Tom Cruise, Dubai International Film Festival

Why You Can’t Miss Dubai International Film Festival

DIFF managing director, Shivani Pandya, talks premieres, A-list arrivals and Arab cinema…

What movie premieres should we look out for this month?

There are too many to mention here, but we open on December 6 with Scott Cooper’s Western masterpiece, Hostiles, starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, and close with one of the most anticipated movies of the year: Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

What else is happening?

There are more than 28 industry-orientated talks, panel discussions, masterclasses and events featuring some of the biggest names in global cinema. This year that includes Emmy award-winning director-producer Michelle Maclaren (Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Deuce and Breaking Bad), and Academy Award-nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock will host a conversation about a risk-taking career that turns the camera on himself. His latest film, Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken, also premieres at the festival.

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How important is a thriving film festival to a modern city?

The main aim of DIFF is to promote the culture and talent of the region to international audiences through the power of film. The festival works throughout the year to help develop a thriving film culture within the region, fostering the growth of the industry by providing greater opportunities for filmmakers in our part of the world.

Can we expect A-list visitors?

Many of our screenings are followed by Q&As and special appearances from a stellar line-up of industry talent, including directors, producers and featured talent from the movies.

How has DIFF helped Arab cinema?

In 2007 we launched the Dubai Film Market to raise the profile of Arab cinema both here and abroad. It has since supported more than 300 projects, with films that have gone on to find critical acclaim and new audiences across the globe.