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The flagship credo of the Dubai Festival: Bridging Cultures - Meeting Minds

Dubai is set to play host to the third edition of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) from December 10-17, 2006, the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (TECOM) announced today.

The Dubai International Film Festival is held under the patronage of the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Director of Civil Aviation, Dubai and President of Emirates Group.

Neil Stephenson, CEO of Dubai International Film Festival said: "The flagship credo of the Festival, ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.’ will be strongly reflected this year. DIFF will endeavour to initiate stimulating and relevant dialogues between the Arab and Western worlds through a series of forums and events reflecting our objectives.
“DIFF 2006 will again be a celebration of the plurality of world cultures. Our commitment this year will be to further advance inter-cultural understanding, promote respect and facilitate broader interaction between societies through the medium of film," Stephenson added.
Programs at the Festival will be designed to bring together film enthusiasts and professional filmmakers in a mission to promote films as catalysts for reflection, discussion, and responsible action towards the social and cultural well-being of the region and the world.
A highlight of the third edition of DIFF will be the institution of the Sheikh Zayed Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring an eminent personality from the film industry for outstanding contributions to building cultural bridges on the world stage. Three other Lifetime Achievement Awards will be awarded to prominent film artists from Asia, Hollywood and the Arab world.
Expectations from the regional and international film community are predictably high this year after the Festival’s strong run in 2005. Festival organizers said they hoped to build on the success of the Festival’s two previous editions with plans to improve upon last year's excellent public participation, for example by extending the festival’s reach to further parts of Dubai.

DIFF 2005 showcased 98 films including features, retrospectives and short films, of which 23 met with unprecedented commercial success. The films that premiered at the festival included Water, L'Enfant, U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha, West Bank Story, Joyeux Noel, and Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World – all of which went on to capture global interest following their screening at the Festival.

With more than 100 celebrity guests, 440 filmmakers, and representatives from leading film festivals, distributors, sales agents, film institutes and production companies, industry participation reached a new high at the 2005 edition. Specialized networking events organized as part of the Festival brought together key producers from the UK, US, Canada, France, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt.

Oscar-winning American actor Morgan Freeman, Adel Imam, the Egyptian "king of comedy," and Indian producer-director Yash Chopra were among those honored for distinguished work at DIFF 2005.
The 650 media representatives from Sri Lanka, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Korea, India, France and the United States, in addition to the UAE-based press, ensured widespread headlines for the Festival around the world.
With almost six months of lead time to Dubai International Film Festival 2006, organizers are promising another week of thought-provoking films and exciting industry events for the people of Dubai and DIFF's honored guests.
- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

Deepa Asnani
Marketing and Communications Manager
Dubai International Film Festival
Tel: +9714 391 4548
Fax: +9714 367 2790

Majid Wasi
Account Manager
Tel: +9714 361 3333
Fax: +9714 368 8001

About- The Dubai International Film Festival

In 2004, a new festival joined the ranks of the world’s international film festivals. Using the powerful medium of film to serve as a platform for inter-cultural dialogue and an instrument of global understanding, the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) launched with its theme of ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.’

Going into its third year, the DIFF is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and under the Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organized by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

DIFF showcases a wide selection of features, shorts and documentaries, from around the world, reflecting Dubai’s cosmopolitan and multi-cultural character. The festival further seeks to celebrate excellence in Arab and world cinema by screening a repertoire of critically acclaimed and award winning films.

Located at the crossroads of East and West, and 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. The array of panel discussions at DIFF instigates a healthy exchange of ideas among a group of progressive film industry professionals, and the networking initiatives hosted by DIFF provide a conducive setting for conducting business.

In both its previous editions, the festival has attracted the attendance of prominent industry figures, including filmmakers and talent from as many as 46 different countries. Several past DIFF guests are currently scouting locations in Dubai for their new film projects.

DIFF 2005
Last year, DIFF took place from December 11 to 17, against the magnificent backdrop of the Madinat Jumeirah Arabian Resort. The festival’s registration figures increased dramatically and the audience grew from approximately 18,000 in 2004 to over 30,000 in 2005. The 2005 festival showcased 98 films from 46 different countries, which included 22 Gulf premieres, 38 Middle East premieres, 7 International premieres and 6 World premieres.

DIFF 2006
The third edition of DIFF will take place in early December, 2006. For information on this year’s festival, including details on film submission, media and industry accreditation, and other new developments, please visit the website during the year.

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