One of the main attractions for DIFF other than watching cool movies we otherwise don’t get to see is getting up, close and personal with people we either idolize or just admire for the many roles they portray on and behind the silver screen. I met some awesome people last year. And from the moment I did a course locally with Icon Art Productions who later inspired me to enhance my writing skills to script writing/editing under Universal Film Makers as a fun hobby, the admiration for people working behind the screens has grown two-fold.
International celebrities flying into Dubai this December include: Academy Award winners Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Livia Firth, Frieda Pinto, Rooney Mara, Kirsten Davis, Amr Waked, Bryan Ferry, Suraj Sharma, Steve Oram, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jessica Mauboy, Shravanthi Sainath and Adil Hussain and Erica Linz.
A-list Arab celebrities gracing the red-carpet include: Laila Eloui, Nelly, Khaled El Nabawy, Ezzat Abu Ouf, Salah El Sadany, Hassan Hosny, Ghassan Masoud, Hany Ramzy, Mohamed Saad, Ahmed Rateb, Ghada Adel, Ragaa Al Gedawy, Sherine Adel, Maxime Khalil, Yosra Ellozy, Amir Karara, Sirine Abdel Nour, Nermine El Fikky, Caroline Khalil, Magdy El Hawary, Samer Ismael, Mehyar Khadour and Mounzer Rayhana.
And stars flocking to DIFF from the GCC include: Haya Abdulsalam, Jushoon, Ibrahim Al Habri, Souad Ali, Abdul Mohsen El Nemer, Salah Al-Mulla, Habib Ghuloom, Jaber Nagmoush, Abdulla Boushiri, Shimaa Ali, Zahra Arafat, Fatima Abdulrahim, Abdul Aziz Jassim, Mansour Al Feli, Mahmoud Bou Shahri, Fatma Alsafi, Yacoub Alsalili, and Basem Abdulamir. In addition Ahmad Al Braiky, Hamad Al Omani, Asmahan, Jamal Al Radhan, Yacoub Abdalla, Somoud, Abeer Al Jundi, Faisal Alamery, Aseel Omran, Buthaina Al Raisi, Reem Arahma and Haifa Hussein.
Audiences will also have the unique opportunity to meet established filmmakers along with exciting new talent including: Wayne Blair, Khairy Beshara, Abdulatif Abdulhamid, Nour Eddine Lakhmari, Haiffa Al Masour, Stephan Archinard, Brian A. Miller, Brillante Mendoza, Saul Williams, Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner, Feng Xiaogang, Takashi Miike, Nishtha Jain and Mostofa Sarwar Farooki.
The prestigious Muhr Awards have gone from strength to strength and this year will showcase a record number of films – an impressive 83 films will compete for over US$575, 000 in prize money across three categories – Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica. The line-up this year was selected from 2,100 submissions from 115 countries and is considered to the most remarkable, competitive and diverse selection to date. Arabic features will also be eligible for a variety of prestigious global awards including the FIPRESCI International Prize of the Critics Award.
DIFF’s outstanding competition juries this year consists of world-famous filmmakers, industry decision makers and onscreen talent who will come together to help judge the Muhr Arab, Asia Africa Awards include: Michael Apted, Kerry Fox, Bruno Barreto, Chang Dong Lee, Fatemeh Motamed-Arya, and Nayla Al Khaja.
DIFF will also present its Lifetime Achievement Awards to veteran Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdul Aziz and prolific British director Michael Apted, who have both made commendable contributions to the world of cinema and inspired countless of people through their body of work….get ready for a week of great entertainment in Dubai.