Dubai Film Festival is back next month and here is everything you need to know


We’re fresh from the press conference for this year’s Dubai International Film Festival. It promises to showcase some serious cinematic talent, huge movies, massive Hollywood and Bollywood names and exciting local luminaries.

The 14th edition of DIFF will take place between the 6th and 13th December and here’s what you can’t miss:

Curtains open

The season opens with Hostiles, a movie starring Oscar-winner Christian Bale, and Oscar-nominee Rosamund Pike. The emotional story, unfolds on the rolling Montana grasslands of 1892, and sets a high bar for the rest of the festival.

Curtains close

The movie selected to close the festival is big. Possibly the biggest movie of the year in fact; an advanced screening of the new Star Wars movie (insert light saber noises and rousing music), The Last Jedi. The movie goes on general release to most of the rest of the world on the 15th December. Lucky DIFF theatre goers will get the chance to be one of the first people to see the movie on the 13th, the last day of the festival.

pizza force

Make sure you book tickets so you don’t miss out on a pizza the action

In between

You know us, were not usually ones to drop names. But, if you’re not already experiencing sweaty palms, heart flutter, conspicuous whistling and other signs of mounting excitement, let’s talk about some of the guests attending.

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Sir Patrick Stewart; Irrfan Khan; Sarah Jessica Parker; Youssra; director Rob Reiner; documentary maker Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me); Sonam Kapoor; Luis Fonzi; Wahid Hamed and Vanessa Williams to name but a few. Double Emmy winning executive producer: Michelle Maclaren (just involved with the biggest shows of the last decade Game of Thrones, Westworld, Breaking Bad – no big deal) will also be leading a forum on ‘Script to Screen.’

DIFF will also reinforce its connection with BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) and the BFI (British Film Institute), showcasing British movies and hosting a number of workshops aimed at promoting collaboration between the UK and host nation.

The festival is screening several features from this region. The films from the finalists of the IWC Filmmaker Award will be shown, before a jury of considerable movie-making talent (headed by Cate Blanchett) ultimately decide upon the winner of the USD 100,000 prize fund. One of the contestants, Emirati director Naya Al Khaja, will be presenting Animal, we wish her the best of luck.

Gala nights for the festival have been painstakingly selected to reflect the quality and range. A quick selection of some of the highlights. See, The Death of Stalin, the latest satirical offering from a master of the art Armando Iannucci. French cinema is represented with Orchestra Class. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sprinkles some nostalgic action movie magic on the festival.

There will also be the chance to catch the latest Virtual Reality movies shown as part of the festival.  Du VR cinema have 10 of the most exciting releases ready to feed directly in to your eyeballs for an unforgettable immersive experience.

For a full list of names, films, awards, showing times and to buy tickets (on sale now) visit Packages start from AED 275 for 10 tickets for non-red carpet events.

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