Kelsey Grammer leading the charge for this year’s DIFF

Kelsey Grammer leading the charge for this year’s DIFF

Dubai film fest to open with The Theory of Everything, celebrities include Emily Blunt, Paul Bettany, Olga Kurylenko, John Abraham Anil Kapoor and more.

By David Light/senior Reporter

Published: Thu 27 Nov 2014, 2:01 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:48 PM

Kelsey Grammer

In what many were speculating would be a scaled down version of the usual hoopla that surrounds the Dubai International Film Festival, the 11th edition’s line up could possibly contain one of the most recognisable stars ever to have walked the Madinat Jumeirah’s red carpet.

Known for 20 years as Dr Frasier Crane in both sitcoms Cheers and eponymous spinoff Frasier, Kelsey Grammer has gone on to reach admirable heights on the big screen, yet will forever be known in certain circles as Seattle’s finest radio psychiatrist. We can only wonder what the status-obsessed character would make of Dubai. Let’s hope he’ll let us know when the curtain raises on the festival onDecember 10.

Announced at a Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel Press conference on Wednesday, another big-hitter set to descend on the event will be Golden Globe winner and IWC Brand Ambassador Emily Blunt who is joining the jury for the third IWC Filmmaker Award. A $100,000 cash prize will be handed over by Blunt, whose latest film Into the Woods with Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp will be closing the festival onDecember 17, to one winning filmmaker onDecember 11.

Other international celebrities flying in over the week will include The Da Vinci Code’s Paul Bettany, former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko; and from Bollywood: John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal.

This year, DIFF will open with the much anticipated The Theory of Everything – the Stephen Hawking biopic from Academy Award winning director James Marsh. Starring Eddie Redmayne as the world’s greatest astrophysicist and Felicity Jones as his wife Jane Wilde, the extraordinary story follows the life of one of the planet’s most intriguing living minds. This movie sets the tone for things to come, with many other Middle East premières and big budget productions including The Imitation Game definite causes to get excited.

If you can’t actually get down to the festival, there are still a number of activities going on around the city.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman, DIFF; Shivani Pandya, Managing Director; Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director; and Samr Al Marzooqi, Dubai Film Market Manager at the Press conference.

OnDecember 14,the annual celeb-filled charity gala will take place. This year DIFFhas partnered with Dubai Cares for the fourth year in a row, who will this year will be presenting The Global Gift Gala with honorary Chair, Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria in attendance. The Global Gift Gala will be supporting The Eva Longoria Foundation, which provides education and entrepreneurship opportunities to women, the Sunrise K Foundation, which raises awareness of childhood glaucoma and the Global Gift Foundation that strives to ensure no child goes hungry.

For the first time, free public screenings at an outdoor cinema will be held as a way of saying thank you to DIFF’s audiences for their support over the years. The Beach, opposite JBR will host these open-air screenings every evening throughout the festival starting with, St. Vincent - an offbeat comedy starring the legendary Bill Murray onDecember

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