Mike Fleming

Dubai, UAE; November 14, 2011: Adrenaline, ambition and A-list star power will converge in one of the world’s fastest-rising cities next month, when the highly anticipated blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol debuts to the world as the opening film of the 8th Dubai International Film Festival on December 7, 2011.

Directed by Oscar® winner Brad Bird and featuring an all-star cast including Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor and Léa Seydoux, the fourth installment in the mega-successful Mission: Impossible franchise has been described as the most inventive, action-filled and visually arresting yet.

Dubai will reprise its own starring role in the film when Cruise, Bird and the film’s co-stars take to the Festival’s opening night red carpet alongside the city’s leadership at the Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort – Dubai, home to the Dubai International Film Festival. Today’s joint announcement from Paramount Pictures and the Festival celebrates the Mission: Impossible team’s return to Dubai after extensive filming in the city, including shoots spanning its old town, downtown financial hub and offshore Palm island development.

With incredible stunt sequences featured throughout the movie, including the now iconic scene of Cruise scaling the world’s tallest tower, Dubai’s stunning Burj Khalifa, the movie also features Dubai footage shot in high-definition IMAX®, promising crystal-clear imagery, powerful audio and a fantastically immersive experience.

Framed for a terrorist bombing of the Kremlin, Impossible Missions Force operative Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his entire remaining team (Renner, Patton, Pegg) are disavowed along with the rest of the agency when the president initiates “Ghost Protocol”, essentially erasing the agency from existence. Left with no resources or backup, the team must find a way on their own to clear their names and prevent another attack. To complicate matters further, Ethan is forced to embark on this mission with a team of fellow IMF fugitives whose personal motives he does not fully know or trust.

The film’s return to Dubai, following shoots done in Prague, Moscow, Mumbai and Vancouver, is a coup for the emirate, its film festival and the region’s film industry. Under the patronage of UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai International Film Festival has steadily built its reputation as a global launching pad for Arab, Asian, African and other world cinema and as a facilitator of cultural exchange through film.

Ahmad Abdulla Al Shaikh, Director General of the Dubai Government Media Office, said: “We await with great excitement the return of the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol filmmakers, crew, and talent to Dubai in December. Dubai’s continuing relationship with the film is a mark of trust in Dubai’s world-class infrastructure, capabilities and leadership. This relationship is a point of pride not only for the emirate but for the region as a whole.” H.E. Mr AlShaikh reiterated that, “Dubai continues to welcome serious filmmakers from around the world, and remains ready to extend all assistance and support necessary to ensure the success of their films. Dubai reaffirms its commitment to the advancement of the local, regional, and international film industries.”

The developments also mark a coming of age for the first festival in the Gulf region and arguably the most successful in the Arab world and near Asia-Africa.

Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival, said: “Dubai and the UAE are the ‘Mission: Possible’ of the Arab world, so this link is particularly fitting. On behalf of the people of our amazing city and nation, we thank Paramount Pictures and the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol producers for showing the world the contemporary, successful and diverse Arab world. We are also grateful to them, Four Star and Gulf Film for choosing to bring this remarkable film to DIFF.”

“There is no doubt that this film will have a transformative effect on the region’s film industry, through knowledge transfer, inspiring emerging filmmakers, paving the way for many more collaborations and drawing attention to cinema from this part of the world,” he added.

“We are looking forward to sharing the film first with Dubai,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures. “Along with the producers of the movie, we are grateful to the governmental entities and residents who contributed to its successful shoot in Dubai, including the Dubai Studio City, the Dubai Police Department, the Dubai Civil Defense Group, the Roads & Transport Authority, the Dubai Air Wing, the Dubai Health Authority, the Dubai Municipality and the Dubai Customs Agency, and Emaar Properties among several others.”

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will be released in theatres across the globe this December.

The Festival has also promised an unprecedented fan experience for opening night, to accommodate the nation’s excitement at the film’s homecoming. More than 5,000 Dubai residents vied to serve as extras during the Dubai shoot, in addition to the 400-plus crewmembers.

In 2010, the Festival opened with Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech in the presence of Academy Award® winning actor Colin Firth; red carpet gala screenings also included Peter Weir’s The Way Back, attended by Ed Harris and Colin Farrell. DIFF previously served as the regional launch pad for high profile films from Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire to James Cameron’s Avatar.

The eighth edition of DIFF will be held from December 7 to 14, 2011, in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.