Befitting of Tuesday night’s competition film “Babel,” the evening offered a world tour of flag-flying soirees — from Holland to Korea, Scotland and Australia, as well as fest soirees for Dubai, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and Rome.
Following a powerful Palais preem, “Babel” helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, d.p. Rodrigo Prieto, composer Gustavo and cast headed for Nikki Beach for a Moroccan feast and belly dancing.
Dubai’s Arabian Nights bash also featured belly dancing but it also sported a camel. World-touring hay-chomper, who made a similar appearance at last year’s Toronto fest, was a big hit with guests, who queued to get a pic and, in some cases, a kiss. Dubai fest organizers unveiled its two new artistic directors, Masoud Amralla Al Ali and former Rotterdam fest topper Simon Field, as well as a new Arab film competition for the fest’s for third unspooling (Dec. 10-17). Among the revelers were Mario Van Peebles, Iranian producers Mohammad Atebbai and Mohammad Esfandiari, Lebanese helmer Randa Chahall and a bevy of belly dancers.