x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Black carpet event, dimmed lights as Dubai Film Festival pays tribute to Mandela

As a mark of respect following the death of Nelson Mandela the red carpet for the gala screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom at the Dubai International Film Festival on Tuesday will be a more sombre affair.

Idris Elba, left, stars as Nelson Mandela in the film ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ which had a gala screening in the Dubai International Film Festival on Monday, the same day that South Africa held a memorial service for its former president Nelson Mandela. AP Photo
Idris Elba, left, stars as Nelson Mandela in the film ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ which had a gala screening in the Dubai International Film Festival on Monday, the same day that South Africa held a memorial service for its former president Nelson Mandela. AP Photo

DUBAI // Stars will tread the red carpet as the Dubai International Film Festival offers a tribute for the gala screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on Tuesday.

Lights will be dimmed and candles will line the carpet before the biopic of the anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday, is shown.

Photographers and television crews will not be allowed to film.

Guests holding tickets for the screening are encouraged to dress appropriately as a sign of respect, especially as the event takes place on the same day as Mandela’s national memorial service in South Africa.

The film is based on Mandela’s autobiography, written while serving his 27-year prison sentence.

The book was published in 1994, four years after his release, and he granted the movie rights in 1997.

British actor Idris Elba stars as Mandela, although he is not expected to attend.

But Naomie Harris, who portrays his second wife Winnie, and Lindiwe Matshikiza, who plays his daughter Zindzi, are due to be there.

This week Harris made her own personal tribute to South Africa’s first black president.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of one of the greatest inspirational leaders of our time,” she said.

“Today South Africa lost its spiritual father. Too often violence and oppression lead to further violence and retribution. He taught us to fight back with peace.

“Long before we made this movie I was inspired, as so many have been, by the leadership, grace and compassion of Nelson Mandela.

“While no single film can replicate a person’s life, his accomplishments and approach to peace are lessons that will live on for generations.”

newsdesk@thenational.ae