Top Guide to the Dubai International Film Festival 2012
It’s our fave time of year in Dubai! The festive season’s upon us and the movie world is descending on our emirate for the 9th annual Dubai International Film Festival.
Last year was all about Tom Cruise and Mission: Impossible but this year’s looking like it’s going to be even more glam. You can guarantee that if there’s a star to be snapped or some dirt to be dug, we’re going to be all over it, just for you!
This year’s festival kicks off with Ang Lee’s hotly-anticipated adaptation of the best-selling book Life of Pi starring Suraj Sharma, an Indian schoolboy who was plucked from obscurity to star in his first feature film. Meanwhile, Paul Thomas Anderson provides an arty alternative with his movie The Master starring Joaquin Phoenix, while the long-awaited Hitchcock and drama Hyde Park On Hudson top our wish list of ones to watch.
While we’re obviously excited about catching so many new movies, we’re also preparing to launch ourselves across the red carpet and attempt to land on the lovely Colin Firth. Swoon. Trust us, he’ll be delighted. And Mr Darcy isn’t the only T’Towner paying us a visit. The lovely Cate Blanchett’s in town, as is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, SATC fave Kristin Davis and Indian beauty Freida Pinto, while the boys are equally well represented by Kevin Spacey and Cuba Gooding Jr. What’s more, ageing crooner and Ahlan! secret crush Bryan Ferry is also dropping by. Bry, if you’re listening, you’re totally our second fave after Colin. Don’t be jeal. Plus, we’ve heard rumours supermodel Heidi Klum is set to be hitting town too.
Ahlan!’s DIFF Ones To Watch
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson
Plot: A biographical comedy-drama that presents a behind-the-scenes look at the film Psycho, which was marred with controversy due to complaints about violence. The flick’s directed by Sacha Gervasi who, randomly, is the father of Geri Halliwell’s daughter, Bluebell.
Starring: Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix
Plot: Paul Thomas Anderson continues his investigation of flawed characters with this powerful story of the relationship between Freddie, a former World War II soldier, and Lancaster, the larger than life founder of a new religious cult who uses his charm and charisma to beget and manipulate followers.
Life of Pi
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Gérard Depardieu
Plot: Based on the bestselling book by Yann Martel it’s the story of a young man’s incredible survival at sea against almost impossible odds, not least of which include sharing the lifeboat with the only other survivor, Robert Parker – a ferocious Bengal tiger.
We Need To Talk
Starring: Punam Verma, Tanya McGaw
Plot: Check out Punam Verma’s comedy about friends and relationships which she wrote, stars in and produced. Want to know more? We chatted with Punam herself to get all the goss on her debut.
Hyde Park On Hudson
Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney
Plot: Based on a treasure trove of long-hidden diaries and letters, Hyde Park on Hudson is a highly amusing and wryly entertaining exploration of the all-too-human side of one of history’s iconic leaders, Franklin D Roosevelt.
Regional Movies To Watch
The festival’s Arabian Nights and Arab Feature section is just as exciting this year. Syrian director Basil Khatib brings us the world premiere of Mariam, chronicling 100 years of Syrian history, while Sally El Hosaini debuts My Brother The Devil, about two boys from an Arab family living in working class London. If you pick one regional movie to try, make it this.
TICKETS: Ticket for all movies start from Dhs75, 9 to 16 December, DIFF, 04 363 3456, www.dubaifilmfest.com.
Ahlan! Meets Punam Verma
You’ll know Punam from Out & About on Dubai One, but she’s now branched out into feature film! Her first ever film, We Need to Talk, which she wrote, produced and stars in, hits Dubai International Film Festival on 10 December. We chatted to the lady herself...
Hi Punam, can you tell us a bit about your new film, We Need to Talk?
It’s based on a true story and all the girls in the film are actually my real-life friends. I use my real niece and nephew in the movie too. It’s a comedy about friendships and relationships and how we all look to others for advice when really the answer is within us.
What gave you the idea for the film then?
It’s based on a true story, with a few extra made-up scenes for the comedy factor.
Sounds great! And this is your first movie?
Yes. I just started writing one weekend and before I knew it I had a movie script. It was very random and I never dreamed of writing a movie. To have it in DIFF is a real blessing. It was a shock as it’s my first film, but I’m so happy that all that hard work from all the people involved has been recognised, especially my director Maher Al Khaja.
But you did the rest yourself – don’t be too modest! How was it writing, acting and producing?
It was fun. I loved every moment of it. I even used some of my own music in the film too, so you will hear me singing also.
Do you have any other movies in the pipeline?
I have a few ideas for sure, so we will see.
OK, so tell us what you’re going to wear on the red carpet – any designers in mind?
Personally I don’t wear designer clothes, I like to find unique outfits from small unknown boutiques and street markets. That’s how I grew up in the UK and I find that kind of shopping more creative.
INFO: We Need to Talk, Mall of the Emirates, 9.30pm 10 December, 12.30pm 12 December.