Final awards bring curtain down on Dubai International Film Festival

The Dubai International Film Festival closed on Wednesday night with a red carpet gala screening of Disney’s star-studded fairy tale musical, Into the Woods.
“Dubai is amazing,” says The Imitation Game star Matthew Beard. “I went up the Burj Khalifa yesterday and got a good bird’s eye view of the place, and it’s like no place else on earth. The extravagance, the luxury – everything is about making it bigger and better.” Antonie Robertson / The National
“Dubai is amazing,” says The Imitation Game star Matthew Beard. “I went up the Burj Khalifa yesterday and got a good bird’s eye view of the place, and it’s like no place else on earth. The extravagance, the luxury – everything is about making it bigger and better.” Antonie Robertson / The National

The Dubai International Film Festival closed on Wednesday night with a red carpet gala screening of Disney’s star-studded fairy tale musical, Into the Woods.

The film, which opens in local cinemas on Christmas Day, is an adaptation of the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim.

The plot takes pointers from several Grimm Brothers fairy tales, including Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, and the film stars a range of well-known actors, including Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt.

The screening was preceded by a final slew of awards, which followed the Muhr Awards for the best in Arab cinema and the IWC Filmmaker Award, which focuses on the production of feature-length fiction films.

This year’s Audience Choice Award went to the French language film, Samba. The story follows an immigration officer, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, and a recent immigrant to France, played by Omar Sy. Make Up For Ever founder, Dany Sanz, was also given an award in recognition of her 30 years in the industry.

Although many celebrities in town for the festivities had left by Wednesday night, a smattering of well-known faces appeared on the final red carpet. For some, like The Imitation Game star Matthew Beard, the event was one to remember.

“Dubai is amazing,” he said. “I went up the Burj Khalifa yesterday and got a good bird’s eye view of the place, and it’s like no place else on earth. The extravagance, the luxury – everything is about making it bigger and better.

“I heard you had the biggest shopping mall in the world, and you’re extending it – I think that sums it up.”

James Jurdi, who stars in the comic crime film Pocket Listing, said: “It’s been awesome. I’ve really enjoyed myself and saw some fantastic films, especially Wild Tales and Birdman. They were two of the best films I’ve seen, not only at this festival but the whole year.

“It’s been a blast to be exposed to so many international filmmakers and world cinema, in general.”

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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