighth year, has become a place for serious industry business, offering total script-to-screen support for emerging filmmakers, including talent development, co-production, post-production support and trade platforms,” said Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director.