Actioner 'Ghost Protocol' opens fest

There were no hints of an economic crisis this year at the eighth Dubai Film Festival, which pulled out all the stops for the world preem of Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” at its opening soiree.

Global industryites gathered in the city’s Madinat Jumeriah resort on Wednesday night for the event, attended by helmer Brad Bird and cast members Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Anil Kapoor.

Opening the high-octane actioner in Dubai was fitting: much of the fourth pic in the $2 billion franchise was lensed in the city, with Cruise, known for performing many of his own stunts, dangling off the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, in one scene.

But festgoers, including UAE vice president and prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had to wait for the privilege.

The fledgling fest, like many of its counterparts, experienced organizational difficulties and the program ran nearly an hour late.

The cast joined Bird, the pic’s exec producers and scribes on stage to unveil the film, with Bird thanking the people of Dubai for “helping us make what was a very demanding shoot.”

Veteran Egyptian thesp Gamil Ratib, who starred in “Lawrence of Arabia,” and Indian composer A.R. Rahman both received lifetime achievement awards.

Following the screening, attendees meandered over to the beach for an after party that ran until the early hours. While rain drizzled on the glitterati — an unusual occurrence for the desert region — it didn’t dampen the mood or the spectacular fireworks display.

Fest runs until Dec. 14.

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