The DubaiInternational Film Festival has unveiled new artistic directors for 2006, MasoudAmralla Al Ali and Simon Field, who will program films from the Arab andnon-Arab worlds respectively.

Al Ali is basedin Abu Dhabi and is the artistic director of the UAE Cultural Foundation andthe founder of the Emirates Film Competition; he will program sectionsincluding Emerging Emiratis, a new selection of five films from new film-makersin the United Arab Emirates.

Field, a producerat Illumination Films and a commissioner for the New Crowned Hope project, is aveteran of London's Institute ofContemporary Arts and the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Festival directorand CEO Neil Stephenson will continue to oversee the overall programming and willprogramme the Operation Cultural Bridge programme.

"I am thrilledthat Masoud and Simon have agreed to take on these important roles for DIFF. Ifeel that both of these men have eminent credibility in the international filmcommunity and I am confident that their contributions to our festival will beimmense," Stephenson said.

The festival'sthird event will run December 10-17 and will this year introduce a new lifetimeachievement award, the Sheikh Zayed Award.

The festival ishosting an Arabian Nights party (co-presented with Screen International) tonight in Cannes.