3rd Dubai fest fetes helmer, sets lineup

Stone, Khan, Maleh honored at fest

The Dubai Film Fest on Tuesday unveiled the lineup for its third edition, which unspools Dec. 10-17. Also announced were the recipients of this year’s lifetime achievement award: helmer Oliver Stone, who will attend the fest to present “World Trade Center,” Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and Syrian helmer Nabil Maleh.

“If the Middle East can see ‘World Trade Center’ and cry, that’s a good sign for humanity. If man would care about man, that’s the important thing,” Stone told Daily Variety.

Competition lineup includes Michel Kammoun’s “Falafel,” Hala Khalil’s “Cut and Paste,” Selma Baccar’s “Flower of Forgetfulness,” Hilani Saadi’s “Tender Is the World,” Samir Nacir’s “Seeds of Doubt,” Djamila Sahraoui’s “Barakat!” and Hakim Belabbes’ “Why O’Sea?”

All eyes are on the shortlist for the inaugural Muhr Awards, at $350,000 the richest prize in the Arab world.

Leading contenders for the feature prize are Rachid Bouchareb’s “Days of Glory,” Faouzi Bensaidi’s “WWW — What a Wonderful World” and Ghassan Salhab’s “The Last Man.”

The awards also will honor docus and shorts.

Many of the pics selected out of competish, both Arab and international, tackle weighty current affairs.

Highlights include Iraqi helmer Mohamed al Daradji’s “Ahlaam,” Richard Linklater’s “Fast Food Nation” and Gabriel Range’s controversial “Death of a President.”

However, fest organizers aren’t overlooking the glitz factor. Stars Joshua Jackson and Laurence Fishburne will attend the opening-night screening of “Bobby.” Also expected during the fest are “Casino Royale’s” Ivana Milicevic, Prince Albert of Monaco and rising Arab star Hend Sabri.

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