Starry nights await!
BE READY TO get star-struck! Celebrity spotting enters a new realm as A-list stars from around the world descend on Dubai for the sixth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) from December 9 to 16.
DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said the celebrity attendance at DIFF 2009 reflects the increasing global appeal of the festival. “These celebrities are not making a nominal appearance but most of them are integral part of movies that are being screened at DIFF, making their presence even more relevant.”
Headlining the celebrity list from Hollywood is Gerard Butler, the PS, I Love You and The Ugly Truth star, who will receive the Variety International Star of the Year award at DIFF.
He joins a power-pack list including Matt Dillon, Oscar-nominated for his performance in Crash; Christina Ricci (Penelope); Mandy Moore (Licence to Wed); Christopher Lambert (Southland Tales) and Jason Flemying (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Broken Embraces star Lluis Homar has also confirmed attendance at DIFF 2009.
Queen Noor of Jordan will lead the Cultural Bridge programme at DIFF this year while the titan of the Arab film world, Omar Sharif, also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at DIFF, will lead the Arab contingent of celebrities this year.
The glittering array of Arab stars this year include Hala Sarhan; Somayya Al Kashab; Mostafa Fahmy; Habib Gholoom; Samir Ghanim and Donia Ghanim; Hiam Abbas; Nelly Kareem; Elham Shaheen; Ragha Al Guedawi; Amr Waked; Rania Shawky; Sherine Adel; Khalid Al Sawi and Khalid Taja.
The Indian film industry will be represented by the ‘first family of Bollywood’ — the Bachchans. The legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, who receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at DIFF, will be joined by his actor-son Abhishek.
India’s new teenybopper sensation Ranbir Kapoor, the star of DIFF Indian Cinema Gala Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year, and the film’s director Shimit Amin, who shot to fame with Chak De India, will also grace the gala red carpet this year.
Indian national award winning actor Mammootty, the hero of DIFF-film Kutty Srank (Sailor of Hearts), is another notable celebrity attendance from the Subcontinent. Actors Boman Irani, Sameer Dattani and Minissha Lamba, who all star in Well Done Abba, Shyam Bengal’s movie that is being screened at DIFF, add to the celebrity list.
Two Indian stars Sonu Sood (Jodha Akbar) and Javed Jaffrey (Daddy Cool, Singh is King) mark their presence at DIFF 2009 through their roles in the first Emirati film, City of Life, the Arabian Nights Gala. They will be joined by Natalie Dormer (Flawless), the female lead of the Ali Mustafa film.
Lending weight to the jury list of Muhr Arab and Muhr AsiaAfrica awards are two Indian celebrities — the world-renowned painter and film director M.F. Hussain (Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities) and actress Manisha Koirala (Dil Se, Khamoshi, Bombay).
DIFF 2009 will be held from December 9 to 16. Full listings of films can be accessed at www.dubaifilmfest.com