14th Festival will welcome incredible lineup of films and stars with 140 works screened over eight days
Dubai Film Market brings exceptional opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking with 28 industry talks, panel discussions, masterclasses and events
Tickets on sale now at www.diff.ae, VOX at Mall of the Emirates, Madinat Theatre and Madinat Arena
Four awards will be presented on opening night to Wahid Hamed, Sir Patrick Stewart, Irrfan Khan and Cate Blanchett
Dubai, 05 December 2017: The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will celebrate the magic of cinema once again this December, as film fans, international stars and rising talent descend on the Emirate for the opening of its 14th edition on December 6th. Over the next eight days, an incredible mix of films and forums will take place across the city, from glamorous galas and intriguing industry events featuring innovative filmmaking and shining a spotlight on budding local talent.
Growing year on year since its inception in 2004, DIFF has cemented its status as one of the region’s premiere film festivals, celebrated not only for its international reach, but also for its status as a platform for Arab cinema on a global stage. The 14th edition will once again showcase an eclectic selection of films and tell stories from diverse cultures, with a total of 140 films in more than 38 languages from 51 countries, including 50 world premieres and international premieres and 81 MENA premieres.
Opening its doors on December 6th, the Opening Night Gala will screen the MENA premiere of acclaimed actor, writer and director Scott Cooper’s Western epic ‘Hostiles’. Starring Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike and Wes Studi, the 19th century masterpiece follows the journey of a legendary Army Captain who reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to tribal lands. Making the harrowing and perilous journey from New Mexico to Montana, the former rivals encounter a young widow, whose family was murdered on the plains. Together, they must join forces to overcome the punishing landscape, hostile Comanche and vicious outliers that they encounter along the way.
A fan favourite, the free public open-air screenings at THE BEACH, opposite JBR, returns for the 14th edition with eight wonderful nights of enchanting cinema under the stars. Beginning with a live screening of the star-studded action at the Opening Night Red Carpet, THE BEACH screenings will kick off on December 6th with the premiere of renowned Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s latest feature, ‘Beyond the Clouds’. Filmed in India, the film dwells on the adoration of love, life and nuanced human relationships, starring theatre actress, Malavika Mohana and Ishaan Khatter.
Recognizing the industry impact and change wrought by film icons, the Dubai International Film Festival will share four Awards at its Opening Ceremony. The first Honorary Award will be given to renowned Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed, for his decades-spanning career which has left a lasting impact on cinema in Egypt and across the region. The second Honorary Award goes to iconic British actor Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, a stalwart of stage, television and film for almost six decades. The third award is a DIFF Honorary Award and will be given to acclaimed Indian actor Irrfan Khan, a significant figure in Indian film and television since the early 1990s with an incredible body of work of more than eighty films in India, as well work in British films and Hollywood. The fourth and final award will be presented to two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed Australian actress and theatre director with a long and illustrious career and has featured in an array of successful and critically acclaimed films.
Starting on December 6th and running across the duration of the Festival is DIFF’s prestigious industry platform, Dubai Film Market (DFM). A vital part of the Festival, DFM creates opportunities for filmmakers to forge partnerships with film and TV professionals from around the world. To date, DFM has helped bring more than 300 projects from script to screen, supporting burgeoning talent and raising the profile of the Arab world’s flourishing cinema landscape. This year, DFM will feature nearly 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.
DIFF’s Chairman, Abdulhamid Juma, commented: “Central to the Festival is its ability to bring film fans, international stars and growing talent from across the region together over eight-days, to enjoy the magic of cinema and support the prosperity of this unique industry that brings joy to so many. Supporting budding filmmakers, actors and directors - whether through funding from our partners, networking with other industry representatives or access to acclaimed international talent - is something we are incredibly proud to be able to achieve year on year, and we look forward to seeing inspiration and connections flourish over the coming days.”
He added: “We are honoured to be able to recognize the work of remarkably talented individuals who have shaped the industry today. Wahid Hamed, Sir Patrick Stewart, Irrfan Khan and Cate Blanchett are icons of the silver screen and we hope that their presence at this year’s Festival will help inspire a new generation of filmmaking talent.”
The Festival is proud to partner with IWC Schaffhausen for the seventh year of the IWC Filmmaker Award, with a prize fund of USD 100,000 available. The winning project will be chosen by an acclaimed jury, led by Academy Award-winning actress and IWC Schaffhausen brand ambassador Cate Blanchett, and will be presented in a star-studded gala on Thursday, December 7th. DIFF is also continuing its prestigious partnership with the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of the Interior for the fourth year running. The Ministry of Interior’s Cinema Award, which includes a grand prize of USD 100,000, will be presented at the Festival.
Other highlights of the eight-day celebration include a second year of the ‘Arab Stars of Tomorrow’ initiative. Launched at the 13th edition, the 2017 instalment will once again help nurture and showcase burgeoning talent from across the Arab World. The Festival will also celebrate innovative filmmaking with the return of the ‘DIFFerent Reality’ lineup, which will take audiences on an immersive Virtual Reality journey with ten films.
The 14th edition of DIFF will see films screened over eight days at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and THE BEACH – opposite JBR. Cinemagoers will be able to buy tickets from the DIFF box office, which is now open www.dubaifilmfest.com and at the box office at VOX Cinemas Mall of the Emirates. Tickets will also be available from the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah from Tuesday, December 5th and from the Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah on Wednesday, December 6th.