that have been carefully selected to promote DIFF 2005's theme of "Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds". A 30 per cent increase has been noted in the number of films to be presented this year.
Likewise, this year's film festival has remained committed to the goal of strengthening and showcasing the excellence of Arab cinema by presenting more Arab films and taking concrete steps to support the Arab filmmaking community both in Dubai and the Middle East region.
Viewers can select from a line-up of films that has been divided into 12 categories, namely: Arabian Nights, Arabian Shorts, Emerging Emiratis, Dubai Discoveries, Operation Cultural Bridge, Cafe Europe, Cinema from the Subcontinent, Insights from Asia, Destination Documentary, In Honor of Africa, Contemporary World Cinema, and In the Spotlight.
Six movies will also be previewed during special gala screenings from today until December 16, each representing a particular category. These films include Al Janah Al Aan (Paradise Now, Arabian Nights), L'Enfant (The Child, Cafe Europe), Water (Cinema From the Subcontinent), Edison (Contemporary World Cinema), U-Carmen eKhayelitsha (Carmen in Khayelitsha, In Honor of Africa), and Joyeux Noel (Operation Cultural Bridge).
The weeklong festival boasts of featuring films that have been shown in international festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, London, and Sundance.
DIFF 2005 will likewise present a free open-air "Screen on the Green" programme on December 12 with Baraka, the first 70mm dialogue-free film to be presented in the UAE.
Baraka captures both the mystifying natural beauty as seen in 24 countries, as well as the ties that unite all humanity.
"Although this is a film without words, the poetic images from around the world and the incredible soundtrack of music from all corners of the globe makes Baraka a remarkable once in a lifetime experience for all ages," said Hans Burgschmidt, Director of Festival Production.
He added that the film truly fulfills the ideal of the festival's Cultural Bridge programming by pointing to the highest aspirations of all of humanity.
Viewers may log on the DIFF's official web site, www.dubaifilmfest.com, for schedules and other information.
CELEBS AT THE DIFF
Lit up by sky trackers and a state-of-the-art lighting system, the 800-plus VIP guests including a contingent of Hollywood film stars led by veteran actor Morgan Freeman, and a constellation of Arab stars headed by Egyptian icon Adel Imam will be welcomed to the Festival headquarters and the opening gala screening by Festival Chairman Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of the Emirates Group.
Other celebrities expected to grace tonight's red carpet include Laurence Fishburne, Diane Kruger, Hugh Dancy, Terence Stamp, Constantin Costa-Gavras, Alan Ladd Jr., Michael Caton Jones, Joshua Jackson, Noor Sherif, Yousra, Hanan Turk, Mona Zaki, Hind Sabri, Faudel, Deepa Mehta, Subhash Ghai and Sumner Redstone.
Born in Sri Lanka in 1974, Mali arrived in the Southeast Asian country in 1977 — and since then, she had been the star of the capital's zoo
The initiative symbolises unity, creating a festive atmosphere for Emiratis and residents