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.


Alexandria’s summer arts festival promises a varied line-up

Avo Demerjian of Jordanian band Autostrad performs at a previous event in Dubai. (AFP)
Updated 22 July 2018
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Alexandria’s summer arts festival promises a varied line-up

  • Now in its 16th edition, the month-long festival is an annual cultural celebration
  • This edition’s musical line-up includes Sudanese singer Asia Madani, Swedish-Syrian singer Faia Younan, Moroccan band Made in Bled and the Swiss OY Band

CAIRO: Alexandria-based art aficionados are currently enjoying a vibrant arts program as part of this year’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina International Summer Festival, which opened on July 16 and runs until August 18.

Now in its 16th edition, the month-long festival is an annual cultural celebration, which brings a selection of music concerts, theater and dance performances, film screenings and poetry recitals to the Alexandrian crowd.

Opening the festival last week was the Jordanian band Autostrad, who performed at the bibliotheca’s open-air theater. The following day saw Swedish folk band Triakel take to the stage, also at the venue’s open-air theater. This free concert was organized in collaboration with the Swedish Institute in Alexandria. A theater performance by Kawabees, an Egyptian performing arts troupe, took place at the bibliotheca’s great hall on the same day.

This edition’s musical line-up includes Sudanese singer Asia Madani, Swedish-Syrian singer Faia Younan, Moroccan band Made in Bled and the Swiss OY Band.

Some of the Egyptian musicians performing at this year’s event include pianist and composer Omar Khairat, bands Cairokee and Massar Egbari, singers Ali El-Haggar, Maryam Saleh and Mohamed Mohsen and musician Hisham Kharma, in addition to two performances by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra.

Other events include a screening of Alekos Sakellarios’ 1957 Greek film “The Aunt from Chicago,” a comedy in which Aunt Calliopi returns to Greece from Chicago after 30 years and plans to marry off her nieces, a recital by Egyptian poet Amr Hassan, a dance performance by the Al-Wahag troupe for Ballet and Free Dance and a talk by Egyptian actor Ahmed Kamal, who is a show business veteran with more than 30 years of experience in front of the camera.

This annual festival is organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts Center. 

According to the Bibliotheca’s official website, the BA Arts Center “provides a forum dedicated to various expressions of all forms of art, and it seeks to realize the goals of the BA in being Egypt’s window on the world and the world’s window (to) Egypt in the artistic field.”

This summer festival has in the past hosted Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran, Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife and Lebanese singer and songwriter Tania Saleh.