The sixth edition of Dubai the International Film Festival (Diff), the foremost event in Dubai's cultural calendar, will run from December 9 to 16, this year, announced the organisers of the festival.
The fifth edition of the festival that wrapped up on December 18, 2008, featured 181 films from 66 countries and saw a total of 47,500 movie-goers stream into Diff screenings. Approximately 1,000 international and local industry professionals took part in networking events and seminars. Celebrity attendance was also impressive, with heavy-hitters Ben Affleck, Salma Hayek, Abdulhussein Abdulredha, Sameer Sabri, Jamal Suleiman, Goldie Hawn, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, Lebleba and Nicolas Cage among others gracing the red carpet.
Abdul Hamid Juma, Diff's Chairman, said: "Our fifth edition was a milestone, and we are thrilled there was such an enthusiastic response to our programming and initiatives. With every year we have introduced new elements to enhance the festival experience, providing the best in international
cinema culture for our UAE audiences, who have backed the festival since the beginning. We look forward to another promising December."
Terry Gilliam, one of the recipients of Diff Honourees for 2008 was recently awarded the Bafta Fellowship, considered the highest accolade at the award ceremony in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. One Man Village and Amreeka, films supported by Dubai Film Connection made it to Berlinale and Sundance Film Festivals respectively. Last year's line-up included award-winning and successful productions such as Slumdog Millionaire, Rachel Getting Married, Gomorra and The Wrestler.
The 2008 festival built on the successes of the past years introduced strong new initiatives, such as the revolutionary Dubai Film Market, a state-of-the-art content-trading platform that spurred several high-level agreements between regional and international film professionals.
The Muhr Awards for Excellence in Arab Cinema, in its third year, gained a sibling prize in 2008, the Muhr AsiaAfrica Competition.
Further announcements regarding the sixth edition will be made throughout the year.