The King’s Speech to open 7th Dubai International Film Festival

MUMBAI: The King’s Speech will open the seventh Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) that begins on 12 December, 2010.

The King’s Speech stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce and Timothy Spall.

Directed by Tom Hooper, the film is based on the true story of King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II, who reluctantly and unexpectedly becomes king following the death of his father and abdication by his brother Edward VII. Plagued by a debilitating and lifelong speech impediment and considered unfit to be king of a country on the brink of war, George employs an eccentric speech therapist to help him find his voice, in order to lead Britain and inspire its people.

Festival chairman Abdulhamid Juma said, “The Festival is delighted to host the film and its considerable talent in Dubai: DIFF has always sought to bring the best cinema of the world to Dubai and the greater Middle East, and The King’s Speech’ certainly fits that bill.”

“The film has scooped up the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival and earned rare standing ovations wherever it has been seen. We are excited to begin our programming on such a high note. The world’s leading studios and filmmakers are increasingly placing their trust in the professionalism, the business potential and the achievements of our Festival, and that is reflected in our ability to secure world-leading titles and talent early in the season,” he added.

In 2009, DIFF managed to secure both James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar and hit musical Nine in prior to their openings in the United States. DIFF has also been an early staging ground for films like Slumdog Millionaire and Paradise Now.

With the 2010 edition less than seven weeks away, DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali said nearly all the DIFF programming is in place and will be announced shortly.

“The King’s Speech is an example of mastery in filmmaking: from its script to its direction, cinematography and performances, every element is superlative and our fans in the region can expect it to be followed by equally inspiring and powerful films,” Al Ali said.

The seventh edition of DIFF 2010, will be held from 12 December to 19 December. DIFF 2010 is held in association with Dubai Studio City and supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors of DIFF.