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Tsui Hark, Rachid Bouchareb and Terry Gilliam honoured in Dubai

The Dubai International Film Festival today honoured two of its three 2008 Lifetime Achievement Awards recipients in a special press conference.


Tsui Hark, a major Hong Kong filmmaker, and Rachid Bouchareb, an Algerian-French director, were present to discuss their work with the audience.


Terry Gilliam, the third honouree, attended DIFF earlier in the week and received his award in a special award ceremony on December 12.


Moderator Simon Field stated: "The idea of the Lifetime Achievement Award is to signal what our ideals are about cinema. The Lifetime Achievement Award figures are people who are extraordinarily unique in their treatment of cinema...they are also filmmakers who've crossed borders, which is very appropriate to DIFF."

Field continued that "all three of these filmmakers are very much at the peak of their work, their activity and their involvement in cinema. They are all working in popular or commercial forms, and have interesting ideas about nationalism, identity and tradition."


Hark has worked for many years in both Hong Kong and in China, and was strongly influential in the regeneration of Hong Kong Cinema in the 1980's. He was instrumental in starting the careers of John Woo and Chow Yun Fat, and reenergized the popular ‘wuxia' genre that became popular around the world. Rachid Bouchareb is a prolific producer and director involved with films such as West Beyrouth and this year's DIFF film Niloofar. His Indigenes: Days of Glory showed at DIFF 2006 and won the Best Actor prize for its entire ensemble of actors at Cannes 2006. His new film London River will show in Berlin in the coming months.


Simon Field pointed out that each director combines an eye for commercial, popular cinema with an intellectual approach. Hark said that he has always had to work in commercial genres, since it would be difficult to survive in Hong Kong otherwise, but Bouchareb said that in France, government support for cinema is so strong that directors may continue to work even if they never have a box office success.


Accordingly, both directors had a very different take on the situation of world cinema today. Hark said that since the Chinese market has opened up to Hong Kong cinema, the situation has much improved, although the future of the Asian market was uncertain: "Everyone is going to Hollywood, so we're running out of filmmakers and running out of actors to put on the screen...We have to be very alert and concerned about the strength of the industry in order to build up the basis for a future."


Bouchareb expressed his gratitude that since the French government recognizes that cinema is ‘an art, not an industry,' he can be free with his subject matter. He was concerned about this situation being preserved, since the American government has tried to force the French to stop subsidies of the film industry through the World Trade Organization.


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About Dubai

In 2004, the Dubai International Film Festival launched with its theme of ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.

‘Going into its fourth year, DIFF is held under the Honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organized by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

Reflecting Dubai’s cosmopolitan and multicultural character, the festival showcases a wide selection of features, shorts and documentaries from around the world.

DIFF aims at establishing itself as a major international festival, while continuing to act as a platform for showcasing excellence in Arab Cinema and simultaneously contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry and talent.

As one of the world’s fastest growing business and tourist destinations, Dubai provides an ideal meeting point for industry friends and colleagues from around the globe. DIFF creates an exciting atmosphere for exchanging ideas among a group of progressive film industry professionals. Moreover, the networking initiatives hosted by DIFF provide participants and guests a favourable setting for conducting business

Dubai Media City

United Arab Emirates

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