The eighth edition of the Dubai Film Festival unveiled its lineup of 171 pics from 56 territories on Monday, including Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” and British drama “My Week With Marilyn.”
This year’s fest, which opens Dec. 7 with the world preem of “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” will host 46 world premieres and 78 Middle Eastern preems and will include a host of gala pics, including Bollywood romance “Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl,” Disney’s “The Muppets,” Germany comedy “Three-Quarter Moon,” Italian immigrant drama “Terraferma” and Egyptian romance “A Whole One.”
Lifetime achievement awards will be presented to Werner Herzog, Egyptian thesp Gamil Rateb and Indian composer A.R. Rahman.
Talent expected to touch down in the emirate during the fest include Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Anil Kapoor, Lea Seydoux and “Mission: Impossible” helmer Brad Bird. Payne, Peter Weir, Shah Rukh Khan and Ranveer Singh are also confirmed to attend the fest.
Arab talent will include Amr Waked, Ezzat Abou Ouf, Lebleba and Yousra from Egypt; Ahmed El Zein from Lebanon; and Mohammed Miftah from Morocco.
More than 70 pics from the Arabian Peninsula will feature in the fest this year, and 89 films will vie for the Muhr Awards, with prize money totalling $600,000.
This year, DIFF will have a special focus on Germany with six pics from the territory: “Three Quarter Moon,” “Burnout,” “Combat Girl,” “Westwind,” “Under Snow” and Georg Wilhelm Pabst’s 1929 pic “Pandora’s Box.”
“This eighth edition, more than any other before it, crystallizes our standing as a complete cinema ecosystem,” said DIFF chairman Abdulhamid Juma. “Although we are a young festival, we have innovated year on year since our launch in 2004, refining our program, building prestigious competitions, strengthening our industry offerings, all the while planting seeds across the Arab, Asian, African and global cinema landscape. This year our harvest is abundant.”