Stars from the entertainment world joined Oscar-nominated film maker Jim Sheridan on the red carpet recently at the Irish Film Institute for the fifth edition of the Dublin Arabic Film Festival Presented by Dubai Duty Free. The festival, which ran from Friday October 5 to Sunday October 7, featured six of the best new movies from the Arab world. One of the key themes of this year’s Dublin Arabic Film Festival was the championing of female filmmakers, a theme that carried through many of the films.
Among the stars who joined Jim Sheridan and DAFF festival Director, Zahara Moufid on the red carpet were Game of Thrones star, Liam Cunningham, Love/Hate writer Stuart Carolan, actress Neili Conroy and director, Terry McMahon.
Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dubai Duty Free, flew in from Dubai to represent the presenting sponsor of the festival, Dubai Duty Free. The airport retailer has supported the festival and has been the presenting sponsor since its inception in 2014 when legendary actor Omar Sharif officially opened in the inaugural edition. Also in attendance were several ambassadors and business people from the Arab world, and representatives of the Arab Irish Chamber who also sponsor the festival.
VIP guests attended a private screening of the opening movie of the festival, Looking for Oum Kulthum – Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari’s drama about Oum Kulthum, the legendary Egyptian singer and diva. After the screening a VIP party was held at the exclusive Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club where guests enjoyed exquisite Arabic food and grapes from Bacchus Vinos.
Speaking at the opening night Jim Sheridan, DAFF President, said: “We are delighted to see so many well-known faces coming out to support the Dublin Arabic Film Festival Presented by Dubai Duty Free. Now in its fifth year the festival continues to grow and once again we will show a wonderful collection of movies at the Irish Film Institute and the Chester Beatty Library this weekend.”
Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are proud to continue our support of this wonderful festival. Sponsorship has been a major part of our marketing strategy since our inception in 1983. Key sponsorships of various sporting and cultural events around the world allow us to communicate and engage with international audiences through local events and through digital, print, outdoor and broadcast media. There is a strong Irish community in the UAE and there are an increasing number of Irish people visiting Dubai for both business and leisure and we want to continue to place our brand in front of them and to remind them that Dubai is a great place to visit and to do business.”