Brand new all-star drama ‘The King’s Speech’ will open the seventh Dubai International Film Festival on December 12, 2010, continuing the Festival’s tradition of bringing the most anticipated and critically acclaimed global films to local and regional audiences.
The film, based on the true story of King George VI and his struggle to lead Britain in the run up to World War II, features an award-winning cast led by Colin Firth (Bridget Jones Diary, A Single Man, Mamma Mia, Pride and Prejudice), Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shakespeare in Love), Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Jennifer Ehle (Sunshine, Pride and Glory), Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Gosford Park), Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), Guy Pearce (Memento) and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter). Members of the cast are expected to support the December 12 premiere at DIFF.
The film has drawn universal praise from critics and audiences for its first-rate performances, elegant staging and inspiring story, and is considered a hot favourite for multiple Oscar awards. Described as ‘a rare combination of crowd-pleaser and triumphant artistry,’ and ‘one of the most accessibly entertaining films of its kind in years,’ the film is sure to score big with DIFF audiences.
Festival Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said the Festival is delighted to host the film and its considerable talent in Dubai.
“DIFF has always sought to bring the best cinema of the world to Dubai and the greater Middle East, and ‘The King’s Speech’ certainly fits that bill,” Juma said. “The film has scooped up the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival and earned rare standing ovations wherever it has been seen, and we are confident it will be a sell-out here. We are excited to begin our programming on such a high note.”
“The world’s leading studios and filmmakers are increasingly placing their trust in the professionalism, the business potential and the achievements of our Festival, and that is reflected in our ability to secure world-leading titles and talents early in the season,” he added.
In 2009, DIFF managed to secure both James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar and hit musical Nine in their second worldwide screenings, punching well above its weight internationally. DIFF has also been an early staging ground for films like Slumdog Millionaire and Paradise Now that went on to tremendous international success.
With the 2010 edition less than seven weeks away, DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said nearly all the DIFF programming is in place and will be announced shortly.
“The King’s Speech is an example of mastery in filmmaking: from its script to its direction, cinematography and performances, every element is superlative and our fans in the region can expect it to be followed by equally inspiring and powerful films,” Al Ali said.
The film is based on the true story of King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, who reluctantly and unexpectedly becomes king following the death of his father and abdication by his brother Edward VII. Plagued by a debilitating and lifelong speech impediment and considered unfit to be king of a country on the brink of war, George (Firth) employs an eccentric speech therapist (Rush) to help him find his voice in order to lead Britain and inspire its people.
The seventh edition of Dubai International Film Festival 2010 will be held from December 12 to 19. DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF. Registration for DIFF 2010 is now open at www.dubaifilmfest.com.