WION Web Team Delhi, India
Dec 07, 2017, 11.12 AM
Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) 2018 opened Wednesday night with the coming together of artists from around the world.
British actor Patrick Stewart, famous for his role as Professor X in "X-Men" was seen along with Indian films' actor Irrfan Khan and renowned Egypt's director Wahid Hamed.
The 14th edition of the festival will be featuring 140 movies from 51 countries with a focus on regions like the Middle East and North Africa, from Iran to Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
On the opening night yesterday, two-time Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett walked in a bright coloured dress with Egyptian film and TV star Yusra. Blanchett received an honorary award for her widely acclaimed performances.
Hollywood actor Patrick Stewart also walked the red carpet and appreciated screenings of regional films. He said, "I'm not very familiar with Arabic film" but "After this week, I will certainly know very, very much more."
The Dubai International Film Festival opened with the premiere of Scott Cooper Western's "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.
Cast of our Opening film HOSTILES is here in this very special night where we celebrate the power of cinema through this superb Scott Cooper-directed film. #DIFF17pic.twitter.com/3dmGyBuOwU
The festival will also have 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. The film also received the Sundance Grand Jury Prize this year.
Last night, DIFF honoured Egypt's Wahid Hamed, the screenwriter behind the 2006 film adaptation of "The Yaacoubian Building", with a lifetime achievement award, along with both Khan and Stewart.
Hamed, known as a pioneer of Arab cinema, has a long history of battling censorship. For over a decade, he fought for his political drama "Al-Baree" (The Innocent) to make it to the silver screen which was finally released in 1997.