The eight-day, 12th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) launched amid cinematic glitz and glamour at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah. This year, the festival will screen 134 films from 60 countries (including 55 world premieres) until December 16th. On the opening night, French actress Catherine Deneuve, Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, and Egyptian actor Ezzat Al Alayli (as well as French-Tunisian actor Sami Bouajila who couldn’t attend) were each presented the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award. The DIFF red carpet welcomed international as well as regional A-listers who were dressed to the nines, including Tunisian actress Hend Sabri, Turkish actress Tuba Büyüküstün, and Lebanese actress Laila Abdallah.
If Lenny Abrahamson’s emotional drama, Room, the first screening of the festival, is any indication, then we’re in for a week of world-class cinematic entertainment. The beach screenings at JBR will showcase eight exceptional movies under the stars, including The Idol by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hany Abu Assad. Go a little early to catch Arab Idol winner Mohammad Assaf’s performance before the screening.
If you’re looking for a powerful plot with an all-star cast, then make time for Tom McCarthy’s investigative journalism drama, Spotlight, starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams; and The Big Short, a satire about the financial collapse with Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, and Ryan Gosling. Among the local talents, director Majid Al Ansari’s debut feature film Zinzana (Rattle the Cage)—a neo-noir thriller set in a small town police station—has been making waves in the industry.
Eva Longoria will return as the Global Gift Gala gala’s honorary chair, while Empire star Terrence Howard, British actor Rupert Everett, and Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal—the recipient of this year’s Variety‘s International Star of the Year award—will also attend the festival. The closing ceremony will take place on December 16th, when the winners of the Muhr competitions will be announced. For a more comprehensive guide of this year’s DIFF, visit Style.com/Arabia/MEN.
The DIFF screenings will be held at Madinat Jumeirah, JBR’s The Beach, and Mall of the Emirates. For tickets and schedule, click here.