Saturday, December 18, 2010

Spain bestows ‘Order of the Civil Merit’ on DIFF Artistic Director

Masoud Amralla Al Ali honoured for the Festival’s and his contribution to strengthening UAE-Spain relations

Dubai, UAE; December 18, 2010: His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain today conferred the grade of Officer in the Order of the Civil Merit of the Kingdom of Spain upon Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of the Dubai International Film Festival, at a special ceremony during the seventh DIFF at the Madinat Jumeirah.

His Excellency Gonzalo de Benito, the Ambassador of Spain to the UAE, presented the honour at a ceremony held at the Festival Headquarters. The order, instituted by Spain in 1926 to decorate Spanish nationals or foreigners who have contributed to political, economic, cultural or human relations with Spain, recognizes Al Ali and the Festival’s contribution to strengthening relations between the UAE and Spain.

 “We are very pleased and honored to confer the Order of the Civil Merit of Spain on the Artistic Director of the Festival, a true link between Spain, the Spanish culture and the UAE. This is also a recognition of this fine cultural event, the Dubai International Film Festival, one of the most important events worldwide on the international festival circuit, and everyone who works on its behalf,” said His Excellency Gonzalo de Benito.

“We have been following all the interest that Mr. Al Ali has devoted for a long time now to working with Spanish festivals, and to support talented Arab filmmakers in Europe, and our government proposed this decoration in response,” he added. “The Dubai International Film Festival has always recognized and collaborated with the Spanish film industry, showcasing the best of our talent and production to audiences across the Middle East.”

Among the 157 films from 57 nations showing at DIFF this year is Spanish film ‘Biutiful,’ by the award-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and starring Javier Bardem.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “We are honoured by the recognition from His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain for our Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali. It is a testament to strong relations between DIFF and the Spanish community.”

He added: “Spain produces some of the most powerful movies, and has legendary talent who inspire filmmakers and actors across the world. DIFF has hosted Spanish celebrities such as Pedro Almodovar, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and continuously emphasised on showcasing Spanish films. This year, we have also joined hands with Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival to promote Arab filmmakers in Europe, taking our partnership with Spain another step further.”

DIFF has also initiated cooperation with the film governing conglomerate Capital Regions for Cinema (CRC), opening doors for Arab filmmakers to key European markets. CRC is a network of the film agencies of Berlin-Brandenburg, the Comunidad de Madrid, Paris-Ile de France and Rome-Lazio.

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

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. 

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