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‘Rhythm and Reels’ three-day event during DIFF 2007

 The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced its new initiative ‘Rhythm and Reels’ presented by Dubai Pearl. The three-day event during DIFF 2007 will bring unusual and cutting-edge film together with live musical performances; the festival has introduced the open-air series at the Dubai Media City amphitheatre to celebrate the mutually enriching relationship between film and music.

The first screening, to be held on December 13, 2007, will bring 5-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan to Dubai in her first-ever performance in the Middle East. She will perform following the World Premiere of the film 90 Millas (90 Miles), directed by her record producer husband, Emilio Estefan. Known as the “Queen of Latin Pop”, Estefan has sold over 90 million albums worldwide, and her new album ‘90 Millas’ recently reached #1 on the Billboards Latin Album Chart.


90 Miles is the distance between Cuba and Florida, and Estefan’s film delves into the experience of Cuban musicians in exile in the United States, who are so close yet worlds away from their birthplace.


Gloria Estefan, said: “It is an honor for Emilio and I to have the world premiere of the 90 Millas documentary in Dubai. As an artist and performer, it’s always a fun and exciting experience to play to a new audience. Having performed for fans all over the world, this will be my first concert in the Middle East and I’m thrilled to have been invited to perform it at the Dubai Film Festival.”

Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of DIFF, said: “This promises to be one of the highlights of the Dubai concert season and a fitting way to kick off the first year of DIFF’s Rhythm & Reels programme. Music and film go hand in hand, and each can move audiences equally, needing no translation. This film and Gloria Estefan’s music will bring the Cuban experience to life at DIFF, which fits perfectly with our mandate of ‘Building Bridges, Meeting Minds’ and underscores the international nature of DIFF, which brings together great artists from around the world.”

On December 14, the second film in the series will be The White Thread, a documentary by Moroccan filmmaker Khalil Benkirane. The film follows San Francisco DJ Cheb i Sabbah as he records Moroccan villagers’ ancient songs and remixes them with modern electronic beats.

After the film, Moroccan DJ Zayan Freeman will perform with Bnet Marrakech, a group of gypsy women singing in traditional Berber and Arabic style.

The third and final night of the series will feature a screening of the critically-acclaimed Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor (Frida, 2002), a kaleidoscopic ode to the sixties: cross-cultural romance, the conflict between art and commerce, conscription, protest culture, the music business and class conflict. Based on The Beatles’ songbook and set in the 1960’s England, America, and Vietnam, the love story of main characters Lucy and Jude is intertwined with the anti-war movement and social protests of the times. Over 30 Beatles’ songs are woven into the plot, together with visual allusions to the films Help! A Hard Day’s Night, Yellow Submarine and Let It Be.

The film’s musical compliment will be ‘The Best of the British Invasions,’ a multimedia act that revisits some of the greatest moments in music history, featuring some of the best known bands synonymous with the early British sound such as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and David Bowie.

Alongside the screenings and music will be a photo exhibition by acclaimed photographic cooperative Magnum Photos, with the theme of ‘The Magic of Cinema.’ Magnum member and prominent Iranian photojournalist Abbas will be in attendance.

Rhythm and Reels will take place at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre from December 13 to 15, 2007, an open-air theatre with beanbag seating. Tickets for each evening are AED 175, or AED 450 for all three nights, and are available at all DIFF box offices and online at Special chalets and VIP terraces are available for sponsors and corporate sales. The three previous evenings of outdoor screenings at the amphitheatre will free.

Emirates Airlines, Dubai Duty Free, Madinat Jumeirah and Dubai Pearl are the Principal Sponsors for the fourth edition of the Festival, scheduled to run from December 9-16.


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About Dubai

In 2004, the Dubai International Film Festival launched with its theme of ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds.

‘Going into its fourth year, DIFF is held under the Honorary Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DIFF is a not-for-profit cultural event, presented and organized by the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

Reflecting Dubai’s cosmopolitan and multicultural character, the festival showcases a wide selection of features, shorts and documentaries from around the world.

DIFF aims at establishing itself as a major international festival, while continuing to act as a platform for showcasing excellence in Arab Cinema and simultaneously contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry and talent.

As one of the world’s fastest growing business and tourist destinations, Dubai provides an ideal meeting point for industry friends and colleagues from around the globe. DIFF creates an exciting atmosphere for exchanging ideas among a group of progressive film industry professionals. Moreover, the networking initiatives hosted by DIFF provide participants and guests a favourable setting for conducting business

Dubai Media City

United Arab Emirates

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