Patrick Stewart, Irrfan Khan, Wahid Hamed kick off Dubai film fest

Source:AFP Published: 2017/12/7 18:03:39

Dubai's international film festival opened on Wednesday night, bringing together Britain's Patrick Stewart, India's Irrfan Khan and Egypt's Wahid Hamed - cinema stars from different corners of the globe.

In a region rife with conflict which pushed the famed Marrakesh festival to take a one-year hiatus, dozens of stars, cinema lovers and social media influencers gathered for the 14th Dubai International Film Festival.

The event runs through December 13 and features 140 movies from 51 countries and regions with a heavy focus on the Middle East and North Africa.

Walking the red carpet opening night were cinema royalty from around the world, including Cate Blanchett, Egyptian film and TV star Yusra and India's Khan, of Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi fame.

The largest cheer was reserved for Stewart, who said he was looking forward to the screenings of regional films in particular.

"I'm not very familiar with Arabic film," Stewart told journalists on the red carpet. "After this week, I will certainly know very, very much more."

The festival opened with the Middle East premier of the Scott Cooper Western Hostiles, the story of a 19th century soldier forced to escort a dying Cheyenne chief and his family home starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike.

But the star attraction over the coming week is Syria's Last Men in Aleppo, a documentary on the daily lives of the White Helmets - the volunteer rescue workers who have refused to leave their homeland despite a devastating war.

Patrick Stewart Photo: IC


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