Dubai International Film Festival lights up silver screens across the city

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British actor Sir Patrick Stewart, above in suit, who played Professor Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” franchise, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his almost-six-decade-long career. (Arab News)
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Bollywood actor Irfan Khan, who has also played roles in Hollywood films, is set to be honored for his significant contribution to the international film industry. (DIFF)
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Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett was in attendance at the opening gala night of the Dubai International Film Festival. (DIFF)
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Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed, right, will be given an honorary award for his four-decade career. (DIFF)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
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The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival rolled out the red carpet for the film industry’s glitterati. (Arab News)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Dubai International Film Festival lights up silver screens across the city

The 14th annual Dubai International Film Festival began with a bang on Wednesday evening, with a red carpet roll out to mark the beginning of a stellar line-up of film premieres and screenings across the city.

Taking place from Dec. 6 – 13, the festival will showcase more than 140 short and feature-length films in more than 38 languages from 51 countries in the Arab world and beyond. The movies are set to be screened across the city, including the main location at Souk Madinat Jumeirah as well as VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and VOX Cinemas, Galleria Mall.

The Opening Night Gala on Wednesday presented award-winning director Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles,” starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike.

This year, organizers have chosen three individuals to receive DIFF Honorary Awards in celebration of those who have contributed to the international film industry.

British actor Sir Patrick Stewart, who played Professor Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” franchise, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his almost-six-decade-long career, while Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed will also be given an honorary award for his four-decade career. Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, who has also played roles in Hollywood films, is set to be honored for his significant contribution — including his more than 80 films — to the international film industry.


The film festival features a series of competition segments, including the highly contested Muhr Competition for feature fiction and non-fiction. Short films from the Arab world’s established and new talent will be screened as part of the competition and the winner will qualify for Oscar nominations.

Masoud Amralla Al-Ali, DIFF’s artistic director, said: “At its heart, DIFF was conceived to provide a platform for Arab talent, and every year we strive to showcase and support the best work coming out of the region. We are excited to welcome over 59 regional films to the Festival this year, each making sure that voices from this part of the world are heard.”

The festival is set to close with a highly anticipated screening of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Dec. 13, the latest installment in the internationally loved series and the last time late actress Carrie Fisher appeared on screen.


What We Are Reading Today: Millions, Billions, Zillions by Brian W. Kernighan

Updated 19 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Millions, Billions, Zillions by Brian W. Kernighan

  • Numbers are often intimidating, confusing, and even deliberately deceptive
  • Misunderstanding numbers can have serious consequences

Numbers are often intimidating, confusing, and even deliberately deceptive— especially when they are really big. The media loves to report on millions, billions, and trillions, but frequently makes basic mistakes or presents such numbers in misleading ways. 

And misunderstanding numbers can have serious consequences, since they can deceive us in many of our most important decisions, including how to vote, what to buy, and whether to make a financial investment. In this short, accessible, enlightening, and entertaining book, leading computer scientist Brian Kernighan teaches anyone — even diehard math-phobes — how to demystify the numbers that assault us every day.

With examples drawn from a rich variety of sources, including journalism, advertising, and politics, Kernighan demonstrates how numbers can mislead and misrepresent. In chapters covering big numbers, units, dimensions, and more, he lays bare everything from deceptive graphs to speciously precise numbers. And he shows how anyone — using a few basic ideas and lots of shortcuts — can easily learn to recognize common mistakes, determine whether numbers are credible, and make their own sensible estimates when needed.

Giving you the simple tools you need to avoid being fooled by dubious numbers, Millions, Billions, Zillions is an essential survival guide for a world drowning in big — and often bad — data.

Brian W. Kernighan is professor of computer science at Princeton University. His many books include Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security (Princeton). He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.