Photos from my first day at the Dubai International Film Festival 2008

Heya folks, been in Dubai since the 11th. Haven't had the time to go online until now. Saw lots of films, went through both screenings of CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY. So let me post some photos, I'll write more about my thoughts later.

Anyway, my dad came to Dubai too, and we're now staying at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which is one hell of a hotel.


Hotel room at Jumeirah beach hotel


The view of Burj Al Arab's really great too.

The view from my hotel room


I arrived early in the morning, around 5 am. So did my dad (I flew from Tokyo, he flew from Malaysia). Once we reached the hotel, we had breakfast at the restaurant by the beach.

Breakfast at the Beach


The photos I took look like stuff you'll see in postcards.

Jumeirah beach

Jumeirah beach 2


Went I went to the Film Festival HQ in the afternoon, a press conference was being held for Oliver Stone and Jeffrey Wright. W.'s the opening film of the festival.

Oliver Stone and Jeffrey Wright at Press Conference

Oliver Stone and Jeffrey Wright Press Conference 2


There was a red carpet event at night for the opening ceremony. Like what I did during the Pride And Glory premiere at the Rome Film Fest back in October, I wore sunglasses.

Before walking down the red carpet


I was with the French filmmaker,
Jean-Luc Ayach, he has a short film under the Muhr Arabic Short category.

With Jean-Luc Ayach


This is before the opening ceremony. Madina Arena's really impressive-looking.


Before the opening ceremony

Before the opening ceremony 2

Before the opening ceremony 3


Opening performance was insanely impressive. They even brought in a HORSE!

Performance during opening ceremony

Performance during opening ceremony 2


(Seriously, I haven't seen a more lavish opening performance in a film festival, Dubai is mindblowing)

After that, Oliver Stone and Jeffrey Wright presented their film, W.

Oliver Stone and Jeffrey Wright introducing W


After film was over, we had a gala at this huge open-air club, more insanely impressive performance ensued.

Opening Gala


I hung out with Chinese director Yu Guangyi, who made the much-acclaimed documentaries THE LAST LUMBERJACKS (it shared the Best Director and Jury Prize awards with THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA at the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Fest last year) and SURVIVAL SONG (won the big one at the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Fest this year, KURUS was in competition too, but wasn't able to halt its dominance! Was also shown at Tokyo Filmex, where it won a Special Jury Prize)

Yu Guangyi
Yu Guangyi


Burj Al-Arab at night.

Burj at night