When the stars come marching in

Stars from the West and the Middle East dominated the red carpet at the DIFF on Sunday, which kicked off its seventh edition with historical drama The King’s Speech.

By Adam Zacharias

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Published: Mon 13 Dec 2010, 8:37 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:19 AM

The film focuses on King George VI of England, who assumes the throne with the nation on the brink of World War II, but must overcome a debilitating stammer to become a true leader of his people. British actor Colin Firth, who plays the monarch, was the first star on the red carpet before the opening gala screening at the Madinat Arena. Looking dapper in a dinner jacket and bow tie, the 50-year-old heartthrob zig-zagged his way through the throng, chatting and taking photos with fans.

Next up was another British A-lister, as newcomer. Carey Mulligan ventured into the fray looking startled but nonetheless stunning. The 25-year-old, nominated for a Best Actress Oscar last year, thanks to her turn in drama An Education, was sporting a bleach blonde hairdo and seemed almost apologetic about the copious attention bestowed upon her.

Egyptian actress Bushra was among the most eye-catching celebrities on the night, sashaying along the red carpet in a glamorous black flowing dress. The star of Six, Seven, Eight — a hard-hitting drama which looks at sexual harassment — showed up with cast mates including Nelly Karim and director Mohamed Diab.

Sarah Wayne Callies, star of TV dramas Prison Break and The Walking Dead, also looked radiant in a shimmering beige dress, with the statuesque actress flashing a 100-watt Hollywood smile for the cameras.

Representing the UAE on the night was Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and Shaikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Meanwhile the nation’s flourishing film industry was represented by City of Life director Ali F Mostafa and Abdulla Al Kaabi, whose short film The Philosopher will debut at this year’s DIFF, starring The Da Vinci Code actor Jean Reno.

Other important names making an appearance for the 2010 film festival, which runs until December 19, were Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To and veteran Malian director Souleymane Cisse, who will receive a DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award later this week along with Oscar-winner Sean Penn and Egyptian-Lebanese icon Sabah.

Later today, fans can speak with both Penn and Firth, as they discuss their careers at separate ‘In Discussion With’ panels at the Madinat Jumeirah (see www.dubaifilmfest.com for more information).


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