The Movies are the Stars Dubais film festival returns December

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Academy award-winning actors Colin Firth, Cate Blanchett and Kevin Spacey will all be in attendance at this year’s ninth annual Dubai Film Festival this December.

Stars such as Cuba Gooding Jr., Frieda Pinto, Rooney Mara, Kristen Davis, singer Bryan Ferry, English actor Steve Oram and Kiwi actress Kerry Fox will also make an appearance at this years movie festival.

Arab celebrities joining the A-List stars include Egyptian actresses Laila Aloui, Nelly Kareem, Caroline Khalil, Sherine Adel and actors Khalid Al Nabawy, Amr Waked and Mohammad Sa’ad and Lebanese star Shirine Abdul Nour.

Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival Adbul Hamid Juma recently said at a press conference: “We’ve been working for 12 months to put this festival together.

“This year I truly feel we are presenting one of our strongest line-ups ever, bringing together filmmakers and fans to watch a remarkable variety of films from around the world, many of which they are unlikely to see anywhere else. In 2004, we had one world premiere. This year, we have 52. That gives you an idea of how we have progressed.

“Sometimes we cannot get the stars but we get the film. The film is the star,” he added.

This years opening film will be the highly anticipated 3D adaptation of Yann Martel’s best seller “Life of Pi” by Ang Lee.

The festival will also show 150 films, 52 of these being world premieres including the biographical movie “Hitchcock,” which stars Dame Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins as legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. The festival will also feature 3D film “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” and Amour, Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival as well as being Austria’s entry for “Best Foreign Film” at the Oscars.

“Wadjda,” which was directed by Saudi Arabia’s first woman director Haiffa al-Mansour will also be screened during the festival along with other Middle Eastern productions such as the Kurdish film “Bekas” by Karzan Kadar.

83 films will compete for the “Muhr” awards across three categories being Muhr Emirati, Muhr Arab and Muhr Asia Africa with the prize of $575,000.