The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, will open the 7th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) on December 12.

The US-Australian drama, based on the true story of King George VI and his struggle to lead Britain in the run up to World War II, was a hit with critics and audiences at this year’s Telluride and Toronto film festivals. The film is also tipped for success in the upcoming awards season.

Some members of the cast, which includes Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce and Timothy Spall, are expected to attend the DIFF screening.   

“DIFF has always sought to bring the best cinema of the world to Dubai and the greater Middle East, and The King’s Speech certainly fits that bill,” said DIFF festival chairman Abdulhamid Juma.  

“The film has scooped up the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival and earned rare standing ovations wherever it has been seen, and we are confident it will be a sell-out here. We are excited to begin our programming on such a high note.”

DIFF’s artistic director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said that the rest of the DIFF programme is nearly in place and will be announced shortly. The festival will take place December 12-19.