Hostiles, starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, will open this year’s Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), while Star Wars: The Last Jedi will close the eight-day event (December 6-13).
Directed by Scott Cooper, Hostiles tells the story of an army captain who agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief back to his tribal lands. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Carrie Fisher in her final role.
At a press conference in Dubai today, DIFF also announced the recipients of three ‘DIFF Honorary Awards’ – Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed, whose credits include The Yacoubian Building; UK actor Patrick Stewart, known for the X-Men and Star Trek: The Next Generation series; and Indian actor Irrfan Khan, who has starred in films such as Slumdog Millionaire, The Lunchbox and The Life Of Pi.
Red carpet galas at the festival will include Dominic Cooke’s On Chesil Beach, Armando Iannucci’s The Death Of Stalin, Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here, Warwick Thornton’s Australian period Western Sweet Country and Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape Of Water, among other films.
Open-air screenings at The Beach will include Majid Majidi’s Beyond The Clouds and the world premiere of UK guitarist and composer Jason Carter’s Grain Of Sand, while special screenings in the Souk Madinat Jumeirah include the world premiere of Egyptian mockumentary Kiss Me Not, David Batty’s My Generation and Borg McEnroe, directed by Denmark’s Janus Metz Pedersen.
As previously announced, 18 films will screen in the Muhr Feature competition, including Nabil Ayouch’s Razzia and Annemarie Jacir’s Wajib and seven world premieres. DIFF competition sections also include Muhr Shorts, Muhr Gulf Shorts and the Muhr Emirati Awards.
Meanwhile, to celebrate the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Culture, Dubai Film Market (DFM) will host a UK Spotlight, including a writers’ workshop in partnership with the BFI and British Council and a costume design masterclass with Alexandra Byrne (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) presented by BAFTA.
DFM will also feature sessions with documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, whose Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! will screen at the festival; director and executive producer Michelle Maclaren (Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad); and social media celebrities Shaun Mcbride and Tanner Fox. AMPAS will host a ‘Women at the Helm’ panel with directors such as Kimberly Peirce, Haifaa Al Mansour, Niki Caro and Dee Rees.
DIFF is also partnering with Screen International on the second edition of Arab Stars of Tomorrow, highlighting five emerging film talents from the Arab world.