Dubai International Film Festival 2015 - Infinite Perspectives

The 12th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival will take place from 9th-16th December 2015. This year's edition will include 134 films (full features and shorts) from 60 countries and in 40 languages, including 72 Arab films.

The festival will open on Wednesday, 9th December with Lenny Abrahman's The Room, winner of the People's Choice Award at the Toronoto Film Festival this September. The festival will close on Wednesday, 16th December with a fllm based on a true story, The Big Short directed by Adam McKay, starring Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. 

The theme is "Infinite Perspectives" and this 12th edition is celebrating 12 decades of cinema.

At the press conference, DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma described this year's festival as the strongest and most important. As a festival, it is maturing and for the UAE it is also a year with the most Emirati films, a sign that the filmmaking industry is developing and taking shape in the country.

Juma also described the festival as a dialogue with ourselves and with each other, and the importance of hope - considering it is such a turbulent time in the world and in this region, "hope is there, we have to go out and grab it".

The film categories this year have been trimmed down to Arabian NightsCinema for ChildrenCinema of the WorldMuhr EmiratiMuhr FeatureMuhr Gulf Short and Muhr Short. Cinema of the World is the category with the most films, with 60 films lined up to screen at the festival. 

DIFF Managing director Shivani Pandya talked about the importance of Dubai Film Market at DIFF (240 projects have been support by DIFF so far). She also stated the festival has reached the phase where films need to be seen in more theatres and there are ongoing discussions with broadcasters, distributors and inernational cinemas.

My only gripe with this is that I don't think enough is being done to get non-Hollywood blockbusters shown in our theatres. DIFF does partner with The Scene Club on a regular basis to show films from past editions of DIFF, but I do wish for more efforts between the UAE cinemas and DIFF to screen a wider variety of film programs. 

There will be special industry talk during DIFF with Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos (via live video) and I'm guessing (hoping) there will be some kind of formal announcement that Netflix will be officially launching in the region which I hope will be an opportunity to have access to a wider range of films shown here. 

Tickets for Dubai International Film Festival go on sale today (online and at the box office in Mall of the Emirates). I will be sharing my annual DIFF top picks soon.