Dubai, December 11, 2009: City of Life, the highly anticipated multilingual feature film shot earlier this year in the United Arab Emirates by director Ali F. Mostafa, will premiere tonight as the Arabian Nights Gala at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
The Arabian Nights Gala film represents an outstanding cinematic achievement from the Arab world. City of Life is set in Dubai and intertwines the stories of three characters: a privileged Emirati man, a disillusioned Indian taxi driver, and a naïve Romanian flight attendant, living in a complex metropolis where ambition, growth and opportunity are a way of life. True to Dubai’s cosmopolitan makeup, the cast includes Romanian actress Alexandra Maria Lara, Northern Indian actor Sonu Sood, UAE nationals Saoud Al Ka’abi and Habib Ghuloom, British-based Jason Flemyng, Natalie Dormer and Susan George, Canadian-Iraqi rapper The Narcicyst, Egyptian-American comic Ahmed Ahmed, and Mumbai-born Jaaved Jaaferi .
The film’s World Premiere is the realization of three years of planning and fundraising for award-winning writer and director Ali F. Mostafa, which culminated in a gruelling five week shoot with co-production company Filmworks. Mostafa noted that “Making a film is never an easy journey, but dedicating three years of my life was incredibly fulfilling considering what we have achieved to date.
I hope this film helps pave the way for more local and international films to be produced in the region. I would like to share my appreciation towards my fellow producer Tim Smythe and the sponsors for having had the faith in me and the vision to support this emerging industry.
I am truly honoured to have been selected for this year’s Arabian Gala. There is no better place for City of Life to have its world premiere than in the city of life itself.” Tim Smythe, City of Life’s Producer and CEO of Filmworks, stated: “I am proud to be able to contribute to the growth of the film industry and to support talented filmmakers like Ali Mostafa.
I am also totally indebted to the wonderful crew put together by Producer Leigh Clarke, who together wrapped a very successful production with extremely high production values. I hope Ali’s efforts will inspire and motivate others and act as a catalyst for a number of UAE films to be screened for an international audience in the future.
The UAE has a great deal to offer international production partners and local talent alike, and in the next few years we hope to see more emerging regional artists walk the path that Ali has pioneered.” Smythe attributed the realisation of the film to the UAE sponsors and supporters: “These companies took a risk and put their money and support into unknown territory. I believe they showed great confidence and foresight in doing so and hopefully this trend will help nurture future films.” Official sponsors included the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Airports, Dubai Duty Free, Nakheel and the endorsement of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. Laila Suhail, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (formerly DSF Office) said: “We are proud to have supported City of Life, and its selection and world premiere at Dubai International Film Festival is an achievement for the Emirati film industry and part of a larger effort to showcase Dubai to the rest of the world.
City of Life is all about the diversity and cultural arabesque that Dubai enjoys.” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports : “Dubai Airports is committed to supporting the arts in Dubai, and all the more so when they seek to bring greater awareness and understanding of this dynamic city to a global audience, to which this film aspires. As sole provider of commercial air transport services to the city, Dubai Airports understands it plays an integral part in the life of Dubai’s residents and appreciates their continued support. With this in mind, Dubai Airports’ sponsorship of City of Life is an expression of our participation in the community and our contribution to enriching the lives of our valued customers.