Naseeruddin Shah, Mithun Chakraborthy, Manisha Koirala will attend Dubai Film Fe

Naseeruddin Shah, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mithun Chakraborty and Manisha Koirala are among a host of eminent Indian film personalities who will walk the red carpet at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held here Dec 9-16.

The 2007 edition of DIFF will see a separate section on Indian cinema called 'A Celebration of Indian Cinema' that will showcase lesser-known cinematic traditions from different parts of India.

According to DIFF artistic director Masoud Amrala Al Ali, the eight-day festival will offer filmmakers from other centres in India such as Chennai, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram a bigger platform to showcase their work.

Indian origin director Mira Nair will be here for her ensemble film "AIDS Jaago", which comprises four short narrative films about HIV/AIDS. For this production, a joint effort between Mirabai Films and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nair hired four of India's ace directors.

Nair will be accompanied by Raima Sen who features in Nair's segment of the ensemble called "Migration", and Farhan Akhtar, who directed the segment called "Positive", according to the Gulf Today newspaper.

Acclaimed director and cinematographer Santosh Sivan will also be here with two projects. One is his segment in "AIDS Jaago" called "Parambha" and the other is his English language debut "Before the Rains".

Set in 1930s India, "Before the Rains" portrays the dilemma of a married British colonialist in India who is caught having an affair with his beautiful housemaid. According to the newspaper, Rahul Bose, who stars in the film along with Nandita Sen, has confirmed his participation in the film fest.

Naseeruddin Shah will be here for the world premiere of "Shoot at Sight", a political thriller by Jag Mohan Mundhra set in London.

The film features Om Puri and Shah, who plays the central role as a police commissioner torn between loyalties while investigating the killing of a terrorist by police. Shah's co-star Laila Rouass will also be here to promote the film.

Legend of Malayalam cinema Adoor Gopalakrishnan will be here with "Naalu Pennungal" (Four Women), which was released recently in Kerala to an enthusiastic response. The film, the director's 10th feature, portrays the struggles of women in a male-dominated society.

With power packed performances from Padmapriya, Manju Pillai, Geetu Mohandas and Nandita Das, the film depicts the subjugation and undermining of Indian women of the southern region of Kerala. Padmapriya will also attend the festival.

Kabir Bedi will be here for the revised international director's cut of "Taj Mahal". Manisha Koirala and Pooja Batra, who also star in the film, will join Bedi.

Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty will attend the festival for the world premiere of "Lal Pahare'r Katha" (A Story of the Red Hills), in which he plays the role of a tribal dancer whose innate love for the art form helps him overcome a failed relationship.

Among other Indian films to be screened at this year's festival are "Frozen", starring newcomer Shivajee Chandrabhushan and seasoned actor Danny Denzongpa and Manish Acharya's "Loins of Punjab Presents".

"Indian cinema is indeed rich and diverse and we particularly thought it deserved its own section in the festival because of the large and enthusiastic Indian public here in Dubai," Simon Field, artistic director of DIFF's international programming, had said earlier this month while announcing the launch of the new Indian segment in the festival.

A large majority of this city of 1.4 million people are Indian expatriates.

Indo-Asian News Service