The 13th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) opened in a dazzling fashion yesterday at Madinat Jumeirah. This year the festival will feature more than 150 titles from 55 countries. The star spangled Red Carpet bore great resemblances to a Hollywood affair with movie legend Samuel L. Jackson, Hindi Cinema icon the Indian actress Rekha and the Oscar & Grammy winner French Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared gracing the event. All three received the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award from HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who honoured the Opening Ceremony.
In his acceptance speech Jackson thanked HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the city of Dubai for the incredible hospitality and said he had been wanting to attend the festival since its inception 13 years ago but was always busy shooting a movie in a far corner of the globe.
The opening ceremony was followed by the International Premiere of Miss Sloane, directed by John Madden starring Jessica Chastain. Director John Madden and leading actor Jack Lacey were at the Premiere to introduce the feature film.
This is the story of Elizabeth Sloane, a top lobbyists in Washington D.C. and her defiant stance to impose regulations on firearms which results in her making enemies in the highest places.
Many international stars turned up to the glitzy affair including the Turkish actress Tuba Büyüstün, Ranveer Singh, Vaani Kapoor, the talented Olga Kurylenko, Tyrese Gibson from the Fast and the Furious franchise and Said Taghmaoui internationally known for the cult French production ‘La Haine’.
Other regional silver screen stars incuded Elham Chahine, Nelly Karim Bassem El Samra, Magdy Ahmed Ali, Fadi Abi Samra, Hend Sabri, Amjad Rasheed, Darin Sallam, Yousra, Yousry Nasrallah Ulrike Ottinger, Basil Khalil, Saleh Bakri, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ann Marie Fleming, Salem Ibrahimi, Adel Khouzam, and Marianna Khoury.
13th edition of DIFF is expected to host several of the biggest names in the industry over coming week including Andie MacDowell, Eva Longoria, Bill Nighy, Luke Hemsworth, Jeffrey Wright and the incomparable Melanie Griffiths.
Movie aficionados and the general public can enjoy the festival screened over eight days at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena, Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and THE BEACH – opposite JBR.