The Dubai International film festival will feature eleven world premieres across its programme.

The premieres comprise narrative and documentary films, feature length and shorts and works from established feature directors as well as feature debuts.

The festival's mandate to present diverse and engaging cinema while highlighting film of Arab origin is strongly reflected in the choice of films

The Arabian nights section of the festival includes two very different world premieres.

The Arabian Nights gala screening is Al Mor Wa Al Rumman (Pomegranates and Myrrh) which is the first feature by Palestinian director Najwa Najjar.

The film tells a powerful story and is regarded as a miracle of production logistics, having been filmed in the Occupied Territories with a largely Palestinian crew.

The section also includes the documentary Forbidden Childhood by Barbara Cupisti which deals with the impact of conflict on young people growing up in Palestine through the words of Ali Abu Awwad, a former resistance fighter, and Elik El-Hanan, an Israeli ex soldier.

Cinema from other countries is highlighted in sections such as the celebration of Indian cinema which showcases quality Indian art-house cinema from established directors and upcoming talent.

It features the world premiere of Tere Kya Hog, Johnny ! (Ride The Wave, Johnny !) by critically acclaimed director Sudhir Mishra.

The film is set in the mayhem of Mumbai's back streets, where at the centre of each neighbourhood is usually one good soul who always tries to help everyone, yet is repeatedly exploited in return.

Commenting on the selection of films for the festival Masoud Amralla al Ali, Artistic Director and Director General of the Competition, said: 'The diversity of films has increased at DIFF this year due to the addition of the new Muhr AsiaAfrica competition, which has added films from unexpected markets like Pakistan and Afghanistan to the mix, in addition to award-winning cinema from Japan, Turkey and Iran. DIFF has always had an international outlook and now our screenings will span the globe in an unprecedented range of offerings.'

The eleven world premieres are: Pomegranates & Myrrh; Ben Boulaid; These Hands; Black Nation; My Secret Sky; Casanegra; Forbidden Childhood;Largo Winch;El Sistema; Open Shutters Iraq; Ride The Wave, Johnny!

DIFF 2008 will run from December 11 to 18.