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Dubai Film Festival stirs politics, glitz

Lineup features 141 films including 'Clayton'

Organizers of the fourth Dubai Film Festival unveiled Monday a 141-pic lineup, including a mix of Hollywood glamour and politically minded works.

Sharon Stone will bring her amfAR fund-raiser to Dubai for the first time, while, as previously announced, George Clooney will attend the fest’s Dec. 9 opening-night preem of legal thriller “Michael Clayton.”

The lineup of the second Muhr Awards for excellence in Arab cinema, however, is the fest’s most intriguing aspect. The awards, the premier Arab cinema showcase, offer cash prizes.

Highlights of the feature competish include Philippe Aractingi’s Lebanese war drama “Under the Bombs,” Jordan’s first feature in 50 years; Amin Matalqa’s “Captain Abu Raed”; and Franco-Algerian helmer Abdullatif Kechiche’s “The Secret of the Grain.” Other pics include Egypt’s Oscar entry “In the Heliopolis Flat” from helmer Mohammed Khan; and “Making Off,” from North Africa’s most celebrated filmmaker, Nouri Bouzid. There are new awards for actor, actress, Emirati female filmmaker, script, music and cinematography.

Elsewhere, the fest will host a focus on Chinese cinema, as well as sidebars devoted to cinema from Africa, Asia and around the world.

Lifetime achievement awards will go to Danny Glover, Egyptian helmer Youssef Chahine and Korean filmmaker Im Kwon-taek.

Visit Dubaifilmfest.com for more information and a complete list of films.

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