Marc Forster's The Kite Runner is the surprise closing film for the Dubai International Film Festival.

The Dec 16 closing night event will welcome the book's author Khaled Hosseini and the film's cast including Khalid Abdalla, Homayoun Ershadi, Zekiria Ebrahami, Ali Danesh Bakhtyari, Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada and Sayed Jafar Massihullah, along with executive producer Laurie MacDonald and producers William Horberg, Walter F. Parkes, Rebecca Yeldham and E. Bennett Walsh.

Megan Colligan, EVP Marketing and Publicity from Paramount Vantage, said: 'We are honoured that The Kite Runner has been selected to close the Dubai International Film Festival, and we are proud to share this film with a global audience.'

Based on the bestselling novel, The Kite Runner is about two boyhood Afghani friends whotake different paths in life butare reunited under Taliban rule.

This Middle Eastern premiere comes on the heels of the film being pushed back to allow some of its Afghan child actors to finish the school term. As a rape scene in the film has caused controversy in Afghanistan ahead of the film's release, the actors had been relocated to the United Arab Emirates.

Backers of the project are DreamWorks Pictures, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Participant Productions and Paramount Vantage.