Diff to honour top Egyptian actor
Dubai, October 23, 2011
The eighth edition of Dubai International Film Festival (Diff), to be held from December 7 to 14, will honour veteran Egyptian actor Gamil Rateb with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’
A household name in Egypt and a favourite across France, the US and the Arab world, his body of work comprises more than 50 films, including Trapeze (1956); Adieu Bonaparte by Youssef Chahine (1985); Al-Darga Al-Thalitha (The 3rd Class) by Sherif Arafa (1998); and Turk's Head by Pascal Elbé (2010), as well as multiple acclaimed TV series and stage plays.
Commenting on the award, Diff chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: "It is our privilege to honour Gamil Rateb, a household name in the Arab world, with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an inspiration for countless talented film artists who draw from his intense on-screen energy and passion for theatre and cinema."
"Rateb is among the first actors from the Arab world to successfully cross over to international markets, and in doing so, brought more attention to the region’s cinema and talent pool," he remarked.
"Rateb’s cultural contributions have also raised awareness of Arab communities for the better, a goal we continue to pursue even today. We look forward to welcoming him to Dubai in December and sharing his insights and experiences with our visitors and delegates," he added.
On the Diff honour, Rateb said, "It is a great honour to be singled out by the Dubai International Film Festival, especially as an actor."
"The Festival is becoming increasingly important globally and thanks to its efforts so are Arab cinema and Arab talent. Arab actors in particular are slowly becoming more accepted internationally and becoming less of a rarity as in previous decades,” he stated.
“This will be my first visit to Dubai, and I’m very happy to be honoured in these circumstances,” he added.
Best known internationally for his role as Majid in David Lean’s 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia, Rateb also made his mark in Tunisian cinema and French theatre, performing in plays by classic and contemporary playwrights.
His contribution to Egyptian theatre and television spans generations, with his more recent work favouring independent, cutting-edge and upcoming directors with compelling stories.
The Dubai International Film Festival singles out cinema legends annually for its Lifetime Achievement Awards, including veterans of Arab cinema, Asia and Africa, and Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
DIFF Lifetime Achievement honourees in previous years include Omar Sharif, Adel Imam, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, and Subhash Ghai.-TradeArabia News Service