Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of DIFF, highlighted the Festival’s international prominence, commenting; “Building bridges of understanding throughout global communities is vital for the progression of humankind and promoting such cultural awareness has always been imperative for Dubai International Film Festival’s vision. The Festival is a gateway of innovation between the East and the West, bringing together some of the most creative and progressive minds from across the globe and making it an ideal platform to further promote and support the UAE’s bid.”
To maximise awareness of the bid, all delegates at DIFF will wear Dubai Expo 2020 pins and the bid’s branding will appear on all official banners and collateral. Ali’s Film, a feature film produced specifically to support the bid, will be played at the gala dinner on the final night of festival, which will be held between December 9th and 16th.
DIFF was launched in 2004 and has received a record number of film submissions for this year’s Festival, with a total of 2,100 films submitted. In the past, DIFF has been in the limelight as the global platform where high-profile films have been showcased. At last year’s festival, Hollywood actor Tom Cruise brought A-list star power to Dubai to promote Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol.
The announcement of DIFF’s support is further evidence of the Expo team’s successful efforts to generate support for Dubai’s Expo bid across diverse communities. If the UAE wins the bid, Dubai will become the first city in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region to host a World Expo. With one-third of the world’s population living within a four-hour flight of the UAE and 50 million passengers travelling through Dubai International Airport in 2011, Dubai is strongly positioned to welcome the world and showcase all the emirate has to offer.
Dubai, UAE, is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 World Expo, including Ayutthaya (Thailand); Ekaterinburg (Russia); Izmir (Turkey); and Sao Paulo (Brazil).
The winner will be announced in November 2013 following a vote by the 161 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions, the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing the calendar, bidding, selection and organisation of World Expos.