The opening night of the 13th edition of the Dubai International Film Festival set the mood for the week-long extravaganza. From the 7th to 14 of December, DIFF will showcase over 150 films from 50 countries. Here are the highlights of Day 1:

Samuel L Jackson receives the Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to cinema

  • The festival bestowed Samuel L Jackson with the Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to cinema over the last 45 years. Receiving his award to a standing ovation, Jackson thanked his wife and daughter for giving him the “ticket to travel the world and be away from home” to entertain global audiences. “Thank you for keeping my feet on the ground,” he said.  
  • Actress Rekha who also received an award for excellence in cinema was a vision in gold as she walked the red carpet. Thanking the festival for the recognition, Rekha dedicated her honor to young talent world over who inspire and amaze her.  She confessed that being in the movies was never a part of her plan but merely a long cherished dream of her mother’s that she was grateful to be able to fulfill. 
  • Musician Gabriel Yared who was the third winner of the excellence award spoke about how music has been the sole influence on his life from his early childhood. “Although I have received the Lifetime Achievement award, I feel my career is far from over”, he said.

Miss Sloane actor Jake Lacy (L) and director John Madden (R) pose on the red carpet

  • The festival opened with Jessica Chastain’s political thriller Miss Sloane that addresses the debate of gun control. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. Speaking to Film Companion, filmmaker John Madden said, “My chief concern was to engage with audiences emotionally, that’s the only way you can connect with them. Otherwise you’re just giving them a history lesson.”  

Stay tuned to Film Companion’s Twitter, Instagram & Facebook for live updates from DIFF. #FCAtDIFF16

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