Festival bookended by Stephen Hawking biopic and musical Into the Woods.

Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything will open the 11th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) on December 10th.

Musical Into the Woods will close the event.

A total of 118 features, film shorts and documentaries are set to be screened over eight days at this year’s edition; including 55 world and international premieres from 48 countries in 34 languages.

At the opening ceremony, DIFF will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Egyptian actor Nour El-Sherif, for his work on more than 100 films in a career that has spanned almost 5 decades.

Talent attending the festival include Emily Blunt, Kelsey Grammer, Paul Bettany, Yilmaz Erdogan, Olga Kurylenko, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal.

DIFF’s Muhr Feature competition jury will be headed up by Precious director Lee Daniels.

Abdulhamid Juma, chairman of DIFF, said: “DIFF has come so far in the past 11 years, introducing new audiences to Arab cinema, fostering talent and welcoming the industry’s greatest directors, producers, writers and actors. I am proud to say that DIFF has contributed to putting the region’s film industry on the global map.”