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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Dubai premiere of Hollywood movie Only the Brave dedicated to Dubai Civil Defence

The film tells the story of Arizona’s Granite Mountain Hotshots, the first and only municipal fire crew in the United States to be certified as “Hotshots”, the elite class of firefighters that deals with wildfires

The UAE premiere of Only the Brave at Novo Cinemas Festival City celebrated the Dubai Civil Defence. AP photo
The UAE premiere of Only the Brave at Novo Cinemas Festival City celebrated the Dubai Civil Defence. AP photo

Dubai’s finest were out in force for the UAE premiere of Hollywood movie Only the Brave at Novo Cinemas Festival City on Wednesday. The film tells the story of Arizona’s Granite Mountain Hotshots, the first and only municipal fire crew in the United States to be certified as “Hotshots”, the elite class of firefighters that deals with wildfires.

Its distributor, Phars Film, has dedicated the movie’s release to the servicemen and women of Dubai Civil Defence, who although not yet the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster, have seen their global profile rocket in the face of some headline-grabbing fires in the city recently, most notably the New Year’s Eve 2015 blaze at the Address Downtown, which caught the attention of TV viewers around the world as the cameras awaiting the typically extravagant Burj Khalifa’s New Year’s fireworks were distracted by a real life pyrotechnic display a few hundred metres away.

The red-carpet premiere was attended by the head of Dubai Civil Defence, Major General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, while members of the force were also on hand to pose for photos with the public. Commemorative “Hotshots” certificates were also handed out to attendees at the invite-only event.

The film unites an all-star cast, including Josh Brolin, Taylor Kitsch, Andie MacDowell, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges to tell the story of the unit’s journey from downcast misfits, frustrated at their seeming inability to deal with even the simplest outbreak of fire, to the most highly revered firefighting team in the US – with a heart-warming redemption story for Teller’s young addict Brendan McDonough thrown in for good measure.

The movie offers a refreshingly understated telling of the team’s work. While a more bombastic director may have revelled in the potential for a special effects-laden glory-fest, Joseph Kosinski, better known for sci-fi efforts such as Tron: Legacy and Oblivion than heart-warming tales of real-life human struggle, intentionally downplays the story’s more overly dramatic elements. Much of the team’s time is spent observing fires from afar and taking temperature readings – much like, one suspects, the real day-to-day life of a firefighter – in favour of digging deep into the human relationships and struggles.

The premiere may have lacked the glitz, glamour and smattering of celebrity you might find at a Diff gala screening or a Cannes red carpet, but Phars Film chief executive Pritesh Depala seemed confident that the event had attracted exactly the red-carpet crowd he desired.

“Phars Film is truly proud to have been given this opportunity to honour the extraordinary men and women of the Dubai Civil Defence,” he said. “Only the Brave brings home the reality of the strength and fortitude of these men and women whose mission is to protect not simply our physical being but also to relieve us of the fear of the real catastrophes that plague mankind’s varied habitats.

“It is our profound pleasure to have hosted Major General Expert Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi and the brave men and women of the Dubai Civil Defence for the Gulf Premiere of our film. It is our hope to shed light on these exemplary souls who have made it their responsibility to save our lives, should they ever be called upon to do so, by risking their own.”

Praveen Mehta, Phars Film’s UAE business chief, added: “Only the Brave is an intense depiction of struggle and sacrifice of firemen to society and the country. People should watch such heroes and draw inspiration.”

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