Dubai International Film Festival to kick off on 10 December

MUMBAI: This year's red carpet at the third Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will witness a row of Bollywood stars along with a diverse selection of movies from the Indian subcontinent. DIFF will be held from10 to 17 December.

The Festival will screen director Mira Nair's new film The Namesake, a film on the emotional aftermath of an interracial relationship suffered by non resident Indians in the United States. The festival will also see the gala premiere of Kabir Khan's Kabul Express set post 11 September 2001, when journalists swept down to Afghanistan to witness the impending war and the unruly situation in the terrain, asserts an official release.

DIFF managing director Shivani Pandya said, "The Dubai and the GCC are fast becoming an important market for Indian cinema, contributing massively to their box office revenues. The festival hopes to assist in the growth of this market and with the support of the Indian industry and Indian talent we feel we have a winning formula."

Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, will be a guest of honour and will receive a DIFF Salutes trophy for his lifelong contribution to cinema during a special presentation entitled 'A Conversation with Shah Rukh Khan' at the Madinat Theatre conducted by TV news anchor Riz Khan.

Actresses Kangana Raut, Sameera and Sushma Reddy and Ayesha Dharker will share the red carpet with the likes of Diane Kruger (Helen in Troy), Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale), Maria Grazia Cuccinota (All the Invisible Children) and Joy Bryant (Bobby).

Actors John Abraham, Arshad Warsi and Irfan Khan, will join DIFF with international names such as Oliver Stone, Richard Gere, Moss Deff, Barry Osbourne, Joshua Jackson, Lawrence Fishburne and Kal Penn. Actor Dev Anand, will be a part of DIFF's proceedings this year, as will Mohan Lal, representing the South. adds the release.

DIFF will run an annual programming segment called Cinema of the Subcontinent , with the latest in cutting-edge, non-commercial offerings from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Representing diversity of sub-continent cinema and encapsulating the art and spirit of the region will be The Bong Connection by Anjan Dutt which follows two young men's search for personal goals in a country other than their own, Mohammed Naqvi's (Pakistan) Shame set in 2002 in a remote village in Pakistan, where a 30 year old Mukhtaran Mai's life changes forever when the tribal council sanctions a punishment against her for a crime allegedly committed by her younger brother.

Nagesh Kukonnor's DOR, John Jeffcoat's Outsourced which focuses on the manager of a call centre dispatched to Indian train his own replacement. The chaos of Mumbai assaults his senses and his new office is paralysed by cultural misunderstandings, Mani Ratnam's Iruvar , Tareque Masud's (Bangladesh) Ontarjatra.

Mohammed Ehteshamuddin's Shah Rukh Khan Ki Maut is about an impoverished Pakistani boy, a die hard fan of the Indian star, who is nicknamed after his idol. The film explores the impact of Bollywood in Pakistan and touches upon the lives of the faceless under age millions who are part of its urban landscape and Rajnash Domalpalli's Vanaja.

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