Today, the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) open its doors for a landmark 12th edition.
Over the next eight days, the UAE is set for an eclectic showcase of the world’s greatest cinema from internationally acclaimed filmmakers and rising stars alike. Since its inception in 2004, the exponential growth of DIFF has led to the Festival becoming one of the most prestigious events on the global film calendar.
The line-up for this years’ Festival upholds this reputation, boasting a staggering 134 films from 60 countries – including 55 world and international premieres, 46 MENA premieres, 11 Middle-East premieres and 17 GCC premieres.
The 12th edition is set to provide an unmatched cinematic experience across Dubai with the return of free public screenings at The Beach, which will include eight nights of movie magic under the stars. As well as screening a wide range of films from across DIFF’s line-up, the community will also witness to cinema brought to life with live performances and interactive sessions from 'Jaws' director Richard Dreyfuss, Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf – winner of the second season of Arab Idol, and musicians from ‘Song of Lahore’.
Continuing its collaboration with Vox Cinemas, films from the Festival’s 12th programme will be screened from Thursday, 10th December onwards until the Festival’s close, with eight dedicated screens at Vox Cinema, Mall of the Emirates, showcasing the best of local, regional and international cinema. Film fans can buy tickets from the DIFF box office here, and at the box office at Vox Cinema, MoE.
Four deserving pioneers of cinema will also be recognised through this year’s DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award: French-Tunisian actor Sami Bouajila; veteran Egyptian actor Ezzat Al Alayli; legendary Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah; and the Grande Dame of French cinema, Catherine Deneuve.
DIFF’s Chairman, Abdulhamid Juma, commented: “To be celebrating the 12th edition of DIFF is an incredible achievement and a testament to how much the festival has progressed on a global scale since its inception. This year, we are excited to see the city taken over by film once again, and to be able to bring new films and experiences to new audiences."
Dubai Film Market (DFM), which runs throughout DIFF, is also returning this year, creating new opportunities for filmmakers and film professionals to share their knowledge, make new connections and develop partnerships. This year, film fans and festival-goers will have the opportunity to attend panel discussions and masterclasses at DFM, including a conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos.
Another highlight of the 12th Festival include the IWC Filmmaker Award, which offers a $100,000 cash prize to one winning filmmaker at an event hosted by ‘Supported By’ Sponsor and ‘Festival-Time’ Partner IWC Schaffhausen on Thursday, December 10th.
Also carrying a $100,000 cash prize is the Ministry of Interior’s Cinema Award, which was established to identify and encourage talented scriptwriting that shines the spotlight on societal issues. The award will be presented at the Muhr Awards ceremony on the 16th at the Madinat Theatre.
DIFF will also partner with Dubai Cares for the fifth year in a row to present the Global Gift Gala as the official Charity Gala of DIFF, with honorary Chair Eva Longoria and Founders Alina Peralta and Maria Bravo. The Global Gift Gala will be supporting The Eva Longoria Foundation, Sunrise K Foundation and the Global Gift Foundation and takes place on December 12th.
The Dubai International Film Festival runs until December 16th. Visit the DIFF box office here for tickets and more information.