Lights, Cameras, Action!

Or so the film mantra goes.

Dubai is definitely gearing up for some cinema action come next week, in the form of the much awaited Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).

This year’s edition marks the 7th year of the festival’s run, and is scheduled for the 12th to the 19th of the month with a line-up of screenings even more varied than ever before. 157 films from 57 different countries will be paraded at DIFF’s 2010 edition, bragging a total of 41 world premieres, 13 international premieres, 58 ME premieres, and 32 Gulf premieres.

This celebrated film fete aims to place itself as the premier showcase for Arab cinema, with an interest in exhibiting talent from Africa, Asia and the rest of the world as well. So in order to give each film ‘market’ its due, the DIFF will be categorized under the following segments:

  • Muhr Award Screenings: In an effort to recognize and acknowledge budding film-talent, DIFF has established the Muhr Awards. Divided into Muhr Arab, Muhr AsiaAfrica and the most resent instalment the MuhrEmirati categories, the screenings will feature finalists from the 100’s of entries sent in for the competition (winners for which will be picked towards the end of the festival). Hot picks include The Philosopher starring Jean Reno, Bored an Emirati produced film, and Confessions, a Japanese-language film.
  • Rhythm & Reels: This segment serves to merge the two art forms of film and music, either through a line-up of music-themed movies or live music performances scheduled for after most screenings. Out of the 11 films (4 documentaries and 7 features) scheduled for this segment, the ones tipped to be more popular is a documentary on John Lennon of The Beatles fame, and the Arabic language Microphone which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Other segments include Cinema Of The World, Cinema for Children, Arabian Nights and a Celebration to Indian Cinema – each self-explanatory, but not to be side-lined nonetheless. The ones tipped to look out for here are 127 Hours, The Nutcracker in 3D, Baghdad Film School and An Unfinished Letter respectively.

So whether you’re up for a bout of comic relief, or more in the mood for an educational documentary.  Whether you prefer your films in the traditional English and Arabic languages, or would like to experiment with a foreign-language screening. Whichever your hankering, the festival has a little of everything to satiate even the most fussy of film-goers. And with the line-up scheduled over the span of the week (that too with more than one showing of each film), there looks to be no excuse to miss out.

And if being spoilt for movie choice doesn’t pique your palette, perhaps the A-list celebrity line-up scheduled to grace our sand-laced red carpet will have you lining up for tickets. With Colin Firth, Sean Penn, Jean Reno and Ayman Zeidan (among many others) on the high-profile menu, there’s bound to be a bevy of fans grabbing those passes off the shelves.

The schedule of screenings is now up on the DIFF website, with physical programmes being distributed strategically across the city.

Tickets for gala screenings are priced at Dhs 80 a piece, and regular tickets are being sold at Dhs 25 (special rates apply for students).

Film-goers are encouraged to buy their tickets as soon as possible, as the box office is known to sell-out fast.

Watch this space for an update on the most happening event of the year!

For more information on where to buy tickets or to have a look at the schedule, visit the Dubai International Film Festival’s official website

– Shaahima Fahim

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