Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dubai International Film Festival to host public conversation with leading actor, director and activist Sean Penn

Dubai, UAE; December 8, 2010: During his visit to the seventh Dubai International Film Festival next week, A-list American actor and director and international social and political activist Sean Penn will participate in a public ‘In Conversation With,’ question-and-answer session with fans from across the nation on Monday, Dec. 13 at the First Group Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah, from 7pm to 8pm. Tickets to the event, priced at AED 25, are on sale now.

Penn, whose career spans nearly three decades, more than 45 films and notable successes as producer, actor, director and screenwriter, is one of the Festival’s three Lifetime Achievement honorees this year. Two-time Academy Award winner and five-time nominee Penn is perhaps best known for his searing performances in Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, I Am Sam, Mystic River, Milk and older genre classics Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Carlito’s Way.

His performances have also been singled out by the Cannes and Berlin film festivals and critics associations around the world, as has his directing work on films including Into the Wild, The Crossing Guard and The Pledge.
Penn’s humanitarian work - including his reportage from Iran and Iraq in recent years, and tireless campaigning on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the earthquake-ravaged Haiti – has also won numerous admirers around the world. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which focuses on medical aid, protection, and re-location. His organisation is currently leading the largest camp for internally displaced persons in Port-au-Prince and established the first emergency re-location in the country.
In addition to the public conversation, DIFF 2010 is screening two path-breaking movies from Penn’s extraordinary repertoire: Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and Into the Wild (2007).

Gloriously comic, the heartbreakingly poignant rollicking ride through the seedy underbelly of the 1930s jazz era in America, in Sweet and Lowdown Sean Penn delivers a standout performance in this Woody Allen spoof documentary. It charts the life of jazz legend Emmet Ray. Screening on Dec. 17 at CineStar MoE, Sweet and Lowdown evokes a gamut of emotion, from drunken hubris to tender love.

Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless starring Emile Hirsch, Sean Penn’s Into the Wild retraces the path taken by the conflicted and unstable young man. Abandoning his possessions and hitchhiking to Alaska to live in the wilderness, McCandless wanders through the lives of a variety of characters, each of whom attempt to offer him some insight and clarity to life. Screening on Dec. 18 at CineStar MoE, Into the Wild captures the integrity, naiveté, and charm of this complex, troubled man.

DIFF 2010 box office locations are: Cinestar Mall of the Emirates, Madinat Souk and the CNN Building in Dubai Media City and The Walk at JBR. Tickets can also be purchased through DIFF’s Dial-a-Ticket service at (04) 391 3378 and from the website

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

For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit

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