DUBAI // Peter Weir's The Way Back has been chosen to lead the Dubai International Film Festival's "Cinema of the World" programme screening on December 15, it was announced yesterday.
Inspired by Slawomir Rawicz's novel The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, the film is an adventure story chronicling the escape of a small group of multicultural prisoners from a Stalinist gulag during the Second World War.
The film features a cast including Colin Farrell and Ed Harris and marks the first venture for Weir, a six-time Oscar-nominated director, since the Russell Crowe success Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World.
The festival's artistic director, Masoud Amralla al Ali, called The Way Back "a fine example of this year's roster of films that transcend borders and generations".
Sheila Whitaker, the director of the international programmes at DIFF, said: "The Way Back joins the league of films celebrating the indomitability of the human will."
It is one the 20 films included in this year's "Cinema of the World" showcase, which celebrates the finest filmmaking of the year, she said.
The film is a presentation from Exclusive Media Group, National Geographic Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, which is owned by The National's parent company, Abu Dhabi Media Company.
DIFF had earlier announced The King's Speech and Tron: Legacy as the opening and closing galas for the seventh edition of the festival. A list of stars due to attend DIFF events is to be announced at a press conference on November 23.
The event will be held from December 12-19. Its entire line-up will be announced over the next fortnight and the box office will open this month. Last year the festival screened 168 films from 55 countries; this year's festival will have a similar range, organisers said.