DUBAI // Next month's Dubai International Film Festival from Dec 11 to 18 will be the biggest ever with 181 films from 66 countries, organisers said yesterday. Hollywood stars and industry figures expected at Madinat Jumeirah include Nicolas Cage, Brendan Fraser, Salma Hayek, Goldie Hawn, Laura Linney, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover and Eliza Bennett. Bollywood will be represented by Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Preity Zinta, the director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Deepa Mehta, as well as Nandita Das, the actor and director.
The gala opening night screening will be the Middle East premiere of W., based on the life of George W Bush. Nicholas Cage will attend with the producer Charles Roven (The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, The Brothers Grimm), who will receive a filmmaker of the year award. Salma Hayek, Goldie Hawn and Laura Linney will attend the Cinema Against Aids event with a charity auction to raise funds for AmfAr, an AIDS research and public policy advocacy group. The auction is being held for the second time in Dubai after Sharon Stone's dinner auction raised US$3 million (Dh11m) for AmfAr last year.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the Bollywood director, will introduce his new film Delhi 6. Internationally acclaimed director Deepa Mehta will introduce her Heaven on Earth. Nandita Das will promote her directorial debut Firaaq. Mammootty, the South Asia star, will also attend. firstname.lastname@example.org