Actor Tom Cruise was the undisputed star on the red carpet at the opening of the Dubai Film Festival, sharing the limelight with Bollywood stars and the widow of late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.
Cruise attended the screening of his latest release, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” which was filmed in Dubai and includes a dramatic scene where the US actor climbs the sides of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 metres high.
Dozens of adoring fans stormed the red carpet on Cruise’s arrival at the opening event Wednesday night with Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, trying to catch a glimpse of the world famous star.
The “Mission Impossible” film, the fourth in a series, was partly financed by Dubai, which is working to establish itself as global destination for film production.
Also on the red carpet was Arafat’s widow Suha, who is to introduce a documentary film on the late Palestinian leader.
The documentary, “The Price of Kings: Yasser Arafat,” directed by Richard Symons and Joanna Natasegara, is the first in a 12-part series that covers the lives and decisions of some of the world’s most influential and controversial leaders.
The first three films feature Arafat, Israeli President Shimon Perez, and Oscar Arias, former president of Costa Rica. All three productions, by Spirit Level Film, will be released between December 2011 and early 2012, according to a statement from the production company released on Thursday.
In total, 171 movies from 56 countries will be aired at the eighth annual festival, which runs until December 14.
In October, film festivals in Abu Dhabi and Doha replaced more established festivals in Cairo and Damascus as the major industry events in the region due to political upheaval in Egypt and Syria.