Ah yes, Day 5, the last day of the Dubai International Film Festival... like all ‘last days’ it was an affectionate reminder of the good times we’ve had at the fest. Without groping for compliments I say this – DIFF was better than expected, it’s definitely a confident Year 1. The films shown were eclectic and this perhaps affirmed the organising committee’s desire not to pander to conservatism. And I say well done!
With the benefit of time, in the coming days, I and Faizan Rashid will be putting together our Top 3 films (our top choices out of all the ones we actually saw at the fest) and we may also throw in a few special treats readers to cover a wider base of opinion. So, as they like saying it on TV, watch this space.
DIFF concluded in high style with a special Middle East premiere of “Ocean’s Twelve,” the new Steven Soderbergh film that serves as sequel to its delightful predecessor. The question on everyone’s lips at the screening was, very simply, ‘Is it any better than the first one?’ You can find out what I thought - click here for my review of the film.
Closing words – I have on good authority the DIFF organising committee’s honest intention to make the next year’s event bigger and better given the absolutely enthusiastic response from the audiences here (many screenings were sold out). They feel that DIFF is a potential wakeup call for local distributors to start showing more non-Hollywood cinema, arthouse films and specialist documentaries now that there is clear proof a market for it exists. DIFF happens again in December 2005. We’ll be there. Will you?