The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will be awarding their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards to beloved Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and prolific British director Michael Apted at the Festival opening ceremony. Ahead of the gala screening of Life of Pi both recipients, who will be in attendance throughout the Festival, will be presented with their awards.
Both men have made commendable contributions to the world of cinema and inspired countless people through their body of work, said DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma: “The Lifetime Achievement Award is an opportunity to savour and truly commend an eminent career. It is not about the latest blockbuster or the most-hyped director of the year, but recognizes continuous, applied determination and consistent, creative output which push the boundaries of the industry. Our two recipients have pledged decades of their lives to bring audiences uplifting, quality entertainment. It is an honour to offer them our sincere thanks and appreciation and we are also delighted to have Michael Apted fulfill the role of Arab Muhr Documentary Jury President.”
Award-winning actor Mahmoud Abdel Aziz’s shot to stardom in the 1970’s, but once his celebrity status was established, he deliberately chose more challenging roles, starting with 1982’s Al Ar (Shame). Audiences embraced his hero characters; men who turned tragedy into comedy in order to keep living—a signature ethos from Egyptian films of the 1980’s. Abdel Aziz’s television efforts have likewise been immensely popular, from his starring role as the eponymous legendary spy in Raafat El Haggan to his latest venture, Bab el Khalq, which screened this year.
Director Michael Apted has worked across documentary, television and feature film genres throughout his illustrious career. His famed ’Up’ documentary is one of the longest-running series in the world—it started in 1964 with a group of seven year olds, and revisited the group every seven years. The latest installment, released in 2012, was directed by Apted himself. Apted is perhaps better known to audiences as the man behind blockbusters such as Chronicles of Narnia and The World is Not Enough. But like the Up series, which traces the impact of class on the trajectory of a child’s life, Apted has helmed a number of famed films which deal with social issues, such as Gorillas in the Mist, Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Nell—all of which were nominated for Best Actress Oscars due to Apted’s gift of rendering excellent female characters.
On Sunday December 16th the Festival will host an ‘In Conversation with’ session with Michael Apted which will open discussions around the differing filmmaking strategies involved in his representation of Native American battles with the Nixon administration in the documentary Incident at Ogala and feature Thunderheart to profile the visceral power of documentary and structured power of fiction. He will refer to other titles such as his ongoing documentary UP and features Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist and James Bond’s outing in The World is Not Enough.
Previous Lifetime Achievement honoree’s at DIFF include Omar Sharif, Faten Hamamah, Adel Imam, Jameel Rateb, Sabah, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, and Subhash Ghai.
The DIFF box office is open online on at www.dubaifilmfest.com. Additional information is also available through the Festival’s dedicated customer care number, 363 FILM (3456).
“Friends of the Festival” packages are now available for the upcoming 9th edition of DIFF. Film enthusiasts can select from any of the six exclusive tiers - DIFF Platinum Partner, DIFF Gold Circle, Patron of DIFF, DIFF Supporter, DIFF Genre and DIFF 10 and 25 ticket deals. In return, patrons will receive insider access to the Festival as an acknowledgement of their support for one of the most anticipated events on the UAE’s cultural calendar. For full details on each package and ticket purchases please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com, contact DIFF.Customerservice@filmfest.ae or the call centre 363-3456.
Tickets ‘One Night to Change Lives’ charity event to benefit Oxfam and Dubai Cares are available by telephone on +971 4 450 4531 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.onenighttochangelives.com
Dubai International Film Festival is media monitored by Media Watch, the leaders in Middle East media monitoring services.